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Diamond Eyes (Mira Chambers #1)

3.89  ·  Rating Details ·  230 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
Blind, institutionalised and frustrated by her loss of independence, Mira has been driven to the brink of insanity by medications that make her life unbearable. When she astounds two medical scientists by “seeing” the impossible, they begin an exploration of Mira′s strange perspectives.

Together with Bennet Chiron, an enigmatic ex-con, Mira becomes entangled in a dangerous
ebook, 544 pages
Published November 1st 2011 by Voyager (first published November 1st 2010)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Nov 25, 2010 Rebecca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first thing that drew me to Diamond Eyes was the cover. There’s just something slightly creepy about the cover that makes me love it. I’m glad to say that judging this book by its cover and description was not a bad idea as it was a very good book.
I loved the two main characters Ben and Mira, I thought that Mira was really interesting and I loved seeing her develop with the help of Ben. I think their connection to each other as friends was more believable then some of the relationships you s
Cassandra (The book & movie dimension blogger)
Full, non-spoiler review courtesy at
Book & Movie Dimension a Blog

Mira Chambers is classed as a blind and insane inmate at an asylum. She wrestles against the asylum clinic's staff and wont allow anyone to get past her barriers to get to know her. Then, Ben a new staff helper sees in her something that can open up and be good. Mira Chambers can be more than that, but nobody besides Ben truly sees that she may just be different than the rest of us. In a way that lets her understand things lik
Jenny Delandro
Feb 11, 2011 Jenny Delandro rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This is my first non paranormal novel in a long time

this book was hard define
it is part thriller
it is part fantasy because no-one could see the past in real life
it is like watching a Bones episode...

something bad happens
someone who is a good guy comes in to help
some bad people get greedy and cause problems
some good guys get hurt
some good guys are pretending to be bad guys and help whose who need it
and the blind get to see

see what I mean?
hard to catagorise.....

But in the end the blind go free and
Sep 21, 2011 Jennifer rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book because it was written by a SE Queensland author, has won awards, and was rated so highly on Goodreads. But I have to tell you that reading it was not a very enjoyable experience for me. The narrative is somehow dense to read and I really felt I was wading through treacle quite a lot as I was reading.

The first couple of times I picked it up it was late at night and I found that it seemed to make no sense at all to me. Perhaps I was tired. Still, even when awake, the difficu
Jan 22, 2011 Merry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paranormal
Slow and gentle for 3/4 of the book, getting to know Mira and Ben, and learning to really like them a lot, building up to a very satisfying ending. I can understand some readers' frustration at the lack of action throughout the majority of the book, but I think there were enough tantalising hints of what was to come to sustain engagement with the very likeable protagonists and their poignant connection.
Jun 30, 2011 Tara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
BEST BOOK EVER!! First time I've ever awarded 5 stars!
Amazing new concept that really made me think about how I see the world every day.
Life and death has a whole new meaning now too.

This novel is life changing. No wonder it won such a prestigious award for excellence!!

Would be FABULOUS as a movie!
Sublime reading from start to finish and one of the finest books ive read in a long time.
Mar 24, 2011 Kirstyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an AWESOME book. I loved it. So happy right now.
Ryan Lawler
Oct 17, 2012 Ryan Lawler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A. A. Bell is an Australian author that I hadn't heard much of before, and I'm not quite sure why. Her non-fiction is some of the highest selling in the Australia, and her fantasy / sci-fi has been recognised with some rather prestigious awards. Diamond Eyes is the first book in her Mira Chambers trilogy, and it tells the story of a blind girl in a mental institution who can see visions of the past. This is a book that starts out as a medical mystery and develops into a murder mystery / thriller ...more
Kim Falconer
Jun 06, 2011 Kim Falconer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Just starting the book and WOW. I see already why AA Bell won the Norma K. Hemming Award. It's feeling more SF/horror than fantasy, not my usual read by loving the style and her voice. Really drawn in.

Finished! Bell handled some very interesting concepts of perception, vision, time and space. This is a SF novel with a strong element of romance, not a combination I've read a lot of. I liked it. Without the building relationship between the main characters, the theoretical line of the story would
Tahlia Newland
Apr 06, 2011 Tahlia Newland rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paranormal
This book is astounding, amazing, totally awesome, fabulous. Truely the best, most unusal, most well written, intriguing, thought-provoking book I've read in ages.

Mira is a stunning delightful character and Ben has a beautiful heart. All the characters are well-rounded and totally believable. The plot is unpredicable and skilful.

I recommend it to everyone. It's a very sophisticated book but my 17 yr old daughter loved it too. (She is a very intelligent Extension English Student though)
Dec 05, 2010 Tash rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh my dog!! What a suck-in! I totally agree with Rebecca. I sat down to read a few pages and seemed no time before I was well past 200 pages!!.. and that's when the plot really started to rock! It's got style, action and some really colourful characters... especially the stalker. What a strange one! And sooo believable!
Georgia Balchin
Dec 05, 2011 Georgia Balchin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked it! They didn't end it in a sappy way which I was plesantly surprised about :) A really interesting read!! Fun too :)
Aug 26, 2011 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: aussie-fiction
A mind-blowing story that has consumed every spare moment for the past couple of days. Review/thoughts to follow.
Dark Matter
Apr 08, 2013 Dark Matter rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
This review was written by Nalini Haynes for Dark Matter Zine. This and more reviews, interviews etc are on Dark Matter Zine, an online magazine.

