Book: Glitter (Aprilynne Pike)

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glitterGlitter

Aprilynne Pike

Random House Books

October 25th, 2016

Things aren’t looking up for Danica. She’s engaged to a man she hates (who also happens to both a murderer and the King), her every move is monitored by a computerized system designed to keep track of everyone, and she’s made plans to run away.

Once the smuggler she’s hired to help her realizes who she is, the price for her freedom goes up–

dramatically. She has no idea how she’ll raise the funds, until she catches her father buying undetectable designer drugs from a courier in the palace she’s never seen before. In the drug’s raw form, it sparkles like glitter–and that’s when she has an idea for raising the five million Euros she needs to potentially save her life.

Glitter is set in a near future Palace of Versailles. A company has bought the Palace from the French government on the contingency that it remain open to the public as a museum of sorts at least one day a week. The Sonoma Company also bought some of the surrounding lands and created their own autonomous city-state, Sonoman-Versailles. The founder of the company was something of a Regency era buff, and set everything up like the reign of Louis XIV, complete with styling himself as King of Sonoman-Versailles. Most things in the palace must be period-appropriate, except for handheld tablets, eye Lenses that connect everyone to the main computer system, and servitor drone robots. It’s now several generations later, and the current King inherited from parents killed years before in an accident.

The idea seems a bit mad, but given what rich and powerful eccentric people can get up to, it might not be as surprising that one man dictates the customs and lifestyle of everyone within his control.

Danica witnesses the young King strangling a lover to death, and her scheming mother uses it to make herself the mother of the future Queen. The King isn’t particularly pleased over this little bit of blackmail, and neither is most of the court when Danica–a virtual nobody–is elevated above them as Queen-to-be. Danica just knows she can’t marry the King. She could end up like the young woman he killed–strangled, and a company representative claiming she’d had an aneurysm.

The man she approaches to smuggle her out raises his price to five million Euros once he realizes exactly how high profile his client is. Danica has to make money fast–she only has nine weeks until her wedding. She figures out a clever way to use the court’s hunger for trends and fashion to make her money–it amounts to selling addictive drugs to an unaware clientele.

One part Regency court intrigue, one part corporate drama, a little bit of future tech, and a dash of Breaking Bad, Glitter entertains pretty thoroughly. It’s inventive and stylish, while sprinkling in a bit of YA romance that doesn’t get in the way of the rest of the story. It’s the first of a two-parter. I’m down for the second one.

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JL JamiesonBook: Glitter (Aprilynne Pike)