Title: Storm Glass (Harbinger Book 1)
Authors: Jeff Wheeler
Date of Publication: June 19, 2018
Length: 353 pages
Genre: Historical Fantasy, Coming of Age
Audience: Young Adult
Collective Favorite Quote: “Trust is as fragile as porcelain. It is beautiful and shining when it is whole, but it is worth nothing when it is broken.”
Sensitivities: Mild maltreatment
Disclaimer: There may be some spoilers in our detailed banter below:
Today we will be reviewing Storm Glass (Harbinger Book 1) by author Jeff Wheeler.
Please see above for more details on the book.
This story explores a world divided by slow changes implemented throughout the years. Explore the opposite sides of the world through the eyes of two young girls, Cettie and Sera, alongside the stories of countless others who will influence the changes to come. Magic and lore, a variety of character archetypes, and several locations of the world are uncovered throughout the development of this story. Come fly away with us into the troubled sky as we review this book and try to uncover the secrets which lie beneath it all. Oh, and there are ghosts.
How did the characters continue to develop throughout the story and in what ways can you relate to their characteristics through change?
Bridgette – I absolutely loved the development of each character in this book, primarily the two main characters, Sera and Cettie. These two young girls started their individual journeys allowing others to dictate their lives. Throughout the course of the book, each finds their own way and inner strength to stand up against the paths others attempt to create for them. Their stories are inspirational and excellent examples for readers to follow in their own lives. I strive to find this inner strength each day.
Amy – I really enjoyed the development of these characters. The two girls are both so strong in different ways and it’s inspiring to the reader.
Claire – I typically enjoy stories that follow the main characters’ slow descent into madness, however, this book combined this sort of backwards development with the righteous and original development of two young girls. Of course, as her name might suggest, we see Mrs. Pullman bending the rules so those around her are incapacitated to do anything about it. And we see Cettie challenged and eventually triumphed with the help of Fitzroy. Sera, on the other hand, faces similar challenges but takes a more aggressive approach in controlling her life, one based on intellect as opposed to the mysteries. I found virtue in both stories and am intrigued as to how the two will work together, or not, to face the road ahead. Or sky lane, or whatever you want to call those things.
Most of the books we review are written by women. Without getting into the politics of it all, were you able to tell a difference from the writing and perspective of how the story is told compared to female fantasy authors we have reviewed?
Bridgette – We by no means purposefully review books written by women primarily yet we have only reviewed a handful of books written by men. Honestly, I interpreted no difference between the writing in this novel compared to others according to gender. In the messages to readers there was not a focus on violence or sexual content at all. This is a clean young adult historical fantasy which I have come to love. The author has told a marvelous story without the need for shock and awe to gain readers.
Amy – I don’t think it stood out to me at all. It was great. The writing style was detailed and I enjoyed it!
Claire – I can take my church’s number off speed dial because no holy water was needed after reading this one. It was dramatic, intense, and cautionary without ever crossing those intimate boundaries many authors are ought to breach. It’s like when a modern musician is able to capture a listener with actual emotion and trauma without the need to exploit the grosser side of cultural tendencies. So thanks, Jeff. You created a story in a world that was not free from turmoil but free from expletives and obscenities.
The world Jeff Wheeler has built in this book is complex and a bit unlike others we have read in other fantasy books, what are your thoughts on how he structured the world?
Bridgette – This book explores a world built with a separation between those above and those below with zephyrs being used as transportation. This is certainly a unique story with aspects I have not seen in other books. I found all of the little bits of history embedded into the writing to be captivating. I implore readers to pick up this book and make those connections for themselves. Jeff certainly has a knack for the craft of writing and uses it to create stories with full dedication. He has clearly shown the divide between the classes of people and even introduces mystery with the reiterated statement, “It is one of the mysteries”. To which I say, fine but I want to uncover ALL of the mysteries.
Amy – It was a nice change of pace. Worlds are usually side by side or rings. The idea of living below or above others is kind of scary and figuring out the mysteries of how things run, sign me up! I need to know more!
Claire – There is no way Jeff didn’t garner some inspiration from the Chili Peppers for this book, that’s the Red Hot ones to be exact. Fly on my zephyr was personified in this lengthy rendition of their 2002 hit and I was feeling it more than ever. Just like their lyrics, you expect it to be a bunch of nonsensical, exaggerated buffoonery like “double chins and bowling pins and unholy Presbyterians.” However, there is a much deeper and thought provoking meaning behind each plot point in the book. It’s all connected and it was restoring to read how an author takes their time to explain the mysteries and realities of the world they have built. It never came across as dragged out or rushed, it kept a comfortable pace with exciting turns.
