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A Glimpse of Light & Glory

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There are three things Liam Rice wants more than anything. To get out of his small hometown, escape his father’s constant animosity, and finally beat Finch Gray at something. And, although all three of his dreams seem to require the same first step—winning the regional Basketball Championships— the latter soon proves to be a lot harder than a simple win. When they get caught There are three things Liam Rice wants more than anything. To get out of his small hometown, escape his father’s constant animosity, and finally beat Finch Gray at something. And, although all three of his dreams seem to require the same first step—winning the regional Basketball Championships— the latter soon proves to be a lot harder than a simple win. When they get caught up in a violent robbery that ends with Finch being shot, their worlds come together again, in a way neither could have ever imagined. Because Finch doesn’t die. Instead, he somehow develops superpowers. Ones he can’t control on his own. Only Liam knows about Finch’s new abilities, and now only Finch can get their basketball team to the finals. Although it seems like a mutually beneficial agreement for both of them, it becomes clear that Finch’s powers can’t protect Liam from what he fears most.


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There are three things Liam Rice wants more than anything. To get out of his small hometown, escape his father’s constant animosity, and finally beat Finch Gray at something. And, although all three of his dreams seem to require the same first step—winning the regional Basketball Championships— the latter soon proves to be a lot harder than a simple win. When they get caught There are three things Liam Rice wants more than anything. To get out of his small hometown, escape his father’s constant animosity, and finally beat Finch Gray at something. And, although all three of his dreams seem to require the same first step—winning the regional Basketball Championships— the latter soon proves to be a lot harder than a simple win. When they get caught up in a violent robbery that ends with Finch being shot, their worlds come together again, in a way neither could have ever imagined. Because Finch doesn’t die. Instead, he somehow develops superpowers. Ones he can’t control on his own. Only Liam knows about Finch’s new abilities, and now only Finch can get their basketball team to the finals. Although it seems like a mutually beneficial agreement for both of them, it becomes clear that Finch’s powers can’t protect Liam from what he fears most.

