The Handmaid’s Tale meets Blood Red Road in Glass Arrow, the story of Aya, who lives with a small group of women on the run from the men who hunt them, men who want to auction off breeding rights to the highest bidder.
In a world where females are scarce and are hunted, then bought and sold at market for their breeding rights, 15-year old Aya has learned how to hide. With a ragtag bunch of other women and girls, she has successfully avoided capture and eked out a nomadic but free existence in the mountains. But when Aya’s luck runs out and she’s caught by a group of businessmen on a hunting expedition, fighting to survive takes on a whole new meaning.
This book is about Aya, who has been living in the wilds her whole life with the rest of her family. So far, they have been able to evade capture, but one day their luck runs out and Aya is taken. In this society, women are property that are sold to the highest bidder. The owners can even throw away their new 'properties' once they get enough use out of them, get tired of them. etc. Basically, women cannot have a life in this society and are solely used to make more males and 'entertain' the males. In fact, in this society that can't possibly have too many females, so many female babies are simply just killed so that the female population won't grow. Yeah, this is a horrible society.
Anyway, Aya now has to be kept with the other girls who are waiting to be bought. Many of these girls are even excited for this prospect, as they were raised for it. Aya just wants to escape and be free again in the wild, something the other girls don't understand, but each escape attempt gets her nowhere and causes the chains to constrict her further.
Wow, that was one rambling synopsis from me...
First of all, this book is definitely feminist. I have no problem with that, as I am feminist, but books like this always upset me. Why? Because of how horribly the women are treated, which is probably the point. The plot of girls being sold to men like this is not a prospect I haven't seen before, but it's still horrible to see. What's interesting about this book is that the pacing isn't exactly fast and a majority is Aya planning things, this book still has so much going on! That probably doesn't make much sense, but that's precisely how I felt in this book.
As mentioned in my own synopsis, the other girls were all giggly over the prospect of being sold. They also made fun of Aya for being from the wild and they would brag about men being interested in them (in the buying them sense). Really, this is horrible. It's horrible that they would want this life, but they grew up with knowing and planning for this, so this is the only thing they knew. Aya, on the other hand, knew true freedom and she looks at them in the same way we do, disgusted that the girls ended up like this and don't know true freedom, and that the men turned them to this. I also would like to mention that the men are the same way. All of the men are portrayed horribly, because they were raised to believe that the women are just their property. There's a little boy in this book that already has started acting like a little demon because that's just how he was told to act. Anyway, these aren't really important to the book, but I just think it says a lot.
There actually aren't a whole lot of major characters in this book, throughout most of it. There are a lot of side characters, but the only main ones seem to be Aya, Brax, and Kiram. I liked Aya strength in this book. She knows freedom, as I already mentioned too much, and wants to get back to that as much as she can, She also worries about her family and wants to make sure that they are okay. She does get close to giving up, but she always tries to come up with ideas to escape as well as take advantage of any opportunity. Brax is a wolf friend that Aya makes, when the wolf was a pup. I loved their relationship, though I admit I have a soft spot for animals. Lastly, is Kiram. There relationship was very interesting because Kiram couldn't talk. It also took awhile for Aya to trust him, but Kiram obviously did care for Aya and wanted to help her (even if Aya couldn't see that for awhile). It's very interesting how Aya's too main friends couldn't talk to her...
As for romance, there isn't a whole lot. Really, there aren't a whole lot of romantic opportunities in this book. Not only is Aya trying to escape, but she lives in a horrible society. It makes me very happy that the book is focused on those things, rather than any romance. Though, there is a budding romance, which is probably obvious to anyone who reads YA (we are adept and figuring out who the love interest is very quickly).
Overall, this book has a very horrible subject matter, in terms that it's very disturbing, but it was also very important. I liked this book and enjoyed reading this! Also, this book is a standalone and it tied up very nicely! I recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a dark, standalone dystopian!