And there might be some things in this review you might consider spoiler-y. If you don't want ANY chance of spoilers, I'd advise not reading the post.
Magic Under Glass
Jaclyn DolamoreNimira is a music-hall performer forced to dance for pennies to an audience of leering drunks. When wealthy sorcerer Hollin Parry hires her to do a special act - singing accompaniment to an exquisite piano-playing automaton, Nimira believes it is the start of a new life. In Parry's world, however, buried secrets stir. Unsettling below-stairs rumours abound about ghosts, a mad woman roaming the halls, and of Parry's involvement in a gang of ruthless sorcerers who torture fairies for sport. When Nimira discovers the spirit of a dashing young fairy gentleman is trapped inside the automaton's stiff limbs, waiting for someone to break the curse and set him free, the two fall in love. But it is a love set against a dreadful race against time to save the entire fairy realm, which is in mortal peril.
I don't know how to start this review.
I mean, I loved the book. I liked the romance, I liked how the good characters were genuinely good and the bad characters were bad. I liked how it ended and I loved Hollin and Erris. Beyond that, I can't think of what makes me love this story.
The ending seemed like a total cliffhanger, yet at the same time it seems like it could just end there (oh I hope not). The characters all had their flaws and didn't act all high and mighty (except for one, but he's not important to this point). I loved the author's very unique concept for how the automaton communicated. I never would have thought of that.
I certainly wish the book was longer (but really, I always do. Why do I bother throwing in this point?). But my only real complaint would be the fact that there wasn't a prologue introducing the world we were looking at. I began reading and was trying to figure out where exactly this was set and it took a while before these names of places I'd never seen before were thrown at me. Then it clicked that this wasn't really any place on Earth that we know. It would've been nice to know before I began reading because these kinds of things distract me.
I also need to say, that I love the US cover. Maybe to some people it doesn't accurately portray Nim, but to me it does. We all have different ideas of 'dark skin' and considering this story seems to take place in the equivalent of the 1800s, women were expected to have ghostly pale skin. Between the lighting on the cover, the different ideas of 'dark' skin tones in the past, and perception, I think the girl on the cover could be Nim. Whether you agree or not, please don't punish the author by not buying the book over this. Jaclyn most likely had very little say in the cover anyway. And it was a wonderful book no matter what!