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From the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling series Wings, comes Aprilynne Pike’s latest novel GLITTER --- the first in a new sci-fi and fantasy series. Set in a futuristic version of the Palace of Versailles, GLITTER revolves around Danica Grayson --- a girl determined to raise enough money to escape her engagement to a murderous king.

After Danica witnesses an act of murder by the young king, her mother blackmails the king into making Danica his queen when she turns 18. Desperate to not be married to a cruel tyrant, Danica needs to disappear. The only way to do so, though, is to pay the impossible fee of five million euros in order to secure her escape. With no other way to come up with the money, Danica is forced to deal Glitter --- a drug so powerful that a single pinch will make the user hopelessly addicted. In a palace like Versailles, where everyone is watching, Danica’s secrets are impossible to keep, and her most dangerous secret --- falling for a drug dealer outside the palace walls --- is one risk she has to take.

"Not only is Pike’s version of Versailles impressive, but she has also crafted an intriguing version of history that I found very unique. The world and history Pike has built is truly stunning."

Danica is a very strong-headed character who isn’t afraid to snap back at others or do what it takes to survive. I thoroughly enjoyed her point of view and found her to be a very memorable character. To some people, Danica may come off as an unlikable or selfish protagonist. Indeed, she may be selfish at times; however, she is forced into a terrible situation and is not left with many options. I don’t blame her for doing what it takes to save herself, and I find it refreshing how Pike doesn’t try to force Danica into the oh so selfless main protagonist trope. She may be somewhat of anti-heroine at times, but she is very honest with herself and is conscious of her actions throughout the book, which is a very rare thing for many main characters. Overall, I found myself really rooting for her, and I look forward to seeing where her story goes throughout the series.

By far, the most outstanding thing about this book to me is its setting. GLITTER takes place about a century from now; however, at times, it actually feels as if it were set back in eighteenth century France. The story is based out of a futuristic version of the Palace of Versailles where citizens of Sonoman-Versailles live. Inside the palace, Baroque French culture thrives. Occupants of the palace dress as if they lived amongst Marie Antoinette, wearing everything from corsets to panniers. While their style and culture is centuries old, the palace is equipped with many futuristic features, including M.A.R.I.E. --- a super security system ---  that tracks all those who inhabit the palace. Not only is Pike’s version of Versailles impressive, but she has also crafted an intriguing version of history that I found very unique. The world and history Pike has built is truly stunning.

The one thing I would have liked to see more development in is Danica’s relationship throughout the book. It appears to be a case of insta-love, which I am honestly not a big fan of. As soon as Danica meets the drug dealer that she becomes involved with, she is instantly very attached and attracted to him. I would have preferred for their characters to get to know each other more before becoming so involved. As the book progresses, there is some growth to their relationship, which I appreciated, but I still wished to see a bit more of it.

Containing a mix of sci-fi, fantasy, and historical-fiction, GLITTER is truly an exceptional novel and perfect for readers looking for something that’s really different from your average sci-fi or fantasy novel. Pike’s outstanding world building and characters make for a novel that readers are sure not to forget.

Reviewed by Makayla H., Teen Board Member on October 28, 2016

by Aprilynne Pike