Not to be confused with The Glass Arrow by Gerald Verner , this novel was awful! Pretty much from the first track (I listened to the audio book) it was tedious, trope-filled, irrational, and not remotely credible. That it was first person PoV did not help. I detest that voice because it's so rarely done well, and on audio it can sound bad even when the writing is good, depending on who reads it.
The story is about Aya aka Aiyana, a fifteen year old girl who is a free woman - that is, she's not owned by anyone. She lives in the wilds with her sister and some twins, Tam and Nina. Because women are so rare in this world, they are hunted brutally, and enslaved by men. That should have stopped me right there. I honestly don't know why I even picked this up from the library because it had trope trash written all over it. Well not literally, but, as Doctor Who said, give me time - and a crayon....
My problem with it was the absurdity of the opening chapter, where Aya comes back to her 'family' to discover that they're being hunted. The males and older females are killed, and the young one - that would be Aya and the twins, are taken. There was no explanation as to how the world got like this (maybe that came later - I didn't want to hang around to find out) and the premise, now that I think about it, is ridiculous on the face of it, but my real problem was Aya's narration of coming back "home" and finding devastation caused by the hunters.
Her narration bore no relationship to what a fifteen-year-old - even a wild, self-sufficient one - would deliver. I seriously doubt that she would be calmly describing her discoveries and her thoughts and her family relationships at a time like this. It was so unrealistic it almost made me laugh, but the laugh was stifled by the fact that this only made me so sad that we're seeing this kind on nonsense ever more often in YA novels. The only advantage this one has, so I understand, is that it isn't a trilogy so the author deserves a freaking medal for that, but for me, even that was not enough to make me keep on listening when other novels beckon so temptingly!
I can't imagine a girl calmly describing the scene as Aya did in first person. A disinterested third party observer - one ho with a complete lack of passion - may well have delivered this narration, but not the person to whom it was happening. This is one of the problems with this voice - it's completely unrealistic. It didn't help that the narration by Soneela Nankani made the first person voice even worse. Great name, poor reading voice. Instead of delivering anger or outrage, we got wheedling and stupidity in the narration and the voice didn't help. It turned me right off this story. I gave up and returned it to the library where scores of other audio books beg to be listened to.