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Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore
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Magic Under Glass (edition 2009)

by Jaclyn Dolamore

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4375524,058 (3.68)1 / 35
Member:storylove
Title:Magic Under Glass
Authors:Jaclyn Dolamore
Info:Bloomsbury USA Children's Books (2009), Hardcover, 240 pages
Collections:Your library, Favorites
Rating:*****
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Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore

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Showing 1-5 of 55 (next | show all)
Interesting premise-- the clockwork piano player was once alive and has been enchanted. Felt like this was the start of a series, but the next book by this author looks to be independent of this one. The book, itself, was kidnapped by my granddaughter to read. ( )
  bookczuk | Nov 27, 2016 |
Summary: Nimira grew up in a palace, but is now working as a music-hall girl in a country far from her home. But she catches the eye of a wealthy gentleman, who is also a sorcerer, who hires her away from the music hall to come live at his estate, and perform duets with the piano-playing automaton he owns. At first, Nimira is somewhat hesitant around the thing - his movements are so lifelike that it's hard to believe he's nothing more than machinery, and all the servants claim that he's haunted. And that's just one of the secrets and rumors that the house seems to hold, and its master is not forthcoming, even as he begins wooing Nimira. Master Parry is not unkind, but Nimira doesn't love him in return... but when she uncovers his most dangerous secrets, she may have put them all - and the fate of the magical world itself - into deepest jeopardy.

Review: This book was... fine. It was quick and neat and not bad, but nothing about it grabbed me as particularly special, either. The jacket copy says "For fans of Libba Bray and Charlotte Brontë," and both of those comparisons are appropriate (in fact, the comparison to Jane Eyre is maybe a little TOO on the nose.) But like Libba Bray's A Great and Terrible Beauty series (which is almost certainly what's being referenced.... not her quirkier books like Beauty Queens or Going Bovine), I had a hard time getting invested in the characters or absorbed into the story, or the world it was depicting. The worldbuilding didn't feel concrete or specific enough to make me care, and since the story is limited to the POV of an outsider character who is limited in what she can know and what she can discover, it was hard to get a feel for the bigger picture - how did magic work, what was the history of the politics and how did magic fit in to that, etc. That meant that it was hard to feel the weight of most of the story events, since we didn't know enough about the world to really understand the ramifications of Nimira's decisions. I did think the romance part of the story was sweet, if predictable and kind of rushed. Overall, this felt... *young* to me, almost bordering on mid-grade rather than YA, and while sometimes that can work for me, in this case it just felt too simplified in pretty much all of its aspects to be really satisfying, and too light to leave much of an impression. 3 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: I feel like I've read other fantasy of manners novels that do what this book attempts to, but with more life to them (Newt's Emerald comes to mind among recent reads). This one may be best for fans of Gothic novels who don't want the secrets lurking in the attic to actually be anything scary or suspenseful but do want a little clockwork mixed in. ( )
  fyrefly98 | Mar 8, 2016 |
A wealthy sorcerer's invitation to sing with his automaton leads 17 yr old Nimira, whose family's disgrace brought her from a palace to poverty, into political intrigue, enchantments, and a friendship with a fairy prince. Chaste historical fantasy romance. The first of a series.

Nimira is a music-hall performer forced to dance for pennies to an audience of leering drunks. When wealthy sorcerer Hollin Parry hires her to do a special act - singing accompaniment to an exquisite piano-playing automaton, Nimira believes it is the start of a new life. In Parry's world, however, buried secrets stir. Unsettling below-stairs rumours abound about ghosts, a mad woman roaming the halls, and of Parry's involvement in a gang of ruthless sorcerers who torture fairies for sport. When Nimira discovers the spirit of a dashing young fairy gentleman is trapped inside the automaton's stiff limbs, waiting for someone to break the curse and set him free, the two fall in love. But it is a love set against a dreadful race against time to save the entire fairy realm, which is in mortal peril.

( )
  lillibrary | Jan 23, 2016 |
Nim is asked by Hollin Parry, a wealthy sorcerer to come live in his house and sing with an automaton. Parry tells her that previous singers have claimed the automaton haunted, but Nimira's life has been extremely difficult and she is unwilling to give up easily. The automaton isn't haunted but it isn't quite normal either, and Hollin Parry's home is not all that it seems either.

The story was interesting and fast paced, and ended on somewhat of a cliffhanger. There are a lot of strong characters that catch the attention of the reader, however I wish there had been more background on some characters, such as Miss Rashton and what the spirits had on her and how she was able to contact Mr. Smollings so quickly. I was also unable to figure out where the title came from. I am sure I just missed it some how, but if anyone knows please let me know cause it's driving me nuts. ( )
  Rosa.Mill | Nov 21, 2015 |
Nim is asked by Hollin Parry, a wealthy sorcerer to come live in his house and sing with an automaton. Parry tells her that previous singers have claimed the automaton haunted, but Nimira's life has been extremely difficult and she is unwilling to give up easily. The automaton isn't haunted but it isn't quite normal either, and Hollin Parry's home is not all that it seems either.

The story was interesting and fast paced, and ended on somewhat of a cliffhanger. There are a lot of strong characters that catch the attention of the reader, however I wish there had been more background on some characters, such as Miss Rashton and what the spirits had on her and how she was able to contact Mr. Smollings so quickly. I was also unable to figure out where the title came from. I am sure I just missed it some how, but if anyone knows please let me know cause it's driving me nuts. ( )
  Rosa.Mill | Nov 21, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 55 (next | show all)
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To Dade, who believed in me from the day we met
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The audience didn’t understand a word we sang. They came to see our legs.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Nimira is a music-hall performer forced to dance for pennies to an audience of leering drunks. When wealthy sorcerer Hollin Parry hires her to do a special act - singing accompaniment to an exquisite piano-playing automaton, Nimira believes it is the start of a new life. In Parry's world, however, buried secrets stir. Unsettling below-stairs rumours abound about ghosts, a madwoman roaming the halls, and of Parry's involvement in a gang of ruthless sorcerers who torture fairies for sport. When Nimira discovers the spirit of a dashing young fairy gentleman is trapped inside the automaton's stiff limbs, waiting for someone to break the curse and set him free, the two fall in love. But it is a love set against a dreadful race against time to save the entire fairy realm, which is in mortal peril.
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A wealthy sorcerer's invitation to sing with his automaton leads seventeen-year-old Nimira, whose family's disgrace brought her from a palace to poverty, into political intrigue, enchantments, and a friendship with a fairy prince who needs her help.

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