30 review for A Glimpse of Light & Glory

  1. 4 out of 5

    Gee

    “The sun is touching him the same way I want to.” Some books are good. Some books are great. Some books blow your mind. And then some books are all of the above, and make themselves a home in your heart because they just hit different. They hit right. That’s exactly the case with “A Glimpse of Light and Glory”, the story of my new favourite comfort characters: Liam Rice, and Finch Gray. (Who have taken to living in my heart rent-free, and pop up to say hi and make me weak in the knees because I l “The sun is touching him the same way I want to.” Some books are good. Some books are great. Some books blow your mind. And then some books are all of the above, and make themselves a home in your heart because they just hit different. They hit right. That’s exactly the case with “A Glimpse of Light and Glory”, the story of my new favourite comfort characters: Liam Rice, and Finch Gray. (Who have taken to living in my heart rent-free, and pop up to say hi and make me weak in the knees because I love them so much every five minutes or so.) Even though Finch Gray excels at a lot of things, the one he’s undoubtedly best at is overshadowing, and absolutely frustrating, Liam Rice. And he does so with anything and everything you could possibly imagine: he’s better at basket. He’s better in all classes. He’s better at making friends. He’s better at keeping them. He’s better at existing, in general. So, as you can imagine, Liam can barely stand the sight of his nemesis—who surely couldn’t ever begin to understand how it feels like to be in Liam’s shoes… Until the night that changes it all. After a failed hold-up attempt in which Finch gets shot, weird things start happening. Such as the way Finch doesn’t die, but rather, develops superpowers he can’t neither explain, nor control. As the only witness of what happened at the convenience store, and the only person who knows about Finch’s power, Liam is now stuck with him and his new reality. Unusual. Weird. Odd. Impossible to explain… Such as the way they now seem to be close to something similar to friendship, and the way they’ll need to rely on each other if they want to stay afloat. If Liam wants—needs—to take their basketball team to the regional championship’s finals, he’ll have to overcome his hatred for almighty, golden boy Finch, and figure out the way to get him back on court without him accidentally revealing his superpowers. And if Finch wants to keep things as he likes them, and get the one thing he’s truly wanted all alone, he’ll have to face some ugly truths—for Liam’s getting so lost in his pain, Finch may be the only one able to find him and bring him back. I’ve written two long-ass paragraphs about this beautiful book, yet I know I didn’t make it justice. Mak’s debut is glorious (pun absolutely intended), and comes packed with feelings, tears, and more than one seal-like guffaw. Take it from someone who doesn’t ever cry with books, and has cried over this countless times through both the beta and the ARC reading: this is a gem you don’t want to be missing out. Mak’s writing is a triumph. Her prose flows effortlessly, and as you inadvertently devour page after page, beautiful line after beautiful line gets delivered. Reading her writing is a spiritual experience, and frankly? She has the nerve to make it look easy. Hers is one of these very rare cases in which a person doesn’t just tell a story—Mak’s writing is songlike; melodic, effortlessly lyrical, smooth at all the right places. Then there’s the amazingly done representation. Finch Gray is a birracial young man, half-Korean and half-American, who faces AAPI hate more than once. As the book unfolds, there are also several homophobic comments thrown at him, which definitely made me want to hit some people with their own book. On the other hand, Liam is pretty clueless when it comes to his own struggles, as a person who has been emotionally abused and gaslighted for his entire life, and is also dealing with a lot of rough stuff. He happens to be demisexual, too, and you really don’t have a clue just how empowering and relieving it felt to see aspec rep done so well. I love both boys, but for obvious reasons, ace bean Liam holds a special place in my heart. There’s also a disabled character who promises to have a key role in the next book, with clear Deucalion vibes (Teen Wolf, anyone?). There’s also family dysfunctionality being discussed. There’s also a very clear message that blood ties aren’t thicker, not when they put you in immense pain. Again, it felt relieving to see this addressed—to hear, one more time (because it’s never enough), that you do NOT owe your family endurance of any abuse and humiliation they put you through. Plot-wise, “A Glimpse Of Light And Glory” sure as heck knows how to keep you hooked! There wasn’t a single paragraph in which I wasn’t thrilled, and dying to know what happened next. Every time I had to walk away from the book and face real life felt like a personal offence from the universe, and every time I could return and curl up to keep reading was an absolutely blessed experience. The first chunk of the book allows for the reader to meet Liam and Finch, and grow fond of them; the second spices things up with action, adventure, and thrill; and the third one absolutely murders your heart. I mean… I needed book 2 yesterday!? Like!? Mak!? Where’s my sequel!?!? Without giving away too much, I’ll just say that this is... Teen Wolf, but there are superqueeros instead of wolveys. All in all, this is a book I could ramble on and on and on about forever, and then a little longer. Many people talk about comfort books—I hadn’t found out what it meant exactly until I stumbled upon Mak’s story. Do yourselves a favour, and pick up “A Glimpse Of Light And Glory” as soon as you’ve got the chance. You can thank me later. *** Diversify Yo Bookshelf bingo 2021, 2/35! Biracial MC

  2. 4 out of 5

    Emily Rooke

    Awww Liam.... This is such an interesting book because it blends superpowers with contemporary romance with rivals to lovers with a really heartfelt undercurrent of finding a home and family where you belong too. So much is going on in this novel but it is also extremely well-paced. I think what I took away from this story most was how well the author handles the effects of parental abuse. There is no way in which Liam isn't affected, not just in himself but also the impact what others have done Awww Liam.... This is such an interesting book because it blends superpowers with contemporary romance with rivals to lovers with a really heartfelt undercurrent of finding a home and family where you belong too. So much is going on in this novel but it is also extremely well-paced. I think what I took away from this story most was how well the author handles the effects of parental abuse. There is no way in which Liam isn't affected, not just in himself but also the impact what others have done to him has on his ability to develop relationships and connections with others. It was so heartwarming to see Liam go from supporting Finch at the beginning of the story to being supported by him as he needed and deserved to be by the end of it, (almost) all the while adamant that he hated him (n'aww rivals to lovers is my fave...) The ending also broke me and I can't wait for the sequel!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sydney Hawthorn

    REVIEW COMING SOON

  4. 4 out of 5

    spinecollector24

    Great story, but—oof—this badly needed an editor. Typos and grammatical errors all over. Worth enduring for the moving story (I cried more than once). I’m interested enough to read the next book, and I the characters are so well done. but I’ll be crossing my fingers that it gets edited.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Rowan Wright

