Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Glass Demon: A Novel by Helen Grant

The Glass Demon: A Novel (2010)

by Helen Grant

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
162573,595 (3.55)1 / 13



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

English (4)  French (1)  All languages (5)
Showing 4 of 4
Another novel much-inspired by the works of M.R. James, with lots of little Jamesian allusions and callbacks and easter eggs. With a little more character development this might have been a book that I really enjoyed. As it was, I liked it just fine, but I wanted more backstory, more explication of the characters, &c. Still, a decent mystery, even if the ending was slightly unsatisfying. ( )
  JBD1 | Mar 23, 2014 |
This is going straight into my personal ”Favorite & Beast Books of 2013” pile!

Among the mitigating factors why this book became a favorite of mine is that I am a medievalist; I love a good mystery; I spent a year, which included a summer, wandering the countryside of Germany before my senior year, visiting abbeys, cathedrals and castle ruins. Heck, I am even writing a book about my adventures called ‘The Gargoyle Girls’! This story made me feel like I was back there doing it all over again. But more than anything, this book was so incredibly written—from characters, to plot, to descriptions, to making me feel like I was there right along with Lin and her family each step of the way—these alone were enough for me to place it into the pile of personal favorites and best books of 2013.

Helen Grant weaves a tale of mystery and suspense involving not only the stained glass surrounding the legend of the The Glass Demon, Bonschariant, but the mystery of Lin’s family itself. Each chapter unveils a bit of the secret of both. Each step and discovery Lin makes, whether it be about her family, the village, the glass, her emotional status, her father… everything is intertwined, like “a thicket of thornbushes”, as Lin has narrated to us about one of her father’s reading recommendations:

‘“The abbot’s niece.” My father was holding a small hardback book in a faded green binding; now he flourished it to me. “This is a fascinating book,” he added. “You should read it.”

I didn't take the bait. One glimpse of the Gothic title stamped on the spine in gold had convinced me that trying to read even a single page in that typeface would be like picking your way through a thicket of thornbushes. Even if you got to the other side, you would wish you hadn’t tried it.’ (shared from book–location 1821)

Obsessions are a key theme throughout the book, and they all are a lot like “picking your way through a thicket of thornbushes.” (Lin’s fabulous simile of her father’s book) It fits in not only with the dysfunction enmeshed within the family, but also saturates the plotlines. There is not one word that can describe everyone’s specific obsession. Tuesday is obsessed with not being old and labeled a mother. Poly is obsessed with not being fat. Lin’s father is obsessed with finding the glass so much he doesn't have time for anything or anyone else. The laicized priest is seemingly obsessed with convincing everyone the glass does not exist anymore, but… oh, spoilers sweetie… And Lin? Lin is obsessed with a plethora of things, and she can be; she is the protagonist!

The story is narrated by Lin, and though first-person point of view is one of the hardest POVs to write in, Ms. Grant pulls it off without a hitch. There were no problems at all. Not once did the tone drop out of Lin’s voice. In the dark, or in sunlight, or in humor, Lin’s snarky teenage voice shines through. Helen writes with a great use of similes, as shown above in the example. This is still in Lin’s voice, due to her being a very smart teenager. We still see the typical weakness in her actions and choices, same as most teens have. To name a few, her unsure and awkward tendencies when faced with love or lust or the crush of a boy, and being the new kid in school.

I could not put this book down once I opened it up. With the pattern of murders splintering the countryside, leaving a trail of broken glass and feeding the paranoia of the legends and tales of The Glass Demon, it is no wonder this book had me trapped and unable to sleep till I was finished. I would recommend this not only as a family read, as it definitely fits into the Young Adult genre; but also I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a smart, well-written literary thrilling suspense.

This review was done for Club Fantasci - April Book of the Month I bought it and reviewed it on my own. All of us did decide if there was one thing we had issue with was how or when or why or what the deal was with the baby brother! Other than that I gave it a solid five stars. ( )
  AKMamma | Nov 25, 2013 |
Great gothic horror story set in rural Germany. The author does a great job of creating a foreboding atmosphere, and you can really feel Lin's frustration with her family and dealing with being surrounded by a completely foreign environment. There were a few moments where I was frustrated with Lin - she was getting really whiney there for a minute, and if you know me you know i cant stand whiney girls, fictional or otherwise - but she ended up with some decent development at the end. I feel that more could have been done with the little romance that develops; it kind of felt like the author threw a switch and made Lin say "Oh! I suddenly love you!" instead of letting the relationship develop organically. But I'm being picky. The book does offer several chilling moments that made me feel like I couldn't read fast enough to find out what happens in the end, and the references to famous medieval artwork added nicely to the story. All in all, I really enjoyed it. :) ( )
  lovejoy_rat | Aug 26, 2011 |
Lin Fox is not having a good time. Her father decides to take a sabitacal in a snit about being overlooked for a professorship. Then he hears about a missing stained glass set that have been supposed to be destroyed years ago. He takes the opportunity to chase them to Germany, dragging all of them out of their lives and Lin away from her A Levels. She has to deal with a new school, her sisters quiet despair, and a host of unusual characters not least of which is Michel her neighbour.

This glass is supposed to be posessed by a demon, and the locals suspect something is wrong as the bodies start to mount up and around the bodies there is glass shards.

It's suspensful, interesing and surprised me a few times. I enjoyed the read, there were parts that dragged a little but overall it was very readable. Lin came out of it very well and with a lot of growth. I liked how it ended. It did take me a while to get into it but once in I was loath to put the book down. ( )
1 vote wyvernfriend | Apr 14, 2011 |
Showing 4 of 4
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original title
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Voor Iona
First words
Information from the Dutch Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Als iemand mij zou vragen wat de wortel van alle kwaad is, zou mijn antwoord niet 'geld' zijn, maar 'voedsel'.
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


Book description
Teenager Lin Fox is a stranger in a strange land — Germany, where her father has come on a quixotic quest to locate a priceless artifact. The medieval (and possibly mythical) Allerheiligen stained glass is believed by some to be lost, by others to have been destroyed, and by virtually all to be haunted.

A mysterious letter persuades Dr. Oliver Fox that he can be the one to find it — but someone else is determined to ensure that the glass stays hidden forever.

First, an elderly stranger is found dead in an orchard, then one of Oliver’s contacts is mysteriously drowned — both bodies inexplicably surrounded by shards of colored glass.

As dark superstitions simmer, Lin embarks on her own search to find the glass. As her life comes to resemble the grimmest of fairy tales, she realizes that what she must find is not only the truth about the legendary glass but a way to save the lives of those she loves.


He will seek her. He will haunt her.
And stop at nothing until she's gone.

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.

Who will be next?
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.

Haiku summary

No descriptions found.

When seventeen-year-old Lin and her family move to an ancient German castle for a year while her medievalist father searches for the famed Allerheiligen glass--lost stained glass windows that are said to be haunted by a terrifying demon--she becomes involved in a horrific murder mystery.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
27 wanted3 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.55)
1.5 1
2 3
2.5 3
3 13
3.5 6
4 18
4.5 2
5 5

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 105,887,047 books! | Top bar: Always visible