Cut Glass: A Novella by Susanne Valenti

In my earlier review of Chained, the first book in Susanne Valenti’s dystopian series Cage of Lies, I wrote “I found I had questions about the functioning of the society outside of the city from which Maya and her companions flee which were not answered in the narrative.”  Cut Glass, which is a novella set in the same dystopian world and which includes some of the characters introduced in Chained, helps to answer some of those questions. This addition of a novella giving background to both characters and their setting reminds me of the way Marion Zimmer Bradley created the complex world of Darkover through both novels and short stories.

Cut Glass is a stand-alone novella; it is not necessary to have read Chained (or its sequel Linked) to appreciate the story, which involves the emotional and sexual coming-of-age of the protagonist, Crystal.  No spoilers, but the attitudes and reactions of teens living challenging lives rang true for me, as someone who worked with troubled teens for many years.  Valenti has created a believable dystopian world and is more fully realizing that world in each installment of the Cage of Lies series and related works. ☼☼☼

This is an independent review of an ARC.  The opinions stated here are mine alone.

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