- File Size: 1474 KB
- Print Length: 362 pages
- Publisher: Entangled: Teen (June 30, 2014)
- Publication Date: June 30, 2014
- Sold by: Macmillan
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00KP8FDL8
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Not Enabled
Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
#288,525 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
- #226 in Books > Children's Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Science Fiction > Dystopian
- #236 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Teen & Young Adult > Romance > Science Fiction & Dystopian
- #256 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Children's eBooks > Science Fiction, Fantasy & Scary Stories > Science Fiction > Dystopian
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Mirror X (The Van Winkle Project Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Such is the question introduced in Karri Thompson’s futuristic dystopian novel, Mirror X, and it’s an intriguing premise and conundrum that she presents as Cassie is awoken, after almost a millennia in stasis, to a world as distressingly unfamiliar as it is familiar. Cassie is given the best medical care available as she eases back into conscious life; the staff and doctors are kind, welcoming and concerned with her recovery and reintegration. But as Cassie learns more about the world as it is now, she soon learns that her awakening wasn’t born of some benevolent intention, nor was it without expectations or strings. She was awoken for a distinct purpose.
Story. The premise of Mirror X and the potential for a lot of interesting ethical and moral dilemmas initially drew me to this story. But the long and the short of it is that I’m not sure the concept has been executed as well as it could have been due to Cassie’s character development and due to the fact that the romance has more of a prevalent role in this story than it probably should have. (I’ll talk more about those things later.) It is also weirdly paced in spots, there are some glaring editing errors, and the ending is oddly rushed. However, there are some incredibly interesting and gutsy twists and turns that Thompson introduces into her story that ultimately kept me hooked and wondering how Cassie’s story was going to all play out.
World. It’s an interesting world that Thompson creates in Mirror X. It’s now one thousand years in the future, and while many things have changed, it’s surprising (and not surprising) how much things stay the same (re: human nature). A lot has happened while Cassie’s been asleep. The world is scarred and struggling. It’s a world with neat sci-fi elements and dystopian undertones, and it’s one that Thompson establishes and maintains relatively well.
Cassie. So many things happen to this heroine in such a short period of time. Her situation progressively becomes more and more horrifying and heartbreaking, and it’s one that I could greatly sympathize with. Thompson does a great job of conveying the desperation and sheer awfulness of Cassie’s circumstances. Cassie is admirably spunky, independent, passionate and surprisingly resilient, BUT despite these qualities and her pitiable situation, I found it very hard to connect with her. So many soul-crushing things happen to Cassie, and her emotional processing at times seems stunted and undeveloped. Everyone processes trauma differently, sure, but some of her reactions to events are at times strange and off-putting. Personally, if I had just been awoken to find out all of my friends and family were long dead and gone, my world unrecognizable, my dreams no longer possible, I doubt I’d be noticing my doctor’s broad shoulders, his cologne or registering his eye color. But, overactive hormones aside (I mean, they have been dormant for quite awhile), I do appreciate where Cassie ends up as a character, and she does undergo quite the journey to get there.
Romance. I actually wasn’t a huge fan of the romance. And I think this had a lot to do with the fact that it’s a case of insta-love that always felt forced. And on top of that, major trust issues with the guy who eventually pulls ahead in the love triangle. (Yes. For those who are allergic to love triangles, be aware.) I can definitely understand insta-attraction, but when the feelings expressed run unbelievably deep for the limited interactions WHILE his trustworthiness is called into question again and again, I’m left asking the dreaded question, “Why…?” I find it hard to back that kind of romance. Thankfully this is somewhat acknowledged in the story. But honestly, I think this story could’ve been stronger if there hadn’t been such an overemphasis on the romance; if instead the book had been focused more on consistency in Cassie’s development and on the women’s issues that were introduced. Speaking of which…
Women. I wish this book had developed stronger female characters. For a story that aggressively tackles women’s issues, the women involved seemed largely ineffectual, considered to be lacking by society at larger, considering themselves lacking, and therefore operating in the world under that assumption. There were great female characters — Dr. Love, Ella, Kale — who could’ve been more thoroughly developed. Female characters with who Cassie could’ve made strong and meaningful connections given the subject matter; relationships that could’ve made this story more powerful and poignant. However, it never really happened, in my opinion, because of the emphasis on the romance. Maybe in the next book?
