The Glass Republic – The Skyscraper Throne #2 – Tom Pollock

The Glass RepublicRelease date: 2013
Publisher: Jo Fletcher Books
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 464
Format: Hardcover
Source: Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review


Pen’s life is all about secrets: the secret of the city’s spirits, deities and monsters her best friend Beth discovered, living just beyond the notice of modern Londoners; the secret of how she got the intricate scars that disfigure her so cruelly – and the most closely guarded secret of all: Parva, her mirror-sister, forged from her reflections in a school bathroom mirror. Pen’s reflected twin is the only girl who really understands her.

Then Parva is abducted and Pen makes a terrible bargain for the means to track her down. In London-Under-Glass looks are currency, and Pen’s scars make her a rare and valuable commodity. But some in the reflected city will do anything to keep Pen from the secret of what happened to the sister who shared her face.



I liked the “City’s Son”, liked, not loved. It was an imaginative, original book, but for the first part it lacked the connection I so value with the characters. I liked it enough though to read the second book “The Glass Republic”, which I received from Jo Fletcher Books (seriously, thank you!). I’d read raving reviews about “The Glass Republic” before starting it, so I began my second journey into Pollock’s London with high expectation. And boy, it didn’t disappoint. Not at all. Such a great book, so much depth, such fantastic themes, such an amazing story.

This time the story revolves around Pen, Beth’s best friend. Those of you that have read “The City’s Son” know Pen has gone through a lot during those days she accidentally got involved in Beth’s new world. In this book, Pen is scarred, and not just physically. But she has found ways to cope, one of them being her mirror sister living behind the mirrors in London-Under-Glass. This Pen, called Parva to avoid confusion, seems a lot more confident than the Pen living in the real world. This seems to give Pen some courage and having Parva there gives Pen someone to talk to who knows exactly what she is going through.

There are many things I liked about this book, but most of all I valued the moral background. Pen has to deal with so much, not in the least the trauma of the events in the “City’s Son” and their aftermath, but she is so strong. She’s an inspiration.
There was this one scene that completely choked me up in the beginning of the book and that’s a rare thing. I don’t easily get teary-eyed when reading, unless it’s a really great scene, written so powerfully only a heartless person would keep it dry. Tom Pollock made me tear up and that alone made me love this book. But then the rest of the book happened and my love for it only grew. There is a powerful message hidden between the pages here, about seeing the beauty in yourself. Pen discovers this whole other side to the world, one exactly opposite to the one she has been living in so far and it teaches her so much. And as a reader, you learn with her.

London-Under-Glass is an extremely fascinating new world Pollock created. I loved it! It’s a distorted kind of reflection of the London Pen has known her whole life. Though London-Under-Glass is different in so many ways, it also has some resemblance to “the Old City”. One of them being the focus on beauty and how people would go to extreme lengths to achieve the ultimate image of beauty. Another one being the fact that people would be willing to sacrifice others to be in control.
Apart from these things, London-Under-Glass has a whole lot of surprises, from the people inhabiting it, to the weather. I won’t give away too much, because it’s much more fun to discover it all yourself, like I did.

Another great feature of this book is the romance. It’s so natural and genuine. I couldn’t really imagine a perfect match for Pen in the first book, but Pollock nailed it with this new character he introduced from London-Under-Glass. The character in itself is a great addition to the story and in combination with Pen, we get a superb team! I loved reading about the two of them.

As cherry on the cake the book ends in an explosion of twists and action leaving you on the edge of your seat. I flipped the last page and went “What? The end?… What? I want to know what’ll happen next!!” So yeah, that alone shows how much I enjoyed “The Glass Republic”. I can’t wait to read “Our Lady of the Streets”. This is Young Adult Urban Fantasy at its best.


Posted on September 24, 2013, in Tom Pollock and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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