The world of the Glass Books can be fairly confusing at first, particularly for those readers who have not had the privilege
of reading the first volume first, such as myself. The second volume basically takes up immediately where the first leaves off and, unfortunately, does not explain very well the who, what, why, how, etc.
Complex, complex, complex, is the most straightforward description of the
plot, characters, and quite sci-fi-like storyline. However, once into the story about a hundred pages, the complexities of the plot and characters begin to work themselves out and the story
takes a turn for the better.
- Miss Temple, Cardinal Chang, and Dr. Svenson - are individually placed among the large gathering of followers preparing to join the evil Comte and Contessa. These evil ringleaders have been subjecting followers to a painful mind-alternating machine that makes victims initiates of The Process. Once the process has been performed on someone, he or she is forever altered in a bad way.
The three have all ended up at the mansion of Robert Vandaariff by different means but with the same motive. This is where all will happen and the ultimate plan of the Comte and Contessa will be unveiled. Upon learning of the presence of the others, Miss Temple, Cardinal Chang, and Dr. Svenson work to aid and reunite with each other. Sadly, something or someone
always causes the best-laid plans to go awry.
The Comte’s unmasking of his three chosen “angels” and the further science project performed upon them turning them into living, walking glass proves the most disastrous to the cohorts. If this is not the final plan that will wreak havoc upon the world, what could possibly worse? The three angels are powerful creations capable of acts that are too much to bear; why were they created, and what is their use in the long run?
As the cohorts struggle to make use of the tidbits of information and insight that comes their way, the constant battle for life and survival wears on all of them
- especially Chang, who is dying from the glass within his lungs. They cannot fail to unveil the plans of the Comte and Contessa; they must thwart them at any cost, even
that of their own lives.
Gordon Dahlquist possesses a superb authorial talent for bringing to life a world of the truly bizarre and scary. This second installment is a spectacular work with enough depth and twists to keep the most disinterested reader glued to the book.
As previously mentioned, some of the story was difficult to understand and the complexity behind it all rather stumping, but I blame that mainly to the incredible depths of the novels and the unfortunate lack of the first volume for me to begin with. My personal recommendation would be to begin with the first volume then transition to the next. This is not a storyline easy transferred and picked up when started somewhere other than the