Friday, February 21, 2014

Review: All That Glows by Ryan Graudin

Goodreads Summary:

Emrys—a fiery, red-headed Fae—always embraced her life in the Highlands, far from the city’s draining technology, until she’s sent to London to rejoin the Faery Guard. But this isn’t any normal assignment—she’s sent to guard Prince Richard: Britain’s notorious, partying bad boy and soon-to-be King. The prince’s careless ways and royal blood make him the irresistible for the dark spirits that feed on mortals. Sweet, disheveled, and alive with adventure—Richard is one charge who will put Emrys’s magic and heart to the test.

When an ancient force begins preying on the monarchy, Emrys must hunt through the London’s magical underworld, facing down Banshees, Black Dogs and Green Women to find the one who threatens Richard’s life. In this chaos of dark magic, palace murders and paparazzi, Emrys finds herself facing an impossible choice. For despite all her powers, Emrys has discovered a force that burns brighter than magic: love.

Publication Date: February 11, 2014

All That Glows was definitely a highly anticipated read for me (just look at the cover and you’ll see why). Although I liked the premise, I didn’t care for the romance. It was a little bit too cheesy and over the top for me considering the main characters only knew each other for about a week.

Emrys was very angsty for a centuries-old kick-butt fairy guard. The beginning started out strong as readers are giving a history lesson on why the fairies have protected England’s royalty since King Arthur’s time. Emrys gets into a few scuffles with soul eaters that target the next in line to be king Prince Richard. I was hoping she would stay a strong female lead, but she lost a lot of her toughness when she starts falling for Richard.

Richard was okay for me. I expected to be all swoony because he’s a prince, but he was kind of a mess at the start. He’s a drunk troublemaker, but his issues magically disappear as soon as Emrys enters the picture without much actual resolution. His romance with Emrys was high up on the insta-love scale too. Emrys is pretty much willing to risk her existence and there’s no real reason behind their intense attraction besides an electric unexplained connection.

The murder mystery plot held my interest despite it having a certain level of predictability. The suspenseful parts gave readers a break from the angst of whether or not Emrys and Richard could make their relationship work. The pacing was the strongest at the start and end of the novel.

The book fell in the middle for me and I definitely give the author credit for creating a unique setup for a YA novel. The author is a huge fan of metaphors and although it didn’t bother me, the stylized voice could turn off some readers.

Rating: 3/5 Stars

Thanks to the publisher for a copy of All That Glows for review!


  1. Aw, sorry to hear the romance was cheesy, don't know if I could deal with that

  2. Not a fan of books where the female gets all gooey over a guy and loses herself. Drats. LOVE the cover for this book though. Geeze Louise someone had talent for that one :) Thanks for sharing this awesome review, Heather! WRITE ON!

  3. I thought I was the only one that enjoyed (something) about this! It feel flat for me too, considering my expectations but it wasn't THAT bad overall.

    Great review! :)