Age Group: Young Adult
Overall: 3 Stars
Categories: Mystery, Sci-Fi, Time Travel
Read in December 2011
My Opinion:One morning the people of the North woke up and the people of the South were gone. That's the first thing every child learns on the colony world of Jigsaw. But for one girl, knowing about The Disappearance is not enough. Hawkeye wants to know why.
That's why she spent half her life researching The Disappearance. And that's also why eight Neighbors show up on her doorstep, demanding that she accompany them into the Forbidden Cities ruled by the Southern gods to speak with the Spirits of Glory. Everyone thinks Hawkeye is an expert on Neighbors, these almost-humans who move, talk, and think as if they were born inside one of the Time Fractures. But she can't imagine what they want to ask the ghosts of their ancestors, or why they need her to go along. The Southern gods caused every human inhabitant of the Southern cities to disappear overnight - what else might they do?
But the Northern gods say Hawkeye should go and her curiosity won't let her refuse, even though she's going into more danger than she can imagine. Pain and puzzlement wait along the broken interstate, along with scavengers who want to kill them all. Hawkeye's questions only generate more questions as they move farther and farther into the South, right into the heart of the Disappearance, until Hawkeye's questions have all been answered.
Even the ones she was afraid to ask.
Spirits of Glory is a short but well crafted novel, with a lot of elements to put together in the end, keeping you hooked to the story.
I really liked how Emily built this new world -Jigsaw- and how she presented us with its history and background, little by little, making us want more.
The idea of the Time Fractures was very nicely done (being a Doctor Who fan, I tend to pay a lot of attention to these sort of things): once Hawkeye and Co. were in a Fracture, Time seemed to stretch for them, what would take a minute to do, in a Fracture it takes hours. I also enjoyed the visual of the book; Emily put a lot of detail into it.
But that's my main argument against this book: there was, perhaps, a little too much detail, and not so much action. Whenever we got action, though, it was brilliant!
Hawkeye's growth throughout the book is also nicely written; we read how she becomes a much more mature (than she already is!) girl and how she learns how to handle things in a much better fashion, despite her disability. There's some romance in there, but the way Emily wrote it was great: it wasn't too fluffy, it was barely there, but it was definitely sweet and it worked for the book.
It's a standalone (a plus!), I think, and a nice book if you're looking for an interesting sci-fi with a really well built world.
I really wish we'd seen more action, because I think it would have been a great book with it.