Book Review: Shatter by Aprilynne Pike

Book: Shatter by Aprilynne Pike

Published February 2018 by Random House|378 pages

Where I Got It: I borrowed the e-book from the library

Series: Glitter #2

Genre: YA Fantasy

Danica planned to use beauty, blackmail, and a glittering drug to control her own fate. Her escape from the twisted world of the Palace of Versailles was perfectly orchestrated and paid for. Or so she thought. 

Betrayed by the man who had promised her freedom, Dani is now married to the murderous King. It’s a terrifying position to be in…and yet it’s oddly intoxicating. Power may be an even stronger drug than Glitter–a drug Dani can’t resist, in the form of secrets, manipulation, and sabotage.

In her new position at the head of the court, Dani must ask herself who she really is. Can she use her newfound power to secure her real love, Saber’s freedom and a chance at a life together outside the palace? Or is being Queen too addictive to give up?

After reading Glitter last year, I figured I’d pick up the sequel to see how things turned out for Danica.  Shatter was just okay for me, and I didn’t like it nearly as much as the first book.

I’m still not sure why they’re re-enacting Versailles and Marie Antoinette, and like Glitter, I’m not sure what Pike was going for with this series.  The setting is interesting, but I wanted more backstory.  Unfortunately, we didn’t get it in this book, though we did learn a few things about the world that we didn’t know in Glitter.  Still, it wasn’t enough for me.  I had some questions on the outside world, and they weren’t answered in this one.

Danica is still trying to escape Versailles (and take Saber with her) but being Queen really changes her.  And not in a good way.  She does do some good at the very end of the book, but for me, it was too little, too late.  I didn’t particularly care for Danica in this book, but she is surrounded by some horrible people, and I can understand why she changes into someone who’s terrifying and manipulative.

I don’t remember Saber at all from the first book, but he was barely around in this one, it seemed like.  If he had completely disappeared, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have noticed.  It felt like there was nothing between him and Danica.

As for Danica and Justin, I didn’t particularly like them together.  I know it’s just a way for Danica to get what she wants, which is freedom, but Justin was pretty terrible.  Honestly, it seemed like pretty much everyone was terrible, and I didn’t particularly like anyone.

2 stars.  I had a hard time getting into this one, and I really do prefer her Wings series to this one.  Maybe this series isn’t for me, though the idea behind it is pretty cool.

Book Review: Glitter by Aprilynne Pike

Book: Glitter by Aprilynne Pike

Published October 2016 by Random House Books For Young Readers|384 pages

Where I Got It: I own the hardcover

Series: Glitter #1

Genre: YA

A royal murder. The promise of a throne she never wanted. And a glittering drug that is her only way out.

Outside the Palace of Versailles, it’s modern day. Inside, the people dress, eat, and act like it’s the eighteenth century. The palace has every indulgence, but for one pretty young thing, it’s about to become a very beautiful prison.

When Danica witnesses an act of murder by the young king, her mother makes a cruel power play…blackmailing the king into making Dani his queen. When she turns eighteen, Dani will marry the most ruthless and dangerous man of the court. She has six months to escape her terrifying destiny. Six months to raise enough money to disappear into the real world beyond the palace gates.

Her ticket out? Glitter. A drug so powerful that a tiny pinch mixed into a pot of rouge or lip gloss can make the wearer hopelessly addicted. Addicted to a drug Dani can sell for more money than she ever dreamed.

But in Versailles, secrets are impossible to keep. And the most dangerous secret—falling for a drug dealer outside the palace walls—is one risk she has to take.

Glitter is a book that has been sitting on my bookshelf for a while, and for some reason, I was in the mood to read something I own but hadn’t read yet.  Since I’ve really enjoyed her books in the past, I decided to go with Glitter.  I liked Glitter, but not as much as I thought.

Some of the world-building was odd.  I know it’s the first book in a series, so while I wouldn’t be surprised if we didn’t get more backstory, part of me is still hoping that we’ll get something.  Like, why are there people pretending that they’re living in Versailles?  They have a king and queen (Marie Antoinette and I think Louis…whatever Louis they were when Marie Antoinette was around), and they have to dress like they did during that time, but they also have technology.  It’s just strange, and at first I was thinking that it was some sort of alternate history sort of thing, but the more I read, the more I realized it wasn’t.

There’s some corporation involved as well, but I, for the life of me, couldn’t figure out what the heck was going on with that.  Are there other places similar to Versailles, where they have this odd blend of technology and re-eanctments?  Or is it just Versailles?

Also, it kind of defies genre a little bit.  It’s not historical fiction, since they’re pretending to be living in Marie Antoinette’s time, but it’s not dystopic.  It’s like…sci-fi mixed with thriller I guess?  I have no idea but at any rate, the world-building was just not what I was expecting.  It made it seem like the book was having an identity crisis because it could not make up its mind about what it wanted to be.  I loved her Wings series so much, and I was a little disappointed in the world.  I’m still going to read the next one at some point, because I am curious about what happens next, but I’m not in any rush.

This book did have a certain level of ridiculousness, which was a bit much in this case.  It’s ridiculous, but not the kind I’m willing to overlook.  Danica, while determined to get out of the palace and not marry the king, was also incredible selfish and not at all caring about the consequences of selling drugs.  She wasn’t bothered by the fact that she was getting people addicted to drugs, or that it killed people.  I have an inkling she might not see the error of her ways, but I could be wrong, considering marriage is not something she wants.  At least to the King.

I know it seems like I didn’t like this book, but I did.  It held my attention, and the characters are pretty memorable, even though I liked very few of them.  And I do want to read the next book, so I definitely liked it enough to keep going.  Also, I like Pike enough that I’m going to pick up the next one at some point.

3 stars.  I didn’t love Glitter (obviously) but I still liked it.