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 was laughing, intrigued, and anticipating with what was to come next! (I even cheated and skimmed ahead on the page) This book could definitely been a five-star favorite of mine if it didn’t fail in answering or completely explaining the world that was created.
Aya lives in the mountains with her small family. Always a step ahead, they hide from trackers and hunters from the city. One of the days, Aya is not fast enough and is captured. She is sent into the city at the Garden where girls purity is sold in an auction. They are dramatically enhanced and changed to perfection, that includes freckle remover, wax, thinner… Aya is renamed to Clover, her ultimate mission is to get back into the mountains which lands her in solitary confinement (outside) one to many times. The girls are watched by guards, Pips and Watchers, in a secured electric fence location. Girls who are found to be un-pure get carved an X on their cheek booted to the streets with plagued or out the mountains.
Aya meets Kiran who is a driver (horse keeper?). Their kind are mute, skittish, and at the bottom barrel. The first half of the book Aya plots her escape with multiple scenarios and even attempts some that fail. Finally sold in auction, she couldn’t have asked for a worst of an owner. Can’t give too much away because of spoilers BUT there’s a whole other half after this.
This book had me in a limbo of a rating. I think it is a great story line but something was missing. Maybe because it was all into one standalone or it could have been the questions I had by the end of the book that were not answered. I have not read the two books that this one is compared or referencing to so I wouldn’t know if this one did them justice.
Aya was a mixture of a heroine and annoyance. In the first half of the book I loved her! She was smart ass looking at her glass half full. Tough, wild, and funny Aya. She is a fighter determined to survive.
“I make a big show of the gulping down my dinner pill in front of the glass office wall and stare across the open area to the rec yard…”
As the book progresses, Aya makes many awful decisions that put her life in jeopardy to many times almost making it repetitive. This is the time probably when readers curse her and almost put the book away. Kiran and Aya relationship is a cute addition to the book. The romance was not too much in a cliché young adult way but simple. Not much swooning or emotional attachment but just Kiran and Aya.
“An intimidating as I possibly can, I stretch the chain across my neck and gag, showing him I could choke him dead if I wanted.”
Pips…what are Pips? They are men who had their prized position chopped and smooth over to…softness? I’m actually not even sure. All I know is when they get nerves, upset, anxious…anything emotional they string out in words “pip, pip, pip. pip…” Why?? Again I don’t know and don’t care. Every time I read the string of pip, pip, pip I was snickering away!
“After the Red Years, the Witch Camps became a dumpster ground, place for things that were abandoned in attempt to return to the simple life.”
The new world the author creates is a bit muddy on how it became that way. The simple life they live half way with the horses…but everything else is different. Pills are used for meals, enhancements to change people (pips, watchers, girls) So I was bit lost in what exactly was this new world. Not even world, city because all that is told is the city, mountain and…I’m assuming the other cities are the same?
The blurb, only the last sentence is a peek of what is to come of this book. All the rest…happens in the first two maybe three chapters. It doesn’t even give half of what is to be expected of the story. Mid book I had to ask myself, why is this book called ‘The Glass Arrow’?? There is a story behind the title and I’m not even sure if it’s even good enough to be the tittle. I’m sure readers may find the dear and fox story comical…or was it a bear? Anyways the ‘ragtag chics’ consisted of five including Aya (two of them were older ladies, Aya mom). Can come to the conclusion that the story was a bit different from the blurb.
Even with the confusion I really enjoyed the first half of the book and the second half picked up in pace of the action, it had me lost in Aya’s adventure of escape. I laughed out load a few times and couldn’t predict how it was going to end for Aya. I do recommend this book! It is a low four/three and half star rating. The dystopia style in the book is worth to read it and be the decider of yay or nay. Must warn you though, the questions linger with no answer.