27 April 2012

Book Review: A Face Like Glass

A Face Like Glass by Frances Hardinge

Format: Paperback (arc)
Publishers: Pan Macmillan
Published: 10th May 2012
Pages: 389
Main Characters: Neverfell
Date Started: 19th April 2012
Date Finished: 27th April 2012
Rating Given: ***

Blurb from Goodreads:

In Caverna, lies are an art - and everyone's an artist . . .
In the underground city of Caverna the world's most skilled craftsmen toil in the darkness to create delicacies beyond compare - wines that can remove memories, cheeses that can make you hallucinate and perfumes that convince you to trust the wearer, even as they slit your throat. The people of Caverna are more ordinary, but for one thing: their faces are as blank as untouched snow. Expressions must be learned, and only the famous Facesmiths can teach a person to show (or fake) joy, despair or fear - at a price.
Into this dark and distrustful world comes Neverfell, a little girl with no memory of her past and a face so terrifying to those around her that she must wear a mask at all times. For Neverfell's emotions are as obvious on her face as those of the most skilled Facesmiths, though entirely genuine. And that makes her very dangerous indeed . . .

I have actually not read or even heard of Frances Hardinge and just happened to stumble across it on Goodreads. It sounded really interesting so I thought I would try and get my hands on a copy. A huge thank you goes out to Pan Macmillan publishers for giving me the opportunity to review this book which by the end I really enjoyed.

When I first started reading this book I really couldn't get into it as it took awhile to get going and it was also very confusing for most of the book. It was very hard to understand what was going on and it wasn't until the last few pages when everything got sorted. The thing that I found the most confusing was the people learn face expressions which at first I couldn't get to grips with as sometimes I was thinking it was masks that they brought but that wasn't the case, they just didn't know how to express their feelings on the face unless someone taught them how to do so. There was also people in the books that sounded a bit crazy but by the end of the book I do get everything that is going on and ended up being very entertaining.

Hardinge may have written a book in the style of crazy but it still works which I think makes her a very talented writer it just isn't for me. She is a very talented author who makes us the reader believe in this world and what is going on in it.

I thought that Neverfell was such a lovely and endearing character that I just couldn't help but want her to succeed. For most of the book she was very naive but I think that has more to do with her being a child and still has that childlike quality about her which is a change for the female lead character as usually they act older than what they actually are. Unlike Neverfell I never knew who was the good person or the bad person but Neverfell just thought everyone was being helpful.

Overall a crazy and confusing book that you can't help but end up really loving the character and the book.