I didn't really care for this book. I was never invested in any of the characters, nor could I get into the storyline. I found it boring. I did think it was a refreshing take on magic, but was tame for my liking. I know this is a YA book, but it failed to captivate me. It's such a shame because I think it has potential. I will not be reading the next book in this series.
DARK MIRROR is a doozy of a novel. It seems to cover a little dash of every genrefantasy, historical fiction, science fiction, romanceand while it doesnt fully develop the possibilities that these multiple genres allow, and used quite a few YA tropes to push its nonstop pace along, it was still overall a rollicking good read.
DARK MIRROR focuses on plot over characterization. The books synopsis says practically nothing about the plot, which made it an interesting reading experience for me because that practically never happens for me anymore. The pacing kept me engaged even through the less believable momentswhich occurred at greater and greater frequency as the story progressed.
Why is that so? I think it might be because this book tried to take on so much. First it introduces us to an alternate-world Regency England where magic is common but considered dirty blood among the gentry. The explanations for how the magic worked were practically nonexistent, but it didnt bother me all that much once I readjusted my mental targeted readers age to something much younger.
But then, about two-thirds of the way through the book, we basically get introduced to a whole different set of characters, who know nothing about magic, and so in the span of, like, 20 pages Tory manages to explain and teach them magic. Call me picky, but that felt like a poorly rushed narrative decision. And there is not much I want to say about the ending, because by that point I was trying to hold in my laughter at how dramatic and contrived the plot had gotten. Not the kind of reaction a book wants to inspire in its reader.
Tory and her friends are basically solid characters. Tory is a resilient protagonist, not annoying. Other than her, however, the supporting characters were relatively stock characters: you had your mean but troubled roommate; the jolly, though poor, male friend; the plucky little sister; and so on. The thoroughly undeveloped romance that gets thrown into the story kind of randomly felt entirely like someone had said, This is YA; it needs a romance and so plunked the moody handsome guy in. And, as most of you know by now, that is not okay by my book.
So DARK MIRROR is not high-quality literature. It employs a few too many clichéd YA elements for me to truly enjoy it. But I think that younger readers whove enjoyed Libba Brays or Tiffany Trents gothic YA historical fantasy series might delight in this exciting and fast-paced story.
This book was a very good start to a new series. The story is a coming of age novel set in England in the 1800's with a special twist there is magic a foot and not everyone is supposed to use it. The English nobles are strictly forbidden to use magic. It has been set that any noble child caught using magic will be sent to Lackland Abbey to be cured and have all magical taint removed from them. Tory (Lady Victoria) the heroine of this book finds out that she has magic and must be sent to Lackland Abbey to have the magic taint removed. Through a stint of events the characters are coming to learn that they may not want their magic to be remove which will pit them against the administration at the abbey and their own families. I think I will very much like to see what exactly come from these characters in the future I will absolutely be tuning in for future books by this author. : )
PS Can't wait to see where the author takes the relationship between Tory an Allard.
Also if you like the Libba Brays Jemma Doyle trilogy you might find yourself liking this also.