The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons
Expected Publication: February 10th
Publisher: Tor Teen
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.
"We are just women. Why must you always try to be more?"I'm sure the intended effect was the soul burning anger I felt at these woman and the resolution the way they have resigned themselves to be nothing more. The girls like the M.C. Aya, are few and far between. Most girls have been groomed and prepped for this their whole live. They are looking forward to going to "auction" to be brought by wealthy merchants. They will have a home and food (well food supplement pills really since apparently real food is only a thing for the extraordinarily wealthy) for a time being. Aya wasn't raised like these girls. She was raised wild in the mountains and knows how to take care of herself and her adopted rag tag family. It is no surprise that once she does get captured she will do anything to stop herself from going to auction. She is wild and hasn't been affected by the side effects of food supplement pills which makes her more susceptible to breeding and bearing a male child. Can you see the female oppression here? The history of how this world came to be was expertly woven into the story so when reading you really grasp the gravity of the situation. The world building is superb even though it seemed a bit weird in the beginning of the book.
I have been categorizing this as a fantasy for the longest time. It was only recently while talking with a friend that I realized this is more of a post apocalyptic/dystopian than anything. There is no magic in this world. Just some high tech beauty treatments that remold figures and removed freckles and of course the meal pills. There is also some crazy genetically mutated people that were very Hunger Games reminiscent.The only magic in this story was the determination and bravery of the characters and that was more than enough to hook me. There was a few who I did not like at all to begin with and just as they grow on Aya, they also grew on me. I really felt very connected to her for some reason. She was very transparent and the narration allowed for complete access to all her thoughts and emotions.
I also am a huge fan of any book that the author is able to conclude in one volume. Don't get me wrong, I do enjoy the series' but this was paced perfectly. I was RIVETED from start to finish. There was this amazing flow where the drama and intensity would build up to almost unbearable then break only to happen again in another situation. There is so much mystery surrounding Aya's past and all seems to reveal itself in time. The ending was absolutely BRILLIANT! If you read this book give yourself about 1/3 of the way in to really see what is going on. I promise you won't be disappointed.