Reading Level: Young Adult
Length: 248 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Release Date: May 3, 2017
Stand Alone or Series: 1st book in the Quinsey Wolfe series
Source: eGalley from NetGalley.com
Rating: 3/5 stars
“Some see it… Some don’t… People in the town of Deer Park, Texas are vanishing. There is a strange museum, known as Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault, that appears overnight. Perrie Madeline’s best friend and ex-boyfriend are among the missing. Perrie, along with her friend August, go on a pursuit to search for them in the mysterious museum. Could the elusive Quinsey Wolfe’s Glass Vault have anything to do with their disappearances? A book that intertwines horror with retellings.”
I got this book through NetGalley to review. There are some interesting concepts in this book but the writing style comes off as very juvenile despite all the gore and young adult aged characters. In the end I just could not get past the poor writing.
The book is basically about some characters that get lost in a strange museum which transports them from one horrific fairy tale to another. All the fairy tales are grounded in tales most people are familiar with but they have ghastly twists to them. It reminds me a bit of Adam Gidwitz’s A Tale Dark and Grimm series which I absolutely loved.
As mentioned above the writing is very juvenile sounding. There is very little description and the words and phrases used are very simple. This makes the dialogue between characters sound stiff and stilted and made the story flow poorly. You never really get to know the characters and their fumbling from scene to scene comes off as just that…fumbling.
For a story with such a simple and juvenile writing style it is very gory. However because of lack of description even the really gory scenes come off as a bit cartoonish. They mostly left me rolling my eyes at the unintended silliness of it all rather than breathless with fear.
It is isn’t until the last few pages that the story actually gets interesting. In the last few pages the premise is expanded on a lot and much of what has been happening is explained. It’s all kind of out of the blue but could make for further interesting stories. I almost wish the whole book had been from Vale’s perspective rather than Perrie’s it would have been much more interesting. This book went from 2 stars to 3 stars in the last 10 pages for me.
Overall this was an okay book but it had some issues. My main issue is the very juvenile and stark writing style coupled with the gory YA storyline; it just doesn’t flow well and feels off. Everything sounds stiff and stilted and scenes are hard to picture because of lack of description. I do like some of the concepts behind this story and am slightly curious as to where the story will go. However, I am not curious enough to suffer through more of this writing style.
If you are interested in this sort of fairy tale retelling meets horror mash-up I would strongly recommend reading Adam Gidwitz’s A Tale Dark and Grimm series; that is an awesome series with a lot of fun and unique ideas and a writing style the flows well and is engaging.