    *I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review* As a teacher, I am always looking for more books about sports in a he/him/they perspective. Not only does AGOLAG have sports, it also has great LGBTQ+ rep! Which is so perfect for young people who are both athletes and LGBTQ+. Overall, I enjoyed this story! It has contemporary elements and fantastical ones, and it has romance 😍 I think this is a successful debut novel for a his author! And I’m so appreciative that I got to read it before it’ *I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review* As a teacher, I am always looking for more books about sports in a he/him/they perspective. Not only does AGOLAG have sports, it also has great LGBTQ+ rep! Which is so perfect for young people who are both athletes and LGBTQ+. Overall, I enjoyed this story! It has contemporary elements and fantastical ones, and it has romance 😍 I think this is a successful debut novel for a his author! And I’m so appreciative that I got to read it before it’s release. What I loved: - Finch!! Such a sweet cinnamon bun of a human being. I enjoyed his character and his story arc. I’m so intrigued as to what is happening/will happen to him in book 2. - the sports. The author writes the sport scenes so smoothly and detailed that I truly felt like I was in the stands watching the game. There is so much fantasy out there, but some young people (like my students) who aren’t into heavy fantasy would gobble this up - the mystery. Throughout the book, I kept trying to figure out why everything was happening (I always do this. I like to think of myself as a detective 🕵️‍♀️). I loved how the author authentically showed the characters processing the changes they go through and hinting at the future along the way What I didn’t: - Liam...was very grumpy/mean throughout the story. While it is somewhat understandable considering what’s going on in his life at the moment, he pushed everyone away from him constantly. I’m not sure that he had a proper arc in this book where he changed for the better in that way. However, this could be remedied in book 2! Especially since the ending leaves it open for him to grow as a character - the mystery. Yes, I mentioned this above, but what I disliked about the mystery surrounding Finch’s storyline is the fact that we never truly got a solid answer for why everything is happening. This could also be expanded upon in the next book, though!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lovisa

    You always say that you’re fine, but I’m here anyway.” I had the pleasure of receiving an ARC (advanced reader copy) for this book which I am so grateful for, so thank you! This was such a cute and sad book, it really found a place in my heart. There were so many great things about this book, one of my favourite things about it was the characters. The main characters were so well written, and I fell in love with them immediately. They were adorable, both separately and together. But the side chara You always say that you’re fine, but I’m here anyway.” I had the pleasure of receiving an ARC (advanced reader copy) for this book which I am so grateful for, so thank you! This was such a cute and sad book, it really found a place in my heart. There were so many great things about this book, one of my favourite things about it was the characters. The main characters were so well written, and I fell in love with them immediately. They were adorable, both separately and together. But the side characters were also extremely well written, I fell in love with them as well. They all just felt really authentic, which I loved. Also, the representations: Liam is demisexual and is dealing with a traumatic situation, and Finch is biracial (half-Korean, half- American) and receives some hate for this in the book, as well as some homophobic comments, that made me so upset. The plot was also so interesting, there was never a dull moment! I just had to keep reading, which led to a few “just one more chapter” and some late nights. But it was definitely worth it. I loved how despite it being a very character-driven book it still had an amazing plot that became more apparent a bit later in the book. I was also so shocked how the plot developed because I did not see that coming, especially that ending (if you have read it, you will know what I mean, and also, I need to know what is going to happen after that, and I need the sequel like right now). To summarize, you need to add this to your TBR, because you need to fall in love with Finch and Liam as much as I have.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Meghan

    The writing for this book was really something. It had an intense, slightly dreamy feel. And there's some real heart-twisting around going on. I enjoyed it and was really pulling for these boys, and hoping some of the family members around them would wake up. Really, really need to read the next one. Because cliff-hanger... The writing for this book was really something. It had an intense, slightly dreamy feel. And there's some real heart-twisting around going on. I enjoyed it and was really pulling for these boys, and hoping some of the family members around them would wake up. Really, really need to read the next one. Because cliff-hanger...

