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Ink, Iron, and Glass


Ink, Iron, and Glass

In Gwendolyn Clare’s INK, IRON, AND GLASS, there are unique people who use special paper and special ink to write worlds into existence. Without one part of the equation, the process doesn’t work, so it is important to have the proper tools to work with. Elsa is about to turn 17 and her world-renowned scriptologist for a mother is finally letting her look at Veldana’s book. However, before the Veldana world where Elsa feels at home is settled from the most recent changes, a secret group slips in.

This group of mysterious people gas bomb Elsa and her mother’s home and when Elsa awakens, her mother is gone, as well as her portal maker, books and ink. Luckily, Elsa has been training to become a scriptologist herself and her mother taught her well. She ventures into the real world and finds that she cannot return to her home until she finds both her mother and the book that holds her precious home. Using her abilities Elsa finds herself in the company of other “geniuses,” including an infuriating boy named Leo.

"In a race to see who can write the last laugh, Gwendolyn Clare creates a book of suspense and adventure into a world unknown....I really enjoyed this book."

In a race to see who can write the last laugh, Gwendolyn Clare creates a book of suspense and adventure into a world unknown. Personally, I really enjoyed this book. There were several occasions where I was briefly confused so I think that the author simply got excited and a bit ahead of herself, but she ensures that the reader understands situations eventually --- if not at the moment then later in the book.

I liked the character development and how realistically Clare showed how limited a person’s knowledge can be, even though they are brilliant involving other topics of discussion. I enjoyed the main group of characters and look forward to the growth of a particular male who has shown both great potential for abilities but also for importance towards his past that was briefly mentioned but never expanded upon.

I did enjoy the love pot though I felt it was slightly rushed. However, with the characters involved, one does tend to be very rash, so I was not particularly surprised by the fast pace at which he approached the relationship.

The only thing that I can say that I did not really understand was the relationship between one character and her mother, as the mother was set up as the girl’s role model and closest relationship, but nothing between them ever shows that relationship. Instead, you only really get to see distrust and disappointment between them for the few pages they converse together.

I enjoyed the idea of worlds having the capability to be written into existence but having the option to write only a single room, and also being able to add unrealistic components to the written worlds. From what was said in the book, I can see that the relationship between written world people and “real” people is very tense, but the retelling of some of the planet’s history with Earth only served to confuse me further as there was never really a time stamp given. Before I had believed the creator of the “made” world to be an older gentleman, but later turned out to be a middle-aged man. The whole timing in this book is slightly confusing to me.

All of that said, Elsa did behave fairly close to the way I would imagine someone, who had her upbringing, to interact with a relatively new world and new people. I loved this book and I think the series has great potential.

Reviewed by Lauren F., Teen Board Member on February 27, 2019

Ink, Iron, and Glass
by Gwendolyn Clare