Girl Under Glass - Monica Enderle Pierce
Rachel is a healer in the small and religious enclave of Suffer (which is a town that really lives up to its name)- however her world is rocked upside down when an injured alien asks for help. Because of her vows, she ignores her mistrust and doubt over his real intentions on why he is visiting a human settlement, especially when his people has helped to cause so much destruction on earth. This was a very interesting little gem of a book, with the premise of an alien race invading Earth and causing world wide mayhem and destruction. The themes and ideas were thought-provoking and I loved the heroine's determination in protecting her daughter from the clutches of her rapist father and in a society where religion has become misogynistic and hateful. It had a similar vibe to The Handmaid's Tale, although the latter half of the book delves deeper into the motives and the political struggles of the alien hierarchies which Rachel is an important figure for one faction. She becomes very important to the survival of her people as well as the aliens, and I loved the twist at the end which hints of a greater threat for all parties. Nonetheless, I wasn't too sure about a world that destroyed itself due to religious terrorism and I wished there was more time spent on explaining the fall of civilisation because it didn't feel realistic. And I am in two minds about the religious overtones of the book. I also did find the second half of the book lost some steam and it got a bit convoluted, and I also found myself getting frustrated with Rachel's reactions towards the twists and the events which didn't ring true for me because she acted out like an annoying teen instead of her stoic and calm self that she presented in the first half. And I was not a fan of Cyrus, who morphed from this cold and sociapathic preacher to this cardboard cut-out villain in the end. But Girl Under Glass had a great tense build-up which was tense and chilling and despite the issues I had with the second half, the world-building was strong and well thought out with a great eye to detail. I will definitely pick up the sequel!