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| Author: Kai Meyer
| Genre: YA Fantasy
| Age Range: 12 and up
| ISBN-10: 0689877927
| ISBN-13: 9780689877926
| Content: Alternate Reality, Mermaids, Mythology
| Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books; Reprint edition (October 2008)
| Elizabeth D. Crawford (Translator)
| Cover Artist: Russell Gordon
| Paperback: 288 pages
| Source: Personal copy
| Rating: 3 Stars
Do you ever get the impression that a trilogy was never originally meant to be a trilogy? That is exactly the impression I get with Dark Reflections. I can't help but imagine a talented author submitted a good but heavy manuscript and a well meaning editor said it was too big to market as YA. The result was a padded story stretched over three fairly short books but so full of fluff it almost ruins the whole thing. Almost. Fortunately I stuck with it and in this third book discovered a good story lay just under the surface.
Fantasy Series Book Review by Mulluane
♦ What I Liked. All of the individual story lines make sense now. And I do mean all of them. What this tale ended up being, once you cut through all of the weird world building, was a mystery. A who-done-it and why puzzle full of misdirection and interesting twists. On the whole, I loved the continuing creativity and I enjoyed how it all wrapped up in ways I did not expect. Despite being YA, there was not a sappy, feel good ending either. It was bittersweet, partially tragic but true to the story.
♦ What I Didn't Like. I never did feel comfortable in this world. It was just too all over the place. I understand that an alternate reality is going to develop differently from ours and I accept that. However the mix of technology and ancient history wasn't one I could wrap my head around. Sabers and rifles, ancient gods and biblical references, steam factories and magical flying sunbarks, submarines and oar driven galleys, magic working alchemists and laboratory scientists. I also had a bit of a motivation problem. Not involving the grand scheme of things, because that is all explained in this conclusion. My problem lay in the motivation of the protagonists; the choices they made and the ones they didn't make but let others make for them. Alot of the time is was like they were just along for the ride because they had nothing better to do.
♦ Conclusion. In terms of plot and pacing, this was a great book. In terms of creativity alone it was priceless. Unfortunately, the worldbuilding nagged at me though out. I just could not accept the mix of really ancient with fairly modern. Of course, I am not exactly the target audience. Maybe a teen would be more focused on the story itself to the exclusion of the odd mix of magic and technology and less inclined to feel the need to develop any kind of bond with the characters. And I can't rule out the possibility that some things were lost in the translation.
When it is all said and done, I do not feel like my time was wasted. Meyer's handling of the fantastical will stay with me for a very long time. I mean seriously, shark-faced mermaids? Flying obsidian lions? Giant sea witches? Not to mention what can be done with mirrors. And that is just the non-spoilery stuff. The list goes on and on. For that alone I am glad I read this series.
(4 customer reviews)
What Should I Read Next?
|Kindle: The Glass Word (The Dark Reflections Trilogy)
Buy Book: AbeBooks - BAM
Amazon: US - Canada - UK
Young Adult Fantasy Book Review of The Glass Word: (Dark Reflections Trilogy: Book 3) by Kai Meyer - Reviewed by Mulluane - on December 13, 2013 - Rating: of 5 Stars