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Heather G. Harris

Author of Glimmer of the Other

28 Works 210 Members 9 Reviews


Works by Heather G. Harris


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a fun read with interesting characters and backstories... looking forward to reading more in this universe.
travelgirl-fics | Nov 7, 2023 |
I am not surprised but I am a bit disappointed that this series is also set in the Other Realm world.
The world is very complex but shallow. The author focuses on quantity over quality which results in a lot of details that don't hold up to closer scrutiny. The implicit excuse is always that it's culture and tradition and whatnot and to be fair that is a reasonable explanation for a lot of it. The book even makes fun of all the strange cultural and linguistic quirks we humans have. But the problem is that these strange and arbitrary rules and cultural norms among all the different supernatural races are the only things that define most of them. Instead of a few quirky, arbitrary details, this world appears to be an overwhelming maze of random rules, a few of which conveniently facilitate the plot.
They don't interconnect throughout this society. There are no deeper complex interactions between these cultures. There just is no depth to it. I don't know how else to express it.
I never really felt like this otherworld and the many different societies in it are real.
They are all like movie extras, only there to fill the background.
I already had the same problem with The Other Realm, the first series in this world, but because I am already somewhat familiar with it now, it becomes even more obvious how little actual depth there is behind all the shallow details.

But that aside, my biggest problem was the MC. She is this modern evolution of the Mary Sue type. Capable, independent, strong, very attractive, universally liked, with lots of powerful friends, and sure in her own sexuality.
In short, she is perfect. Not in the YA utterly boring Mary Sue kind of way but in a more modern and badass way.
I usually like this type of character if she is authentic, but as with the Mary Sue trope, it's overdone and unbelievable in this case.
And an even bigger problem at least for me is how shallow she is as a person.
She is constantly preoccupied with her own looks and sex appeal and with low-key judging other people's appearance.
There is a fine line between confidence and arrogance and this character regularly crosses it.
Arrogance can be a very interesting flaw but the problem is that the book doesn't recognize the arrogance of its MC. It is treated as if it's all her due. It's this chick-lit attitude but in a Jacky-Leon-inspired world.
I just couldn't stand her as a character, primarily because her flaws are not intentional and are never acknowledged by the narrative.
The MC of The Other Realm is kind of the same type but it's less grating there because it's not as in-your-face obvious.

I think you could read this book without having read the first series but a lot of the uninspired world-building is skipped over and only the most important details get explained properly again so I would say you probably miss out on parts of the story if you haven't read the first series.
I almost wanted to write "miss out on the nuance" but there really isn't a lot of nuance. Just a lot of arbitrary rules you just have to know to understand the simple reasoning of various characters fully.

I believe it's a mistake that many authors these days choose to write multiple series set in the same universe. Sure, this approach can work out brilliantly and be hugely successful if the universe is well-crafted and can stand on its own without leaning on the main series. Unfortunately, most attempts, like this one, fall short and would need extensive retconning to be properly fixed. In my view, a single flawed entry that the author refuses to retcon can have a domino effect, tainting the entire world. By continuously writing in these interconnected worlds, authors are essentially carrying their past mistakes with them from one series to another. These flaws accumulate, and each new series in the world risks inheriting them by default.

I will not continue with this series.
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omission | Oct 19, 2023 |
There is a lot going on in this one.
The story actually doesn't forget about the huge number of things that were introduced in the first book which was a welcome surprise.
The world feels like it's full to bursting with actual detail and not just a bunch of one-off things to be forgotten later.

I wasn't as enamored with the plot though. It just felt very much like going through the motions. The book fails to make me feel like there are actual stakes.
It's not that the stakes are too small. I've read books that made me feel like failing a school exam would be the end of the world. It just fails to convey a feeling of danger or urgency or anything really. I was never in doubt that it would all resolve itself almost without a hiccup which was exactly what ended up happening.

A lot of very powerful people are far too eager to fulfill the MC's every wish for no apparent reason. While the MC is technically somewhat of a special snowflake she doesn't exhibit the typical annoying special snowflake behavior but everyone around her still treats her like she shits diamonds or something.
There just is no relevant conflict. Everything just falls into her lap on its own. It's just not engaging to read.
On the other hand, I very much enjoyed how the book intentionally subverts frustrating cliche expectations but I can't really talk about them without spoilers.
The book very pointedly and self-consciously does things the "right" way which are basically always bad, especially in PNR.
It's almost like the book is partly addressed towards all the other UF authors that just lamely follow the expected list of bad clichées.

My personal enjoyment was more like 2 stars but there is just so much in this series that is much better executed than in most UF that it would be unfair to rate below 3 stars.
But I probably won't continue the series.
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omission | 1 other review | Oct 19, 2023 |


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