Author: Steven Savile
Genre: Fiction, Thriller, Science Fiction (mysticism)
Rating: 3.25 out of 5 stars
This is a hard book to rate. It's a book that requires thought, attention and dedicated reading time. If you're thinking "well that's how I always read" then I commend you.
For me I find myself (especially with ebooks) reading in line-ups, before meetings, at lunch, etc. So my reading time is not always sitting in my chair at home with no distractions. I wish it was; but if I want to read 100+ books in a year I cannot limit it to just those dedicated moments. After the first 50 pages or so I came to realize that Glass Town was one of those books (like Lord of the Rings) that requires your full attention if you want to catch all the nuances, foreshadowing and smart little quips. I call this 'intensive reading' as it requires all of your attention and is a different kind of reading than a romance, teen or even light thriller (ie: Dan Brown) is.
Steven Savile is a well known writer in the TV world having worked on Torchwood, Doctor Who and other sci-fi/fantasy shows. As I was already familiar with Savile's television work I was very excited to read his debut novel.
I think what Savile did with Glass Town is a bit extreme; in that he maybe got too excited about being able to provide every detail, thought and aspect of every moment of his story. Whereas in television he has dialogue and set notes at most (unless he's directing) so the tendency is to over explain, provide too much detail and potentially bore your reader.
Lagging at times
Glass Town really needed a sharp, hack and slash editor. It is an amazing story and would make a gorgeous movie or mini series (I'd love to see it over say 6 episodes). That's where this is a hard book to review or give a rating to. What do you do with a book that is so well thought-out including: good characterization, involved plot, clever twists and mind-bending timelines; but just not that engaging?
The answer for me was that I had to be wide awake and ready to read. I read before bed every night and this book was great for putting me to sleep, which was unfortunate as I'd have to re-read the next day. I read at lunch and found it was a bit intense to focus on in the middle of my work day (when I'm needing a break from thinking so hard). I also read after work and during commuting times. These times were the best to read Glass Town during as they are more focused reading. Unfortunately this limitation made it so that it took me a really long time to finish this book (by my standards). This resulted in me being tired of it before the end and almost skimming the last 50 pages (which is unfortunate as a lot of things happen).
If you are okay with an intense read and like thrillers with a mystical twist then I believe you will really enjoy this book. If you are more of a casual reader or someone who prefers 'easy' reads then this is probably not for you.
My hope is that in the future Savile can tighten up his writing. If he is able to do that then I believe I will adore his books as all the right things are there for Glass Town it was just a bit too overdone at times. I will definitely try another Savile book as the man is a genius when it comes to time bending, science fiction, mystical stories (which are some of my personal favourites)!
Please note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is an honest and unbiased review.