Spy Glass by Maria V. Snyder – Advance Review

(Warning! This post contains Sea Glass spoilers!)

Book Jacket:

An undercover mission leads to danger, adventure and an impossible choice. After siphoning her own blood magic in the showdown at Hubal, Opal Cowan has lost her powers. She can no longer create glass magic. More, she’s immune to the effects of magic. Opal is now an outsider looking in, spying through the glass on those with the powers she once had, powers that make a difference in the world.

Until spying through the glass becomes her new power. Suddenly, the beautiful pieces she makes flash in the presence of magic. And then she discovers that someone has stolen some of her blood – and that finding it might let her regain her powers. Or learn if they’re lost forever.

You can read an excerpt here.


When I closed this book, I sat back for a minute and thought – did I like that ending? I was so unsettled I wasn’t sure. I had to roll it around in my mind and poke at it a few times before I came to terms with it. I did come to like the ending, it just took some getting used to.

Spy Glass picks up where Sea Glass left off, and continues at the same hectic pace. Opal never stops moving, dashing from one place to the next on her mission to recover her stolen blood. I think so much happens so fast that it’s easy to miss the emotional underpinnings of this story. Opal has a lot going on internally; she’s dealing with some really complicated questions about her future, both personal and professional, but I felt like I could only half grasp what she was feeling before the plot was running away with me again. Don’t get me wrong, I love action and adventure, particularly fight sequences, I just think in this case the emotional arc is crucial, especially to the ending. Structurally speaking, it is in there, it’s just too rushed to fully land. You almost have to parse for it. I think that’s why I had to sit for a few minutes after I finished the story, to put it all back together in my head, before I could make up my mind about the ending.

But don’t get me wrong, this book completely sucked me in. I never put it down. The story is frenetic fun, and a lot of familiar faces show up. Plot-wise, everything from the previous books nicely comes together and Opal finally figures out how to be happy. I think it’s a fitting end to the trilogy.

I did find with Storm Glass and Sea Glass that they grew on me a lot the second time I read them, and I suspect the same will be true of this book. So while the Study series firmly remains my favorite, the Glass series packs a lot between the pages. Maybe a little too much to fully appreciate the first time around, but I think if you’re a Maria V. Snyder fan, you’re going to be pleased.

Byrt Grade: A-/B+

As Levar Burton used to say – you don’t have to take my word for it…

The Neverending Shelf says:

I found myself enthralled with Spy Glass‘ whole cast of characters, and on the edge of my seat to discover how everything would play out. This novel is quite possibly the best in the trilogy. The characters are fun again. Their adventures were exciting. And I just loved trying to guess how Opal’s love triangle would play out.

Dirty Sexy Book says:

I am a long-time fan of Maria V. Snyder’s easy-to-read fantasies. Her stories have the right mix of action, magic, and romance, and even when I don’t love her books, I’d be hard pressed to put them down mid-read. That’s the case with Spy Glass.

Poisoned Rationality says:

It took me two weeks to write this review. I read the book in only three hours, which is the normal time for me to devour any of Maria’s books. I had to go back and re-read it however not even a day later because I couldn’t believe the outcome of this trilogy…And the end, which is what really got me riled up, was the most rage-inducing ending I could ever think of. More than a character relationship I like ending, I didn’t feel that Opal adequately proved her decision was the correct one.