Series: Glitter Duology #1
Published by Random House Children's Books on October 25th 2016
Genres: JUVENILE FICTION, Action & Adventure, General, Girls & Women, Royalty, Young Adult Fiction
eARC provided by Random House Children's
From #1 New York Times bestselling author Aprilynne Pike comes a truly original new novel--Breaking Bad meets Marie Antoinette in a near-future world where the residents of Versailles live like it's the eighteenth century and an almost-queen turns to drug dealing to save her own life.
Outside the palace of Versailles, it's modern day. Inside, the people dress, eat, and act like it's the eighteenth century--with the added bonus of technology to make court life lavish, privileged, and frivolous. The palace has every indulgence, but for one pretty young thing, it's about to become a very beautiful prison.
When Danica witnesses an act of murder by the young king, her mother makes a cruel power play . . . blackmailing the king into making Dani his queen. When she turns eighteen, Dani will marry the most ruthless and dangerous man of the court. She has six months to escape her terrifying destiny. Six months to raise enough money to disappear into the real world beyond the palace gates.
Her ticket out? Glitter. A drug so powerful that a tiny pinch mixed into a pot of rouge or lip gloss can make the wearer hopelessly addicted. Addicted to a drug Dani can sell for more money than she ever dreamed.
But in Versailles, secrets are impossible to keep. And the most dangerous secret--falling for a drug dealer outside the palace walls--is one risk she has to take.
I really enjoyed this book, but I didn’t know what to expect based on the cover. The Baroque society is really fascinating, so I can see the allure of living like that.
In this modern day world, high society live like it’s the eighteenth century. The current King’s great-grandfather arranged the purchase of the palace of Versailles and surrounding area from France, and turn it into a historical site. Residents and employees of the company take to the old ways with the aid of modern technology. They have corsets, style their hair in pompadours and coiffures, and live in that era of society. I admit that I didn’t know much about the palace of Versailles. This palace is where Marie Antoinette lived and her influence is still felt there. In this world, Sonoman-Versailles is independent of France, although the culture is undeniable French. This palace is really a world of it’s own within modern society.
I was confused at first because there technology and it is a bit science fiction, but I think the author did a great job of combining the styles to make eighteenth century living a bit more tolerable. Outside people live normally. Their fascination of the “royals” has no end. To the point where for a price, every Wednesday members of the public came come in and view the king and queen as they get ready for the day.
Dani is caught in a bad situation. Dani and her scheming mother witness the king murder a woman. Her mother decides the only way for the king to get away with this is to marry Dani, and make her queen. The king agrees but he isn’t happy. He all too prepared to make Dani’s life as queen hell. Dani wants out of that life and will do anything to get out of it. Including sell drugs to the high court to make enough money to pay for her surgeries into a new identity.
The technology in this place was really cool. The author has invented something called M.A.R.I.E- Mainframe for Autonomous Robotic Intelligence Enhancement, it is the mainframe for the palace of Versailles. Bots do all the hard work throughout the palace. Once Dani starts trying to pass off the highly addictive, Glitter, as face makeup, she has to be extra careful. M.A.R.I.E. sees everything and records it.
Dani wasn’t an easy character to relate to. She is a bit selfish, but I could understand her desperation. Dani is young and naïve, and what she does to try to get out of her future as queen is so questionable. I can’t wait to find out what happens next. This story also features a slow burn kind of romance that I really enjoyed. I sympathized with Saber and I liked Dani and him together.
This review is kinda long because I feel the need to justify my rating of this book. I think it will appeal to a certain type of reader who enjoys unique YA science fiction, with a little of the old world thrown in. It worked for me and I will definitely be reading the sequel!