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The Mirror Masters Paperback – March 14, 2017
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About the Author
Lora Palmer writes science fiction and fantasy for young adults. Bucks County, Pennsylva-nia is her home, where she resides with her wonderful husband and their mischievous cat. She has earned a graduate degree in Psychology and works at a local residential facility serving autistic children and teens. In her spare time, she also sings in a praise band, Chal-ice Sounds.
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The world building is also strong, both in terms of the city that Leah calls home on Earth and the distant planet she is actually from. Both are distinct environments with something unique about them and give the reader an idea about the place where Leah grew up and the new planet she experiences for the first time in many years.
Though I liked how the plot developed, my one problem with it was how it was resolved too quickly. The climax came about rather abruptly and there wasn't much time after the resolution for any real reflection on the events.
I still consider the book a recommended read, however, because the character development and world building are done so well.
Leah - She is a contradiction in terms. Yes, as a teenager, her emotions and feelings are bound to swing from one to the other with little effort. But she seemed to be all over the place, all the time. She would be feeling sad and hurt one moment and within the same paragraph got to extremely excited and happy. Screams of bi-polar to me. She was trying to be a strong character but her actions kept giving away what a weak person she was. I never felt that she did any growing or changing through the book. While that is not always necessary in a book, as a teenage lead character I would have expected some type of growth to have occurred.
Brian - Where to start with this character? Let’s start with this - he and Leah meet, have an instant attraction, and within 24 hours are spilling all their secrets to each other? No, this did not work for me. Not to mention after Leah and Brian traveled to Jantyr, he attempted to help Aedalina and Erik trap Leah’s soul in the crystal. And she still loved him? And then at the end, when it was revealed that Brian knew Erik had convinced Caleb to betray Leah and her parents, Leah still loved this no-good guy? I like my characters’ actions to be consistent. And Brian’s were not. He betrayed Leah and knew that his father was going to betray her and yet he still gets the girl in the end? No, just no.
Korin - This character seemed superficial to me. What I mean by that is that he seemed to lack depth. He seemed to love adventure, jumping head first into all of the adventures that the group shared, teasing others about their hesitation. His feelings towards Leah and Jaedyn were awkward. I felt he spent most of the book falling in love with Leah. And yet at the end, he was madly in love with Jaedyn and was grateful that Leah “released” him from their betrothal. This just seemed a little contrived, as if the author wanted to make Leah’s choice between Brian and Korin a non-choice.
Ok, the story goes that a young girl from another world makes her way to Earth and is adopted and raised here. Thirteen years later, she discovers she is from a planet called Jantyr. According to a prophecy that made its way to Earth, she is the sole person who can save the planet Jantyr as well as the entire galaxy. She spends the first half of the book focusing on her life on Earth, discovering small things that indicate she is the person of the prophecy and planning to go save Jantyr. She spends the second half of the book gallivanting around Jantyr, following old legends to find and wield Crystals to save the galaxy. In the end, not only does she succeed, but she also gets to be the only wielder to ever avoid the fate of wielding the crystals.
Leah would focus on the most mundane things that had no meaning or impact on the story. As a first-person narrator, this made for a confusing read because I spent the first half of the book waiting for those mundane things to mean something. By the second half of the book, I was skimming over her descriptions of things because I figured they wouldn’t mean much anyway.
The old legends of the crystals really bothered me. Supposedly Korin spent much time researching them and trying to determine the locations of the crystals as well as where they are supposed to be used. But in the years he spent looking, he only ever located one crystal and its location. Enter Leah and suddenly within usually an hour, the location of the crystal as well as the place to wield it has been succinctly found. No muss, no fuss. She didn’t struggle to find a single one. None. I repeat, none. Yet it took Korin years to find one. Hard to swallow.
I was also greatly bothered by Leah’s approach to her sister. Kara, “Jenny,”, and Leah mentioned the possibility that the girl looked enough like Leah to be her sister. A day and a half later, Leah is stating that she is her birth sister with nothing to go on, no back story, no DNA records, nothing other than they look a lot alike. And even “Jenny” seemed skeptical about Leah having a sister. Yet, it is just accepted as fact within a short amount of time. No explanations needed, apparently.
But the thing that bothered me the most was Leah’s age. According to the story, Leah was only around 2 when she showed up on Earth. Yet, when she returns to Jantyr later in the book, we are given numerous occasions when she states she clearly remembers things from her time there as a toddler. A toddler! Are we supposed to believe the Jantyrians have their earliest memories from a much younger age than Earthlings? If so, fine. I can accept that as they are aliens. However, if she had those memories, why did not remember them until later in the book? If they were strong enough for her to remember, she should have remembered them her whole life! At least fragments. Things that would have had her questioning things much sooner than when Madame Helena told them of some prophecy from another planet. While I can accept what the author was trying to do, it made it that much harder for me to believe in the story.
I think the premise of this book was a great one. I love a good save the planet story, even if the planet isn’t Earth. I think the major problem with this book was that it seemed very rushed. Almost as if the author felt she needed to cram everything into one book, rather than making it a duology or trilogy. I think if more time had been spent explaining things, if Leah and sent more time trying to figure out if she really was the person of prophecy rather than mentioning it and then within a day having us accept it as solid fact, I would have enjoyed the story more. I really enjoyed the parts of the story that took place on Jantyr. But again, I felt it was rushed. A whole book devoted to Leah’s reunion with her parents, and exploration of Jantyr while she worked towards activating the genesis device would have been more beneficial. A race to save the planet does not necessarily mean that she only be given a handful of days. Making the finding of the crystals harder would have made for a better read.
That all being said, this was not a bad book. But I do think there was a lot of room for improvement. I just felt it was rushed and pushed together when it could have been drawn out a bit more.
Most recent customer reviews
I have read only one other book about aliens, and the subject kind of fascinates me, so I thought I'd give this...Read more
The MirrorMasters, by Lora Palmer, was an interesting read.Read more