Author: Amelia Atwater-Rhodes
Publisher: Delacorte Books
Release Date: January 11, 2011
How Received: Arc Tour
Summary: Sarah Vida has given up everything for love. From a legendary family of vampire-hunting witches, Sarah was raised to never trust a vampire, to never let her guard down, and to avoid all tricky attachments of the heart. But now Sarah IS a vampire—changed by the boy she thought she loved. Her family has forsaken her, and Sarah herself is disgusted by her appetite for blood.
Aida Vida is Sarah’s older sister, the good, reliable sibling who always does her family proud. But when Aida’s mother insists that Sarah be found and killed, Aida is given the one assignment that she may not be able to carry out.
I didn’t like this book. Plain and simple. I normally enjoyed Amelia’s previous works, but this novel was a huge step down to other books she’s written.
First off, she assaulted us with tons of names that a new reader isn’t likely to remember. It’s been a while since I’ve read her Den of Shadows series; I’m not likely to remember five different families and the sub-divisions of those families. She also threw terms at us that a new reader might not have known (like bloodbond, etc). Nowhere on the book is it mentioned that this is a sort of... “sequel” or companion book to Shattered Mirror, so how is someone who has never read Amelia’s work before supposed to know everything upon first read? There are a lot of terms and ideas that are just implied and not explicitly stated.
I have no idea why the content in the book was compiled into only 24 hours. If it was originally meant that way, then there were a lot of inconsistencies. I’m almost convinced that Amelia wrote the book to cover a couple of weeks and at the end, changed it to 24 hours (and did a messy job of it). The times below the chapter titles were inconsistent and I just didn’t believe such intense scenes (involving driving across a city) occurred in 14 minutes. The 24 hour time limit was just so not believable. Some of the events in the book could have easily lasted days, like battle recovery. I don’t believe someone can attain numerous life-threatening wounds and recover in an hour, even for witches or vampires. And lastly, the pacing seemed way too slow for a twenty four hour novel. When I think 24 hours, I think fast paced. The pacing felt like it was covering weeks and not one day.
Several back stories were given in fragments and weren’t even explained fully. Even with a sequel, you want to include information so that your reader doesn’t feel at a loss. I still don’t know half of the back stories to half of the characters, and that left several holes in the plot. Even the plot twists weren’t explained fully – it was just so messy that I couldn’t even be all too shocked at the plot twists. And I never knew there was such a thing as too many plot twists until I read this book. I swear, every single page had a plot twist (okay, so that’s a little exaggeration, but close enough to the truth). There came a point where I wasn’t even shocked at some new revelation that made no sense anyway. The last four or five twists didn’t even faze me.
The alternating POVs made no sense to me. Sure, I understand the two main characters, Aida and Sarah, having their own POVs. But characters we rarely see? I saw absolutely no point whatsoever to Zachary’s two or three POVs. Dominique had ONE POV section, and it was at the end. Honestly, was that necessary? We could have easily had that scene from either of her daughters and I’m sure some other character would have described why she was acting so strange anyway. The character development wasn’t that great, either. There were way too many characters to get connected or see how one grows. It was pretty much, “Oh, I feel this way at the start of the book, but now I feel this way at the end of the book because I spent time during 24 hours reevaluating my opinions that were drilled into me since I was a baby, which also obviously happened off-screen because it’s mentioned nowhere in the book.” The relationships were also very weak. I’m not sure I’d even call them relationships – it seemed to me like everyone in the story was a stranger with each other, even the twins and Sarah.
The one thing I did like, however, was the reiteration that being perfect isn’t everything and that it’s okay to have faults. But the way it was executed was distasteful. To be honest, I slogged through this book. I previously loved a few of Amelia’s work, as her writing is lovely, but this book was just not up to par with anything she’s ever written before.
Cover Musings: I don’t like it so much. Crows, great for symbolism. The sword between them. But it just doesn’t pop out at me. I guess it sets a somber mood, though... so that’s a plus, right?
She didn’t know what might have happened between them if she hadn’t been a Vida, and if his brother hadn’t reacted violently to what he saw as a threat to Kristopher. As it was, they had never even managed a successful first date before their romance had gone the way of Romeo and Juliet’s—except that Romeo and Juliet didn’t wake up the next day, leave the crypt and say, “Now what?” (pg. 34-5)
Unfortunately, once she and Dominique were gone, he was alone with the Marinitch telepath, the human, and the tied up bloodbond.“Anyone up for a round of go fish?” Jay asked after looking around the room. (pg. 52)
There was no law against a Vida having a relationship. It had in fact been hinted to him, strongly and frequently, that he was twenty-six years old and should get around to choosing a partner so he could pass on the Vida genes, like some kind of prize bull. (pg. 139)
Jay collapsed dramatically to the couch. “I knew your line was weird, but I never even imagined how profoundly messed up you all are. It’s no wonder Sarah had a fling with a serial killer, or that Zachary unwinds with the undead. You’re all so obsessed with being perfect, you end up hating yourselves.” (pg. 187)
Overall Thoughts/Final Comments: If you’ve never read Amelia Atwater Rhodes before, do me a favor and don’t start with All Just Glass. I really wanted to like this book – in fact, I signed up for the arc tour because I thought it’d be great. It fell short on all levels – plot twists, character development, relationships, consistency, pacing, plot, and wasn’t addicting at all. I had to force myself to finish for the tour. It’s a shame, because I loved some of Amelia’s other novels.
**I received this ARC from Good Golly Miss Holly’s ARC tours! (Thank you Holly and Looksie!)