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The Glass Arrow

de Kristen Simmons

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3542671,987 (3.37)Nenhum(a)
Stolen from her home, and being groomed for auction, Aya is desperate to escape her fate and return to her family, but her only allies are a loyal wolf she's raised from a pup and a strange mute boy who may be her best hope for freedom ... if she can truly trust him.
  1. 00
    When She Woke de Hillary Jordan (4leschats)
    4leschats: Similar themes of marked criminals/lower elements and female fertility
  2. 00
    The Handmaid's Tale de Margaret Atwood (4leschats)
    4leschats: Fertile female scarcity; women's roles
mom (96)
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Mostrando 1-5 de 26 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
In the first few chapters I wasn't sure I'd be able to finish The Glass Arrow. There's only so much institutionalized misogyny I can take and this book takes it to the extreme, where women are just objects to be raped, used as broodmares, and essentially sold and used again and again until death. Thankfully, these aspects of the world are touched on, but not experienced by the novel's protagonist, Aya. I found it fairly stomach-churning at the beginning but the book is quite a lot more than that so I'm glad I continued.

In a world where females are scarce and are hunted, then bought and sold at market for their breeding rights, 15-year old Aya has learned how to hide. With a ragtag bunch of other women and girls, she has successfully avoided capture and eked out a nomadic but free existence in the mountains. But when Aya’s luck runs out and she’s caught by a group of businessmen on a hunting expedition, fighting to survive takes on a whole new meaning.


The description of the book is a bare bones telling of the first chapter's background. Half of the book is spent with Aya in The Garden, a place where girls are primped and prepped to be sold to rich and cruel men as objects to be used. Aya, free of the social conditioning that makes this fate seem pleasing to her fellow teenage girls, is sickened and constantly attempts to escape.

Her attempts to escape auction and get back to the makeshift family left behind by her capture leave her often in outdoor solitary confinement, where she befriends a Driver from a nearby stables, a silent young man she names Kiran. The romance is chaste, at best, and there are far more important aspects to the relationship between Aya and Kiran that make it an enjoyable relationship.

I've never read anything by Kristen Simmons before so I was pleasantly surprised by her prose. She's created a frustrating, yet interesting world and by having it filtered through the outsider eyes of Aya, we're only given slices but also the impression that we're seeing the world as it really is.

Aya is bright and clever and so determined. She's the sort of character you hope you'll be when stuck in a bad situation. And the story stays on her and her struggle. It doesn't become about saving the downtrodden people from the totalitarian government (as much as you occasionally want it to); the story is much smaller in scope. With the sheer number of dystopian YA novels where a teenager accidentally stumbles into a key role in the revolution, it's refreshing to read about an individual struggle to survive.

Despite a slow start where I wasn't sure I'd be able to continue, I truly enjoyed The Glass Arrow. Heavy on the characterization and narrative, light on the romance - just the way I like it.8.3/10 ( )
  xaverie | Apr 3, 2023 |
DNF at around 54%.

I got about halfway through this book before I finally just couldn't take it anymore and abandoned it. The opening scene was great-- it was a fast-paced action sequence when we see the heroine being hunted down like prey. It made me excited for the rest of the book. Too bad though, the rest of the story (at least up to the 54% mark that I read up to) was molasses-slow with little character development, a boring storyline, clichéd mean girl characters, a dull love interest, and only the bare bones of building a believable setting.

The main character lacks depth, all we really know about her is that she was hiding in the forest with her family until he was captured, she's physically fit, and she really really wants to break out of the prison she's in. While in The Garden, where she's being held to wait to be auctioned off to the highest bidder, she spends her time plotting her escape and attempting various breakouts. Unfortunately, we don't actually get to see her breakouts as most of the story revolves around her in solitary confinement where she mostly just watches others and hangs out with a wolf and a mute boy.

And how does it make any sense that solitary confinement is outdoors with her chained to a stick in the ground? Like, wouldn't it be easier to put her in a tiny room with no windows to keep track of her and actually punish her? Clearly the author did this for the convenience of her plot, otherwise how would the girl meet her love interest and wolf friend?

Oh yes, she somehow manages to make friends with a random wolf. I don't understand what the author was trying to do here, maybe to show that the main character is different from the other girls because she's from the wild, but the addition of the wolf seemed like such an arbitrary decision, done to add some points for coolness or something. And then there's the love interest. He is a non-speaking character, and all he really does is sit and listen to the main character ramble, so I didn't get a real sense of who he was either. This made it difficult to get invested in the story since I really didn't care what happened to the characters.

The worldbuilding was totally lacking as well. There was no sense of history or setting. Did this take place in our world or an alternate universe? We aren't really told a real reason for why women are property either, and the whole idea of it seemed to be done for shock value or because the author wanted to write a (terribly heavy handed) feminist story or something. It also doesn't make sense that men were deemed superior so female babies in the city were killed, yet they had to go out into the forest to capture "wild" women and sell girls to the highest bidder for breeding purposes.

Really, this whole book was absolutely nonsensical and even if the second half gets really good, I don't really think it's worth getting through such a lacklustre first half for it. ( )
  serru | Oct 6, 2022 |
This just did not do it for me. DNF. I really don't care about the characters or the society. ( )
  readingbeader | Oct 29, 2020 |
There had better be another one or i'm gonna scream at that ending. ( )
  Raven-Vogel | Oct 29, 2017 |
The Glass Arrow is heralded as something akin to a young adult take on Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, which I'll admit both intrigued and made me a bit wary, as those are rather illustrious shoes to fill. Particularly with the barrage of young adult dystopian literature currently flooding the market, few seem to live up to expectations, causing skepticism. However, forever the literary optimist, I chose to give Kristen Simmons' latest a fair chance. The Glass Arrow follows fifteen year old Aya, a rebel living in a small mountain camp with her family outside of the city. Hunted by militants and bounty hunters, women of her age are in particularly high demand, sought for breeding and auctions for the wealthy within the city's walls. In a world plagued by infertility, eligible women are rounded up and sold to the highest bidder, those from beyond the boundaries being an especially hot commodity. Aya's harrowing journey as a captive at a holding facility leads through her often violent encounters with the other females being groomed for market, her valiant attempts to sabotage the monthly auctions, and her time spent in solitary as punishment where she befriends a stray wolf and a mysterious mute male who seems hellbent on helping her escape. While the fierce protagonist and gripping story are undeniably a huge draw, what is most satisfying about this book may actually be what it lacks. There is no ridiculous love triangle or zealous romance developed in three pages, no young teenager somehow capable of singlehandedly toppling an entire corrupt system, and no canned plans for an unnecessary trilogy. While the pacing is slow early in the book and Simmons' feminist angle can be heavy-handed (lacking the subtlety and starkness of Atwood's dystopian classic), the mature subject matter is handled with grace while the worldbuilding is impeccable. With its riveting storytelling and unique features, The Glass Arrow is a standout. ( )
  GennaC | May 9, 2017 |
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To Melissa Frain, for many reasons, but mostly for making me better
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RUN. My breath is sharp as a dagger, stabbing through my throat.
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Stolen from her home, and being groomed for auction, Aya is desperate to escape her fate and return to her family, but her only allies are a loyal wolf she's raised from a pup and a strange mute boy who may be her best hope for freedom ... if she can truly trust him.

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