How did you enjoy the writing style of Jeff Wheeler and did you find it an easy or difficult read?
Bridgette – This was an easy read for me, in part due to Jeff’s attention to detail in writing a book with no errors or distracting inconsistencies. The story moved along at an appropriate pace and kept me interested as a reader. The tension builds throughout the book and enough detail is revealed while keeping mystery in the distance for me to look forward to as a reader.
Amy – I loved the details. It really helps the readers to lose themselves in the book! I thought this book was easy. I mean who doesn’t want to get lost in another world right now?!
Claire – This read was easy like Sunday morning and even easy, breezy, beautiful cover girl. Except it wasn’t written by a girl and, as mentioned, that was a very refreshing perspective. He had an astute attention to detail, dedication to the fantasy of the world he was creating, and respect for the time it takes for things to play out.
In reading this book did you build up a connection with the characters leading to an emotional investment into their stories? Is there a specific character you felt more connected to compared to others?
Bridgette – As much as I wanted to connect on a deep level with Raj Sarin, as I dream of becoming his apprentice to learn everything he knows, I did not have enough exposure to his character to fully connect with him compared to others. If I had to choose one character I connected with above others it would certainly be the main character of Cettie. Reading her journey of crawling her way out of The Fells to exploring the grounds of Fog Willows and finding a new path for herself led me to truly feel invested in her story. I found myself desperately needing to read my way through to her safety.
Amy – I guess I need to jump on this bandwagon! I really felt the climb that Cettie made was really inspiring and sits with most people. We all start from somewhere and make our way to a better place and I really loved seeing her succeed in that aspect.
Claire – Okay, despite his limited page time, Raj Sarin was the unsung hero of this book and I am prepared to fight someone on this. There wasn’t as much of an emotional connection to him as there was a deep admiration for his loyalty and formidable presence he gave Cettie which really allowed her to look up to him. Plus, he had the best entrance and one liner in the book. I mean, he descended into the room like a “leaf” and told the attackers “I think gentleman, you have forgotten how to count.” In an alternate universe, that was the moment Hitler‘s mustache spontaneously combusted right off his upper lip, Stalin’s socialist doctrine rewrote itself as a capitalist manifesto, and Bin Laden’s flip-flop wearing feet took him straight to justice. What I’m trying to say is that Raj was truly one of my favorite characters and that is a complete ode to the author because if you can make a reader that entranced by a minor role, you are doing this whole story thing right.
When considering the format of the e-book, what were your thoughts on the chapter titles? Did it help your reading experience or detract from it?
Bridgette – This small addition to the book added so much value to the format. I loved not only the font used for the chapter titles but also the small titles given to each chapter to denote where I was headed on this adventure with Cettie, Sera, and all of the other complex characters. Even the small image made me smile as I transitioned from one chapter ending to the next chapter beginning. But wait there’s more! A few strategically placed thoughts of the great Lady Corinne of Pavenham Sky provided one extra tidbit for readers.
Amy – I always enjoy chapter titles. It’s like a sneak peek as to what is to come. I think those little things always add to a story.
Claire – I enjoyed the incorporation of the chapter titles as well as the alternating perspectives because they offered a glimpse of what was to come in addition to a separated view point. I imagine re-reading this book would offer me even more insight into little plot intricacies I didn’t pick up this time around. There was clearly a lot of thought and meticulous detail put into each chapter and that made the whole journey so much more worthwhile.
Overall, do you recommend this author and book to others? Will you continue on with the series or read any of his other series?
Bridgette – I recommend author Jeff Wheeler and Storm Glass (Harbinger Book 1) to readers without reservation. It has been some time since I have enjoyed a book as much as I have this book. I truly look forward to reading this series and even exploring his other series. Jeff is a master of his craft and I thank him for sharing his talent with readers like myself. This book is appropriate for all ages. Read it and come back to let us know what you think!
Amy – I think that this book was a great pick and I can’t wait to see what this series brings! I also look forward to checking out other stories written by Jeff Wheeler.
Claire – Jeff really showed who the master of the house is in the introduction to this series and I am here for it. He keeps it clean, clear, and under control with no literary blemish in sight. I highly recommend Jeff for anyone looking for a well-written young adult fantasy novel that combines poignant drama with an adventurous punch.
Thanks for reading. Comment below if you have read Storm Glass (Harbinger Book 1) by author Jeff Wheeler or if you are going to put it on your TBR!
Disclosure: We are in no way affiliated with the author and are not being compensated for this review.
Amy & Bridgette & Claire
Amy’s Rating: 4.5
Bridgette’s Rating: 5
Claire’s Rating: 5