ARC Review ~ The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons

Series: N/A
Genre: YA Fantasy/Sci-Fi
Page Length:  336 Pages
Publication Date: February 10th, 2015
Publisher: Tor Teen
Source: ARC via publisher; Thanks Tor Teen! 

The Handmaid’s Tale meets Blood Red Road in Glass Arrow, the story of Aya, who lives with a small group of women on the run from the men who hunt them, men who want to auction off breeding rights to the highest bidder.

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.
I'll admit I was skeptical. How can one write a fantasy novel standalone? Is there enough time for world-building, characterization, and plot development and resolution? Never fear, this book blew away my worries and brought a great fantasy novel that I'm sure people will love.

My favorite element of this book is the characterization. I felt they were all fleshed-out and wonderful. I was rooting for all of them. Not only was the protagonist Aya well-developed, but also were the secondary characters. Aya's actions were admirable, and I loved her tenacity. She didn't shut down and drown herself in self-pity after all the unfortunate things that happened to her; she never gave up! Kiran was a bit of an enigma, but he was so sincere and gentle and a great guy. Daphne was a bit of an enigma, and I loved how her character transforms in this book.

This is the first Simmons book I've read, and I'm happy to say I'm a fan of her writing. There were twists and turns, things I never saw coming. The writing was great, the style was unique, and I loved all the sentence inversions. It really varied the writing and made it sound pretty and elegant. I grew a bit restless and bored in places, yet overall I was thoroughly engrossed in the story.

I was fascinated by the world that Simmons created. It's horrifying yet captivating at the same time. I was hungry for any information Simmons gave us about the world. There were strange gadgets, class systems, history references, fables, and more. I really enjoyed how meticulous and well-developed the world was.

The romance was so sweet and yet I'm glad it was a small part of this book. So much of this book is about family which I loved. Aya is trying to get back to her family. She wants to protect them; she wants to see them again. Everything she does in this book is for the sake of her family and returning to them. The romance between her and Kiran was cute and developed slowly and wonderfully. I'm glad it didn't overshadow the motif of family and that it didn't take over the plot. Great execution and great tension. I just wanted to shout "KISS ALREADY!"

As far as endings go, I think The Glass Arrow is one of my favorites. It's not concrete, but it's hopeful. It's happy and just what these characters deserve after all the bad things that happened to them.


  1. I love that premise! I will check out that one.

  2. Oooh, so this is a standalone?? I was thinking that it must have been the first book on a series! Now I feel like reading it even more, because standalones are really necessary sometimes!

  3. We're review twins today! I really loved this one and I'm glad it's a standalone. Series take a big time commitment sometimes.

  4. Wow, we don't often see a standalone fantasy in the bookish world. I love books where the minor characters are also clearly developed, so this book sounds great. I also adore beautiful writing. That's one of the sure fire ways an author can win me over with their books.

  5. I loved this book so much! And I wasn't sure what to think about a stand alone either, but it was well done and and it left me wanting more! I can't wait to read her other series now.

  6. Yay! I am glad you liked it! I have it pre ordered, and am really looking forward to it. The standalone thing is hard for me to take in too though. I am such a fan of series, but maybe it's a good thing, I won't have to wait around, especially if the ending is good! Great review, I am even more excited for it now :)

  7. OMG this is a standalone? I WANT THIS! I didn't like The Handmaid's Tale but this book sounds really good! Fantastic review as usual, Rachel! :)

    (And thank you for your kind comment on my hiatus post. ^__^)


  8. I hardly read fantasy or sci-fi but the blurb for this book sounds SO interesting! I do find it odd that it's a standalone though. But I'm not big on series (I get tired of unresolved plots very quickly- I need to work on my patience lol). I love that it focuses on family! Lovely review! :)

  9. Nothing better than reading a good book :D I keep saying that, but it's really very true!
    I love both fantasy and sci-fi, and they're what I read most.

    - Love, Felicia
    ( )

  10. That's always one of my fears! It's like, really? ONE BOOK for a fantasy?! I've been hearing mixed things about this one, but after reading more positive than negative reviews, I think I'm going to give it a shot. The romance sounds really intriguing to me!

  11. The premise sounds amazing - I've been getting into fantasy lately and this book is next on my TBR list. Let's see how that goes :D Amazing review !

    Benish | Feminist Reflections

  12. Great review Rachel! This looks so interesting. You're right, it is hard to do fantasies as a standalone, but it sounds like The Glass Arrow handles that well. And OMG, cover! Yet another book to add to my to-read list. :)

  13. You're right - standalones rarely appear in YA fantasy! I have come across The Glass Arrow a few times, but your review was the first to pique my interest. I'm excited to give it a try, especially now that I don't have to commit to an entire series! :)

  14. Glad you enjoyed this one, lady! I was surprised by how much I loved it, too, but man was it just amazing. The characters, the romance, the worldbuilding. So much awesome!

  15. I CANNOT wait to read The Glass Arrow. I have a rough time with a lot of dystopians, but Kristen Simmons Article 5 series is at the top of my fave's list. I adored it. Now, I can't wait to dive back into her head, in a whole new way, and see just how great it is for myself! I thoroughly enjoyed reading your review!


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