Thank you Netgalley and Chronicle Books for this ARC copy of AHOGAB.
Did-Not-Finish at 33%
I absolutely love fairies and all fairy-related stories out there. If a book’s summary includes “fairy” in the description, I’m probably going to pick it up. Thus, I read an excessive amount of fairy books. A History of Glitter and Blood exists in a darker world than most other fairy novels I have read.
“Missing body parts were nothing to cry about and nothing to take too seriously.”
The city of Ferrum thrives on a very careful balance between the many species that live within the walls. The fairies dominate the world, except every now and again a neighbor loses an appendage to the gnomes. These instances are looked at as the price to pay for a stable city. After all, it’s said that fairies never die. Who needs an arm and a leg when you have the rest of forever to look forward to? But when all that is left is glitter and crumbs, is anyone really alive? Their society has dissolved into nothingness as the war between gnomes and tightropers wage on with the fairies caught in between.
There are various mythological creatures included in AHOGAB. Namely, the fairies, gnomes, and tightropers, but there is mention of other beings living in the city from time to time…at least until the gnomes get to them. The main characters include Beckan, Scrap, Josha, and Cricket - the remaining four fairies in Ferrum. Essentially, they’re a basket case of personal issues, drama, and secrets.
AHOGAB starts out with a lot of potential and many more ideas, but it fails to deliver. The novel is ideally written as a dairy or as someone’s first telling of the history of their species, hence the title. Unfortunately, the writing style is distracting and excessively messy. The overall plot feels weird and absentminded as the story jumps between past and present with little notification. It doesn’t even read as someone telling a story until the narrator breaks the fourth wall saying to disregard what has previously been written and more in later chapters. These instances are completely out of place, pointless, and honestly, weird for this novel. Even taking in account for the narrator’s style, the novel needs more editing to simply make the story flow better.
The book is described as a lyrical fantasy, but I can’t see how that term applies in this case. There are multiple drawings in addition to the story itself. I also couldn’t figure out the meaning of the majority of the pictures and how they related to that part of the plot. Where does the conflict or plot even begin? It’s a boring account about the characters running from place to place, doing unimportant things. Very “tell, don’t show” - the exact opposite of what you want in a book.
Overall, I would not recommend this novel. It’s not for everyone. Honestly, it’s “for” very few people. There are a lot of Did-Not-Finish reviews for this book, which I did not expect beforehand. Upon reading, though, I completely understand why it’s so hard to get through this book. I will add, though, that the author commented saying the e-ARC edition does have formatting issues (” missing some scene breaks, pictures not showing up right, etc”) that interferes with the novel. Hopefully these issues are the main source of my problem with the novel and all are solved upon the release date, August 4th, 2015.
Writing style: 1/5
All around idea: 2/5
Final Score: 1/5