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Review: All That Glows by Ryan Graudin

Thursday, January 30, 2014

All That Glows
by Ryan Graudin

Series: All That Glows #1
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Paperback: 480 Pages
Publication: February 11, 2013
by Harper Teen


Emrys—a fiery, red-headed Fae—always embraced her life in the Highlands, far from the city’s draining technology, until she’s sent to London to rejoin the Faery Guard. But this isn’t any normal assignment—she’s sent to guard Prince Richard: Britain’s notorious, partying bad boy and soon-to-be King. The prince’s careless ways and royal blood make him the irresistible for the dark spirits that feed on mortals. Sweet, disheveled, and alive with adventure—Richard is one charge who will put Emrys’s magic and heart to the test.

When an ancient force begins preying on the monarchy, Emrys must hunt through the London’s magical underworld, facing down Banshees, Black Dogs and Green Women to find the one who threatens Richard’s life. In this chaos of dark magic, palace murders and paparazzi, Emrys finds herself facing an impossible choice. For despite all her powers, Emrys has discovered a force that burns brighter than magic: love

◆ A copy was provided by Harper Collins for review ◆

A free spirit, Emrys doesn't expect to find love in London, where technology drains her magic. However, she makes an instant connection with Richard and finds herself wanting to unveil herself before him and let him see her for who she is.

All That Glows is a solid debut with solid writing and a stable, if predictable, plot. It jumps straight into the story from the beginning with Emrys returning to London for the first time in a long time, having been reassigned to guard duty, and there is rarely a moment without some new development taking place, be it in Emry's relationship with Richard or in the threat to the crown. At the same time, events never feel particularly exciting or suspenseful, and the story misses out on making more use of foreshadowing, especially through the ravens' prophecy, which could have been played up more. I would have liked to see more done with the encounters with the enemy, as the story tends to rush through them (most prominently in the final battle, which doesn't take up many pages).

What kept the story moving were the characters. My favorites have to be Annabelle and Titania. The former has a lot of charm and spunk while the latter is a strong character who may not be entirely likable, but you always know where you stand with her. Emrys is a likable heroine with a compelling personality, though it doesn't really feel like she grows over the course of the novel. It's Richard who really matures—into someone that I could see as a true king. I enjoyed the playful banter between Emrys and Richard just as much as the scenes when things get real between them and they are confronted by their growing feelings for each other.

In fact, I would have liked to see the romance between Emrys and Richard played out more along with the forbidden romance aspect, as their relationship is one of the highlights of the novel. I know that Emrys has a mysterious connection with Richard, but I feel that some potential is lost here in really exploring the depth of their feelings for each other. Emrys has something more with Richard, something that she hasn't experienced with another royal. Something that makes her, an experienced Fae, drop her guard around him and even start hiding things from her fellow guards. Add the fact that Richard seems to be Emry's first love, and it would have been nice to see more of her going through the process of figuring out her feelings and then really falling for him and struggling to decide between staying Fae or becoming mortal for him.

On the whole, this is an enjoyable read. The changes that take place in the world at the end are interesting, and though I'd be satisfied with the novel ending where it does, I am intrigued by the idea of where the second novel may take us. Still, I'm don't know that I like the story enough to read a sequel. We'll see when the sequel comes out.

Additional Information
  1. All That Glows
  2. Untitled
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2 comments on "Review: All That Glows by Ryan Graudin"
  1. Well, this is the first review i read of the book but I am definitely intrigued by its main idea
    GREAT review
    Your reader,

  2. The characters make this one sound like something that I would enjoy as well, plus that cover is gorgeous


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