Helen Grant – The Glass Demon

The FIRST Death
Seventeen-year-old Lin Fox finds a body in an orchard. As she backs away in horror, she steps on broken glass.

The SECOND Death
Then blood appears on her doorstep – blood and broken glass.

The THIRD Death
Something terrible is found in the cemetery. Shards of broken glass lie by a grave.

As the attacks become more sinister, Lin doesn’t know who to trust. She’s getting closer to the truth behind these chilling discoveries, but with each move the danger deepens.

Because someone wants Lin gone – and won’t give up until he’s got rid of her and her family. Forever.

I have a new must buy author and I’m blaming the lovely Liz from My Favourite Books. She sent me The Glass Demon to read and now I want to read The Vanishing of Katarina Linden asap and I can’t wait for Helen Grant’s third book Wish Me Dead, which is due for publication on June 2nd. So why did I love The Glass Demon so much? Let me tell you.

Lin is the seventeen-year-old narrator and she’s a wonderful protagonist. She’s smart and brave, but at the same time slightly self-centered and self-absorbed. Which, let’s be honest, every seventeen-year-old girl is, however sweet and caring she maybe. It causes her to miss the fact that not everything is right with her sister Polly, in fact things are very much wrong, that Michel is developing feelings for her and the fact that he’s a wonderful friend gets overlooked. To be fair, Lin acknowledges this herself, admitting that she should have done better by Polly and that she might be taking advantage of Michel’s feelings for her, even if she isn’t yet sure of what she feels for him. And I love that. I love that she did and I love that she realises that it’s probably not entirely ethical to do so, but does it anyway. Because that is what happens in life and it’s what people do. In the end, Michel and Lin’s relationship was sweet. It wasn’t instant love, but grew slowly with stumbles along the way. There are two scenes in Michel’s beat up little car, which I particularly loved in this context. In both cases Lin initiates a kiss, but the motivations and outcomes couldn’t have been more different. I loved the mirroring in them and Michel’s reactions to them.

Lin’s parents are just awful, especially Tuesday. She leaves the care for the girls’ baby brother completely to Lin’s sister. Tuesday is a diva to her finger tips and the prototype of a high-maintenance female. I kept wondering what had happened to Polly and Lin’s real mum. When the answer to that came it was completely unexpected but rather cool!

The other star of the novel was the Allerheiligen glass. Its lure and history are woven throughout the book and the way Lin goes from shrugging off the legend and scoffing at local superstitions, to slowly believing Bonschariant is real was convincingly done. The use of the stories the glass depicts was very inventive too. I was actually pretty proud of myself when I made the connection just a page or two before Lin did, though the actual unveiling of ‘Bonschariant’ caught me by surprise. I really hadn’t expected the culprit to be who they are.

The only niggle I had was the time line. While immersed in the narrative this wasn’t a problem at all, but when thinking about the book later on, I realised that I had no idea in what kind of time frame the story played out. The time line was hard to grasp in retrospect, and while this may be my faulty memory, there isn’t much mention of time passing, even though it clearly does. And while for the main story this isn’t a particular problem, when considering Polly’s weight loss for example, it did raise questions for me. But in the end, this was only a minor detail and didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the story one jot.

The Glass Demon was a fabulous read, it was spooky, funny, sad and gripping. I kept turning pages, even when I should have put the book away and turned my light off. Even if you do not normally read YA, if you enjoy a good mystery, I highly recommend you pick up Lin’s story. Personally, I can’t wait to read more of Helen Grant’s work.


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