The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons


 From Goodreads:

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.

My Review…

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.”

The confusion…

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.



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    • says

      Yes! I definitely agree the ending was left to our own imagination I guess. A lot of the book was left simple and to our assumption, like the drivers land/area where ever they live was never touched on. Thank you! :)

  1. says

    I did hear that the world-building in this one is pretty complex, and sometimes, that can be tricky because there may be a lot of loose ends and stuff that do not make sense! I totally understand that you felt there was something missing in it, maybe even thinking there was potential for more?? In any case, I’m super glad you liked this one! I will be reading it soon, as well!
    Faye M. recently posted…ARC Review: A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon ThomasMy Profile

    • says

      Hey Faye! I think if it was split into another book it could have been better explained. Standalone books that create another realm/world, fantasy I find them difficult to successfully explain it all. I will look out for your review and thoughts on it! :)

  2. says

    It must be quite a task to write standalone dystopia story with great world-building so I think I understand where your confusion may be coming from. Still I like the idea of simple romance and good adventurous story so I am probably going to read it myself. Thanks for this awesome review :)
    Lucia @Reading Is My Breathing recently posted…LIFE CHANGING READS #3: How Heather Demetrios changed my perception of YA contemporary novelsMy Profile

    • says

      Hey Lucia! Yes I completely agree with you! I’ve notice standalone fantasy, dystopia, apocalyptic reads world building can be a difficult task without no questions ask. Series I prefer but can’t stand waiting for the next book! Aya and Kiran relationship is very cute and comical with each other, it was worth to read them :) Thank you!

    • says

      Hey Ellen! I can probably guess where you stopped reading because I wanted to strangle Aya for a huge (dumb) decision she does. The second half of the book does pick up in pace and the scenery changes if that helps for you to try it again :)

    • says

      That’s exactly how I feel Lily! I think this book had a lot of potential to be something big! But when books try to squeeze so many elements and building into one book, it’s going to be bumpy and no room left to change or improve in another book perhaps. Yes, this book just released a week a so ago, pretty new. :)

    • says

      Hey Melliane! Yes, I try to read and review a book overall as well. If it’s not my favorite does it have potential to be someone else, which I really think this one can. :)

  3. says

    I do love standalone dystopians because there’s not a lot of it out there but I can understand that because it’s just in one book, there will be lingering questions that can be a bit frustrating, especially when you know it will never get answered. I’m glad you enjoyed this even though there were a few things that you didn’t like about it, when I’m in the mood for a dystopian, I will definitely check this out. Lovely review Pandora! :)
    Amir recently posted…Review: Blackbird Fly by Erin Entrada KellyMy Profile

    • says

      Thank you Amir! I agree not to many dystopians books out there but I thinks it’s going to become a popular genre! I like a book that builds a whole new world for the readers! :)

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