A Face Like Glass is the newest book from author Frances Hardinge, author of The Lie Tree, set to release on May 9th, 2017. Dark, mysterious, and engaging, A Face Like Glass is sure to draw in fans of the genre, and keep them intrigued until the very last page.
In the underground city of Caverna, the world’s most skilled craftsmen toil in the darkness to create delicacies beyond compare—wines that remove memories, cheeses that make you hallucinate, and perfumes that convince you to trust the wearer, even as they slit your throat. On the surface, the people of Caverna seem ordinary, except for one thing: their faces are as blank as untouched snow. Expressions must be learned, and only the famous Facesmiths can teach a person to express (or fake) joy, despair, or fear—at a steep price. Into this dark and distrustful world comes Neverfell, a girl with no memory of her past and a face so terrifying to those around her that she must wear a mask at all times. Neverfell’s expressions are as varied and dynamic as those of the most skilled Facesmiths, except hers are entirely genuine. And that makes her very dangerous indeed . . .
What I Liked:
- Neverfell’s character was constantly intriguing and unexpected – I simply loved how she perceived the world around her. Despite being in her teens, Neverfell is shockingly naive, and eager to see Caverna and all the wonders its holds. While she is initially trusting, there’s a nagging fear in the back of her head that refuses to let her settle into any situation she is thrust into, making for an inquisitive, perceptive young protagonist.
- The richness of all the characters in A Face Like Glass was outstanding – every character was vibrant and memorable, with their own personality, motives and desires.
What I Didn’t Like:
- To be frank, A Face Like Glass felt extremely disjointed – more like a collection of short stories, rather than a complete novel. The first part of the book, wherein Neverfell lives with ther adoptive caretaker, the Cheesemaker, felt completely disjointed from the second, and so on and so forth. It was very jarring to read a story written this way, and made it very difficult to actually get into the flow of the story, simply because every time the story started to drag the reader in, there was a jarring tonal or mood shift which removed the reader from the story.
A Face Like Glass by Frances Hardinge was an interesting novel, with an intriguing premise and engaging characters. Neverfell was especially interesting, drawing the reader into her world through her unique perceptions and never ending curiosity about the world around her. Unfortunately, Hardinge fell short when it come to the story, which felt disjointed and jarring (2.5/5).