Book Review: A Face Like Glass

by ayashi 2.1.14

A Face Like GlassToday I finished another book for my online book club, Book Club Fiction. We voted for FFA Fiction (a “genre” which just means you can nominate any fiction book to be read) and the two books that won were A Face Like Glass by Frances Hardinge and Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones. I haven’t gotten to Howl’s yet, but during my lunch break at work today I managed to finish up A Face Like Glass.

A Face Like Glass appears to be categorized as a middle grade book, but I wouldn’t let that scare you away from it if that makes you skeptical. I thought it was really well written and the only thing that seemed “middle grade” about it was the protagonist’s age (she’s about 13 years old). Speaking of the protagonist, Neverfell is absolutely delightful. She is naive but for some reason it isn’t annoying. She is sometimes excitable and hyper and always very sweet and trusting, but where I might otherwise find this to be irritating, for some reason I just find Neverfell to be really cute and charming. The secondary cast is also great, from Zouelle to Erstwhile and beyond.

We get to learn about the (SUPER INTERESTING) land of Caverna slowly but surely through the course of the book, to the point where at the end I felt like I knew a lot about Caverna and the lifestyle of her inhabitants without excessive info dumps. Though honestly the world was so interesting I wouldn’t have minded, I think!

Anyway, I thought the whole book was very well written, had fantastic characters, avoided some annoying cliches, and just generally was super. I even cried a little, so it sneaked up on me and became a 5 star book toward the end!

 

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Shelter

by ayashi 1.28.14

At first I did really well protecting my baby badgers, except for when I got a bug that allowed mommy badger to get a turnip stuck in her mouth so I couldn’t feed any babies for the rest of the level. After I lost the 3rd baby badger I restarted the section and did much better!

By the end I was getting tired and sloppy. I made it to the final section of the game with 4 baby badgers alive, and then I was (not) awesome and lost 2 more of them right before the end of the game.

I think the review on Steam by †Malchiah said it best:

I got really drunk and played this game… ended up naming my precious badger babies. When I lost turtle I was screaming at the river. Then when I was done I wanted to punch a bird. Buy this game.

Sounds about right!

There were a couple of frustrating bits. The art style is nice but sometimes it just kind of makes everything look the same. Also I legitimately had to google how the hell to get out of the first cave. Spoiler alert – the baby in the cave is just HUNGRY, not dead, so you have to feed it in order to continue. I would have appreciated some direction there!

I also skipped the end of the game because I thought it was a game over screen. When I googled afterward I realized it was actually the end of the game. Oops.

Considering the game is probably about 2 hours tops of content I think the 9.99 price tag is a bit steep, but if you can pick it up on a sale it is worth playing. I’d ended up picking it up for $2.50 on Christmas Day last year.

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