Falling Through Glass by Barbara Sheridan

Liquid Silver Books

Paranormal, Time-Travel

ISBN: 978-1-59578-592-3

Reviewed by Patrice F.

   

 

Following her fatherís death, Emiko Maeda is consumed by her loss.  She finds an antique mirror shortly after moving in with her Uncle Jake.  Emmiís life takes a strange turn when her uncle invites her to Japan for a film shoot.  While she is on set, a powerful storm transports her to Feudal Era Japan where she meets a samurai noble, Nakagawa Kaemon.  She observes that despite his status, Kae is deeply involved with the Imperialists who are battling rebels to keep the Emperor on the throne.  Kaemon is the kind of man that wonít let anything or anyone jeopardize his honor and cause.  Emmi fears for her life and heart.  It was better when he believed she was a demon instead of a spy. The mirror is the key to finding her way home again. Her connection to Kae forces her to question her place in the 21st Century. 

Barbara Sheridan creates an extraordinary novel brimming with historical details, multi-layered characters, and a captivating narrative.  Falling Through Glass would be eligible for an Oscar if it were a film.  Sheridanís words and imagination rise to the upper echelons of book royalty by the sheer fact that she has taken the time, energy, and dedication to illustrate the setting and historical figures with exquisite elements. A few familiar faces Iíve recalled from some of my favorite manga and anime make an appearance, too.  The renditions are amazing, adding a very personal touch. It was nice to encounter a time-travel novel featuring a Japanese-American heroine.  The author does a fine job of connecting Emmiís past and present in ways that would not have been possible otherwise. Too often Iíve read Mary Sue-ish stories featuring Westerners that in no way could compete with Emiko.

I was pleased at how Kaemon is presented: true to the young noble males of his era and class without becoming an Eastern caricature or stereotype.  Ms. Sheridan doesnít gloss over anything.  By courageously yanking aside the shoji screens, she fearlessly shows us what lies behind the beauty and mystery.  Sometimes thereís evil, the rotten stench of corruption, and the limitations of status.  The authorís clear, precise writing encompasses all the romantic nuances.  She never shies away from the passion; it burns high and bright between Emmi and Kae in the midst of brutality, bloodshed, and danger. 

Falling Through Glass is gifted with compressed epic lyricism, skillfully contained in less than two hundred pages, while carrying the heft of easily twice that figure.  Courtesans, rebels, and assassins walk the streets in pre-Meiji era Japan inside a dynamic, action-filled plot and intricate setting.  Everything is complimented by a plucky, modern heroine and a fiercely courageous hero whoís sure to bring on loads of sighs.  This work is one of the glittering highlights of this authorís considerable bibliography.  A must read for lovers of eastern history and time-travel romance.

     

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