  8. 5 out of 5

    Faye K

    4.5 stars A great start as there's a rivalry going between Liam and Finich on the basketball courts even if their team mates. A shooting gone wrong and things get crazy after that with Liam and Finch in a store. Okay so this is where I say WHAT going on here..nope not telling. Liam's home life wasn't a nice one with his stuffy father lording over them all and suspected abuse is there were Liam is concerned. Told with Liam's pov as the book reveals a paranormal story. This has lots self thoughts t 4.5 stars A great start as there's a rivalry going between Liam and Finich on the basketball courts even if their team mates. A shooting gone wrong and things get crazy after that with Liam and Finch in a store. Okay so this is where I say WHAT going on here..nope not telling. Liam's home life wasn't a nice one with his stuffy father lording over them all and suspected abuse is there were Liam is concerned. Told with Liam's pov as the book reveals a paranormal story. This has lots self thoughts that I really didnt like in this as it went overboard with repeating sentences the story. But somehow something has happened to Liam to cause thoughts and panic attacks that's not on the book. Liam protests to much with the jerk, but secretly I think he's in love/hate thing. This was definitely not a boring book as scenes change the story. Two new characters enters the book, Blue and Ginger as Liam calls them puts a twist on things and more paranormal characters ;) enter as well for the finishing scenes. The story progresses and WOW yah watch out for the HUGE Cliffhanger ending. Mystery and dangers, superpowers, shifters it's just the tip of what's in this book.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Yaa Amponsah

    4.5 Wow. Like wow. I’ve never seen abuse depicted so well in a debut novel before. Liam’s character was so well thought out and written. I love how this book does not explicitly tell you what is going on. You as the reader have to figure it out. The only thingI had issues with was the constant repetition. I understand why the thoughts were there and they were very powerful, but about 3/4 through the book I began to skim through anything in italics (sorry!) P.S I really hope this doesn’t turn into 4.5 Wow. Like wow. I’ve never seen abuse depicted so well in a debut novel before. Liam’s character was so well thought out and written. I love how this book does not explicitly tell you what is going on. You as the reader have to figure it out. The only thingI had issues with was the constant repetition. I understand why the thoughts were there and they were very powerful, but about 3/4 through the book I began to skim through anything in italics (sorry!) P.S I really hope this doesn’t turn into a love triangle or a you-forgot-about-me(?) thing. Overall a really enjoyable read.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Spyros T

    I rarely give 4 stars. Distinct well crafted characters. Fast paced even when nothing moves. Can't wait for book 2 (what a cliffhanger). It does need some more editing (cutting 50 pages or so) but that's just me. I rarely give 4 stars. Distinct well crafted characters. Fast paced even when nothing moves. Can't wait for book 2 (what a cliffhanger). It does need some more editing (cutting 50 pages or so) but that's just me.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Emily Sørene

    ✨I received an ARC for an honest review✨ I read this in two days and gave it 5 stars so I think that explains much of my stance on this book. I loved it! There was a part of me that, and this is very personal, hated Liam because he reminded me of me. That quick switch to numb or negative emotions to guard yourself and breathe is hard to reach. Mental health has been accurately presented in this book. It’s enlightening! This has been a highly anticipated book of line for this year since I met the a ✨I received an ARC for an honest review✨ I read this in two days and gave it 5 stars so I think that explains much of my stance on this book. I loved it! There was a part of me that, and this is very personal, hated Liam because he reminded me of me. That quick switch to numb or negative emotions to guard yourself and breathe is hard to reach. Mental health has been accurately presented in this book. It’s enlightening! This has been a highly anticipated book of line for this year since I met the amazing author last year. The LGBT+ and POC rep is amazing. In terms of content, I thought the idea was so cool! I can’t wait to find out more about the powers and where it came from, the lore behind it and how the HECK things go since that ending. Overall, a top read of 2021 for me so far!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Blodreina (Red Queen)

