The Glass Sentence by SE Grove, review by Melissa Fox
Sometimes, a middle grade fantasy comes along that is so rich and unique with a world so detailed that it takes your breath away. The Glass Sentence is one of those books.
Explaining the world is complicated. In short, it's a world similar to ours, but where time has collapsed in on itself, and the world houses a myriad of different time periods, from the far past -- the far north of the globe is in a prehistoric ice age -- to the far future -- there are pockets of futuristic times all over the western United States and Mexico.
In this world, explorers and map-makers are held in the highest esteem. They are the ones brave enough to venture out into the different Eras, and bring back information and knowledge. And the uncle of our main character, Sophie Tam, is one of the best. Sophie, whose parents disappeared when she was little, has learned to live without knowing about her parents and she's learned how to read the maps that her uncle makes. So when he's kidnapped, she's really the only person who can save him.
The book is brilliant, and the way Grove uses maps and magic is incredibly unique. It's a book that requires patience, both because its long (nearly 500 pages) and because there is a lot to absorb, so perhaps it's not for the most reluctant of readers. But, once the plot gets really going, it becomes one of those books you can't put down. There are great characters of all ages to connect to, from Sophie who is innovative and determined to
the "bad guy" whose motives are questionable, but sympathetic in the end.
What I enjoyed most is that there are layers to this book. Yes, it's a middle reader fantasy adventure, but it's one that will stay with you.