I began this series by reading the first book, Ashes of Twilight, last summer. I enjoyed it and even ordered the next two books….but then they languished on the shelves for a year. Since it’s been so long, I don’t have any remarkably insightful comments on the first book, just a few vague remembrances.
The story revolves around Wren, a teen working the coal mines of a glass dome constructed 200 years earlier to protect English royalty as a comet plummeted to Earth. The dome functions, unsurprisingly, on a caste system which horribly subjugates the many for the betterment of the few. The dome itself is opaque so the majority of the inhabitants have no clue what’s happening outside, simply taking their leader’s word that the world outside is on fire, uninhabitable. Then, dumdumdum, Wren, and others, start a revolution to escape the dome.
Ashes of Twilight covers that revolution and an eventual escape, at least by a few of the lower caste. Shadows of Glass picks up exactly where Ashes left off and moves the story from initial revolution to a more organized revolutionary approach as those who escaped grapple with life outside the dome as well as what to do about those who are still trapped inside. While I appreciated Tayler’s ability to write a second installment that is at once an entirely new story with an entirely new world while maintaining consistency within the environment she created in book 1, I did get rather annoyed at the insistent and persistent focus on Wren’s emotional and psychological obsession with the lives lost in the revolution she believes she is responsible for. She definitely has reason to be upset, to feel guilt, but oh-my-god does the novel harp on and on about it. And on. And on.
Still, I enjoyed the story itself and appreciated the introduction of new characters and the fleshing out of the world outside the dome. Those characters and ideas are furthered in the final installment, Remnants of Tomorrow, which quite satisfactorily wraps up the series.
Now, there is obviously a love triangle…because is there ever not a love triangle. I found this one to relatively realistic and engaging. Wren meets Pace and works with him towards revolution in book one, falling in love quickly. Once outside, Wren’s guilt and fear….perhaps….drive her away from Pace and into the waiting arms of Levi, an American who never lived inside the dome. In this particular love story, I was quite taken with the appeal of the you-know-he’s-not-going-to-end-up-with-her boy. Usually, it’s so obvious and so obviously right who the girl should choose that it’s almost pitiful. In this case, not so much. Both of Wren’s love interests had their strengths and their faults.
Anyone else read this one?