Fractured Glass by Tia Silverthorne Bach, Jo Michaels, Casey L. Bond, Kelly Risser, N.L. Greene
What if other worlds existed alongside your own? What if you could travel through them and truly escape reality?
Sloan and Harley Glass were born moments apart; but, despite their differences, the sixteen-year-old twins couldn’t be closer. They’ve held their tongues each and every time their mother has uprooted them—often moving across the country with little notice. They’ve learned to accept change. But what is Mom running from?
They discover they’re travelers—half-descendants of those who can traverse an entire universe of parallel worlds known as fractals. When the past catches up, Harley is kidnapped and taken to one of those distant worlds. Now, Sloan must garner her courage and find a way to rescue her sister. Traversing the worlds isn’t the hard part; it’s surviving the elements and the creatures lying in wait to destroy everything in their path.
Will the Glass sisters be able to save the fractal worlds from the kidnapper, or will everything fracture and crumble around them?
I was so excited when this book was first announced. A novel anthology, I was excited to see what five authors could do when working on the same story, one following the other in the plot. This posed an interesting element to writing my review too, do I look at it as a whole or break it up by author? You’ll see below, that I end up doing both.
Part One: Written by Tia Bach: The opening to any book is so critical, and Bach starts off strong introducing us to some of our major characters. First up, there’s Sloan and Harley, mirror twins. Where Harley is athletic and boy popular, Sloan loves to play the guitar and boy awkward. I immediately identified with Sloan, but both girls are realistic and well written. They even have similar birthmarks on the opposite legs. The two have also recently been having the same nightmare. Their mom who readers also meet is super protective, and you just know that she is hiding something. The buildup to the reveal is handled splendidly, and with great pacing, so by the close of the first section I could not put the book down. This section reads similar to a contemporary story with paranormal elements blended seamlessly within.
Part Two: Written by Jo Michaels: What creativity in this section! Here’s where the story takes on a major fantasy (horror) spin as readers are introduced to multiple fractal worlds where anything is possible. The creatures and settings vary wildly and I couldn’t wait to see what Sloan, her mom, and Delia and Diego and Elba would run into next. There’s a great deal of anxiety-and-panic riddled action throughout this section that saw my breath caught in my throat. Sighs of relief were had too. When I read, if anything, I’m going to laugh at something. Since blogging, I can count the books that have made me cry on less than one hand. So it is a big deal when any book gets a physical reaction out of me and this section did just that. Hold on to your hats with this one! It was also great to see more of Diego, Sloan’s friend and potential crush. He’s definitely a bigger character than I was thinking he would be in the first section. He’s adorable, and he would totally have been one of my crushes if we were in high school together. Sloan is staying true to the character that she was established to be in section one and there is great continuity between the two sections as well.
Part Three: Written by Casey L. Bond
I did not see that coming! We met new characters in this section, and learned things about others that may or may not surprise you depending on who is the subject of the text. There is such strong dialogue between the characters in this section, particularly between Sloan and Diego. I could easily see similar things said between sixteen-year-olds. Very realistic. Some definitely brought a smile to my face. In addition, the fantasy settings were richly described, from smells to temperature, and again, what variety! This section, although a bit shorter than the preceding sections, was near flawless.
Part Four: Written by Kelly Risser
Magic is in the air in this section for sure as readers follow two sets of characters each traversing the fractal worlds. It was in this part that I found my favorite fractal, and the description of the creatures was awesomely adorable, but I won’t spoil it for you by divulging with specifics. There’s a lot going on in this section, but it was written in a way that was not overwhelming and didn’t feel like a info dumps. The high quality of writing continues throughout this section and I flew through it as the chapters alternated almost at every chapter with following either Sloan or Diego. I liked the near equal attention given to each character, and it was great to see each of them growing as characters and coming into their own. Both were starting to face the truths they have learned throughout the plot so far, and with questions still remaining, I couldn’t wait to see how it would all turn out in the final section.
Part Five: Written by N.L. Greene
What the first four sections of the story had been building up to finally happened in the conclusion of this unique tale. There were no new worlds, but new settings within them were explored within a couple, and they were just as well-described as those appearing before. I think the characters that appeared in this section behaved just as they should. Their actions were believable and realistic to the Fantasy/SciFi plot. Although there is one small thing that I would have liked to see happen, and I can’t tell you what without divulging major spoilers, I can easily imagine this getting taken care of beyond the end of the story, so I’m okay. Beyond this minor element, the overall conclusion was definitely satisfying, and I do not think that you could be disappointed.
Overall, I thought Fractured Glass was a great book and a fantastic collaboration between authors. I loved the blending of sub-genres, and it all worked. The plot was strong and well-paced throughout. The settings were amazing, and the characters were multidimensional. I don’t think I can express how much I enjoyed Sloan, Diego, and really everyone for one reason or another. As a bonus, I loved the shout out to Nashville at the beginning, which is where all of these authors came together during utopYA and got to all meet face-to-face. It felt like an Easter egg that you would see in movies.
I really hope to see more anthologies like this in the future where multiple authors get together to take turns writing one cohesive story. I know that I will be seeking them out for sure.
**I received an ecopy of this book from author Jo Michaels in exchange for an honest review.**