    “The sun is touching him the same way I want to." Un libro che parla di adolescenti che non mi ha fatto cringiare. Per me è gia una mezza vittoria. ✿ Non ho capito però come mai l'autrice abbia sentito il bisogno di inserire il twist paranormale in una storia che si reggeva benissimo senza. Sopratutto se poi è solo una sottotrama che viene lasciata in secondo piano per tutto il libro, vuoi perchè non è il protagonista ad avere i poteri e quindi a noi frega poco, vuoi perchè il protagonista c'ha i “The sun is touching him the same way I want to." Un libro che parla di adolescenti che non mi ha fatto cringiare. Per me è gia una mezza vittoria. ✿ Non ho capito però come mai l'autrice abbia sentito il bisogno di inserire il twist paranormale in una storia che si reggeva benissimo senza. Sopratutto se poi è solo una sottotrama che viene lasciata in secondo piano per tutto il libro, vuoi perchè non è il protagonista ad avere i poteri e quindi a noi frega poco, vuoi perchè il protagonista c'ha i problemi grossi e brutti suoi, vuoi perchè i due eventi e mezzo che accadono sono si legati ai poteri di Gray ma sono messi li solo perchè l'autrice ti vuole dire che il libro non è uno stand-alone. Tant'è vero che alla fine quando qualcosa finalmente si smuove e vediamo qualcuno di interessante non capiamo perchè questo tizio semplicemente non parla e non ci spiega cosa vuole e perché. E non capiamo nemmeno perchè nessuno gli fa delle domande a riguardo al punto che arrivati all'ultima pagina abbiamo le stesse informazioni che avevamo nella prima rendendo questo libro, di fatto, inutile. ✿ Poi lo ripeto, loro tanto carucci, eh. Liam c'ha la famiglia di mmerda vera che gli ha incasinato la testa e quel fatto che si dimentica nomi, cose, città, non sono ancora sicura se è una cosa proprio sua o una conseguenza degli abusi. Gray è l'opposto, ha la famiglia che gli vuole bene, ha una sorella decente che non ti viene voglia di prendere a calci ed è sano di mente. Ed è puro come l'acqua, non c'è altro modo per descriverlo. Proprio perchè i due sono così ben scritti da reggere da soli l'intera storia il libro poteva benissimo chiudersi senza seguiti e senza cose magiche.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Médée

    I’m not usually one for reviews as I have to admit I don’t often have the time to write critics even to praise books I absolutely loved. But I will make an exception for A Glimpse of Light & Glory, because this particular novel was breathtaking. The story in itself reminded me a lot of Candice Ulrik’s Going Wild (french series), because both set a supernatural thread, and a feeling of wonder and fear permeate the story, as well as stories of childhood and family and first love. Finch and Liam kep I’m not usually one for reviews as I have to admit I don’t often have the time to write critics even to praise books I absolutely loved. But I will make an exception for A Glimpse of Light & Glory, because this particular novel was breathtaking. The story in itself reminded me a lot of Candice Ulrik’s Going Wild (french series), because both set a supernatural thread, and a feeling of wonder and fear permeate the story, as well as stories of childhood and family and first love. Finch and Liam kept me reading all night long, I was so absorbed by the plot and MJ Wood’s very poetic and delicate writing. I am not a native English reader and despite my understanding of the language, certain aspects of the novel remain beyond my reach. So I was extremely surprised when I adored in AGOLAG what I usually don’t understand, such as the mingling of the voices every time Liam got lost in his head. And as the author said at the end of the book, abuse is violent. However, the novel always balanced between the delicacy of the style and the reality exposed, whether regarding Liam‘s family or Finch’s newly found enigmatic nature. It’s this contrast that really got me to keep on reading (or should I say devouring) the book and loving it, and crying of frustration at the end of the last chapter. And maybe I’ll have it in me to break my rule and write another review when book 2 will be released...

  14. 4 out of 5

    aspeccharactersoftheday

    https://aspeccharactersoftheday.tumbl... https://aspeccharactersoftheday.tumbl...

  15. 4 out of 5

    Brittanie

    DNF @ 40%. The writing was ok but Liam was just such an angry, arrogant character. Using a very strict and abusive dad and newfound PTSD as an excuse didn't make me care any more. At the point I started to want to stop reading, Liam did get a little better, trying to help his old (ex?) friend Finch, but I was just kind of bored and fed up. I'm just not the right audience. DNF @ 40%. The writing was ok but Liam was just such an angry, arrogant character. Using a very strict and abusive dad and newfound PTSD as an excuse didn't make me care any more. At the point I started to want to stop reading, Liam did get a little better, trying to help his old (ex?) friend Finch, but I was just kind of bored and fed up. I'm just not the right audience.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Nambi

  17. 5 out of 5

    Fujoster

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ana

  19. 4 out of 5

    Tiina

  20. 5 out of 5

    Paige

  21. 4 out of 5

    itsnevereverfair

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lili

  23. 5 out of 5

    Laura

  24. 4 out of 5

    Anthonymph

  25. 4 out of 5

    M

  26. 4 out of 5

    Bruno

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kris

  28. 5 out of 5

    Peyton

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sander

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

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