Overall. Yes, Mirror X and I had a few issues, but ultimately, when I asked myself, “So, Self, would you pick up book two?” The answer is… yes. Despite my list of grievances, this series still has potential, and I’m still intrigued by the world, the interesting dilemmas, the risks Thompson took with the story, and where Cassie eventually ended in her development in this book. I would like to know what happens next in her story.
I thought it took a little long to really get going, but there are a lot of changes in the world Cassie wakes up in. Cassie, along with the reader, are slowly introduced to these changes, each new piece of information building upon the previous pieces. Just when we think we finally have a grasp of the situation, the author gives us a little more information, challenging everything we thought we knew. One of my favorite parts of the writing is the way Karri Thompson continually changes the playing field, keeping her characters and readers guessing.
The plot revolves around Cassie's unique role in the world, and whether she'll willingly embrace it, or succumb to it kicking and screaming. She vacillates a lot on exactly how she feels about what's going on. Sometimes, I feel as if she's too quick to give these people a pass and reason away their behavior. Other times, she's the scared seventeen-year-old I expect her to be. There's also a strong romantic plot that weaves through the story and drives many of her decisions.
I straight up didn't care at all for Michael, the young doctor Cassie is instantly attracted to. He rubbed me the wrong way from the start and never redeemed himself in my eyes. Cassie is pretty believable as the conflicted teen in a Buck Rogers situation, but there were times I thought she didn't seem as overwhelmed by her situation as I thought she should have been. The supporting characters are really my favorites. They're all fascinating and easy to love or hate, depending on their role in the story.
The ending was yet another twist I never saw coming, but wrapped up the main story of Mirror X well, leaving plenty open for a sequel, without being a cliffhanger. That can be tough to do, but I feel as if the author pulled it off well.
What Didn't Work for Me
1. The romance. It felt forced from the very beginning. When Cassie wakes up more than a thousand years in the future, her immediate attraction to her young doctor seems to overshadow what should be grief over the loss of her family, friends, and way of life. Michael's obsession with Cassie always came across as kind of creepy to me. There wasn't any chemistry between the two of them. And the way Michael continually lied to her makes him completely unredeemable as boyfriend material in my eyes. I kept hoping for something romantic to develop between Cassie and Magnum, though, but their relationship is more like siblings. Too bad, because they have a truckload of chemistry.
2. 31st century Earth. I never fully was able to wrap my head around what the world looked like, particularly the buildings. All I really know is there's not much vegetation, but I had a hard time picturing what this world looked like through the descriptions provided.
3. Cassie's introduction into the new world. As I stated above, she put her attraction to Michael front and center. I would have liked her to struggle more with the new world she's found herself in. I never got a sense of the utter devastation and hopelessness over her situation I was expecting. She's experienced something no one can really relate to, so I would have liked the deeper psychological aspects to have been more thoroughly explored.
What I Enjoyed about Mirror X
1. The surprises. There were so many twists and turns, that I never knew what was coming next and that was so much fun to read.
2. The emotions. Where I felt the story was lacking when it came to Cassie's response to the new world she finds herself in, the writing shines when Cassie is dealing with the emotions surrounding her role in the 31st century. Not only is she unique in that she was born in the early 2000s, but she possess an ability no one else in the future has. This ability drives the plot and her reactions to her expected role are raw and palpable.
3. Technology. There is some fascinating technology in Mirror X and Karri Thompson does a great job of helping us understand the role of this technology in the world she's created.
4. The secondary characters. Magnum, Travel, and a whole host of other characters are intriguing and colorful and really brought the story to life.
5. Magnum. The technology whiz kid was easily my favorite character in the book. He's a breath of 31st century fresh air!
Mirror X is an interesting scifi/dystopian adventure with some unique aspects. I'm interested to see where this series goes.