Mira Chambers, a young woman, has been institutionalised for the past ten years ever since authorities tackled her in a tree causing her to fall and breaking just about every bone in her body.

This inauspicious beginning to her internment coupled with her strange eyesight leads to consecutive misdiagnoses, while abusive ta
J.L. Dobias
Mar 17, 2013 J.L. Dobias rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who enjoyes SFF- paranormal- thrillers and mysteries
Recommended to J.L. by: some twit on twitter
Shelves: book-shelf-10
Diamond Eyes By A A Bell

I honestly didn't know what to expect from this novel. I had made it to the author's web page and looked at the covers, which were intriguing. I really did not read the blurbs. I was, in fact, taking a break from another tedious novel that I felt lacked some bit of style to keep me interested. So I decided to go ahead and try the bit of sample the author is offering. It's about one hundred pages. I usually don't put a lot of stock in the cover or the blurb, but prefer to
Dec 14, 2010 David rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ive been wanting to read this book for some time, the cover and idea of the gift the lead character Mira has was very intriguing, and on one of my many scouting trips into the store, i relented and bought it as a present to myself for moving house...

As another reviewer points out this is a hard book to categorise, part thriller, part romance, part sci fi...i was expecting something more mystical to be honest, but it had a lot of very scientific approaches to the story...not a detriment in any w
Mar 09, 2011 Paula rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a different, compelling book! When a story starts off with a blind heroine locked up in an asylum, you know the author is going somewhere different. And yes, she did. This book is long, and sometimes I wasn't sure I wanted to keep reading because it was slow in places. Some of the characters felt a little undeveloped and I would've liked to know more about them, especially the villain. But I'm glad I did keep reading until the end (even though I thought it wouldn't end well!). It really is ...more
Ju Transcendancing
I had no idea what to expect with this novel but I really loved it! I loved that we experienced the story point of view through Mira, and that as a result, her experience of what was ordinary and sensical reigned, rather than her disability being used as a lens from the outside in. I love the way in which those in positions of power come to understand how wrong they've been and are forced to recognise Mira's personal power and unique skills. I'm really looking forward to the subsequent stories, ...more
Jul 10, 2011 Paul rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was entertaining - One thread reappearing in the story was that realities and appearances are often at odds.
Mira Chambers was so much more than an institutionalized schizophrenic blind person with very odd eyes. She possessed
a very special gift unbeknown at first even to her. A new care worker, Ben Chiron and several doctors are very intrigued by her gift
Cast includes several military officers hoping to cash in on her gift.

Hazel Edwards
May 01, 2011 Hazel Edwards rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fast paced.
Nov 27, 2011 Hmr28 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
This book is not available for Nook, will it ever be?
Apr 26, 2011 Cassandra rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
Couldn't get into this one. It was good writing,just not my type of book I guess...
I received this as a freebie at last year's NatCon, and kept it to read because it was the second winner of the Norma K Hemming Award ("the Norma"). As an Australian award that seeks to recognise specfic literature that deals with gender, race, sexuality, class, and disability, it sounds like an award I would like to stay on top of. That said, I still haven't managed to get hold of the first winner, Maria Quinn's Gene Thieves... but I will, honest. Obviously, since the book won last year and I o ...more
Millie Su
This is my first paranormal novel.. I was very excited about this at first, but now I"m in the middle of the book and I can't wait to finish it. Mira is a special creature with supernatural power and diamond-like eyes.. I read the synopsis which says that Mira is going to use her supernatural power to solve mystery.. but i'm in the middle of the book and it is still describing her supernatural power and everyone is trying to figure out what that power is. It's very frustrating because I want to ...more
Aug 14, 2011 Tina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Mira is being held in an institution for people with disabilities. she is legally blind and frustrated by her lack of independence. Mira knows she can function independently and did so for a long time in her home. But Mira's sight impairment isn't straightforward. (view spoiler) ...more
Oct 22, 2013 Sarah rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
I very much disliked this book. The protagonist starts out as an inmate of a mental institution where I get the impression that she is beaten by the nurses pretty much daily and as a result trusts no-one. Except the new guy, which she trusts implicitly FOR NO REASON and who then kidnaps her from the institution so he can bring her back to where she was living before she was institutionalized so she can show him how idyllic her life was before her parents died. And of course find out that it has ...more
Julie Ambrose
With some remarkable writing and bizarre plotting, Diamond Eyes is a strangely beguiling bedtime read. By far the oddest aspect is the main character's eye ailment, which makes her blind to everything around her but able to see very clearly what was once there (including doors, walls and characters no longer present). While this ailment seems more of a plot/mystery contrivance than a believable condition, the author makes a heroic effort to depict all its practical consequences, and mostly succe ...more
Carly Jayne
Nov 02, 2014 Carly Jayne rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
This book, quite simply, is amazing. I was lucky enough to win a copy from a goodreads giveaway and I am so grateful to Ms Bell.
The story is fabulous and in some ways, it reminded me of the Time Travelers Wife, with the different time periods etc.
I adored the relationship between Ben and Mira and how it developed through the book. I was hooked and finished the book around 2am this morning because I just could not put it down. I would recommend this to anyone and everyone.
May 16, 2011 Maggie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Maggie by: Michael
3.5 stars. I think this book is much better than I found it. Didn't read the first half consistently and consequently totally lost the plot at times. Having read the second half more rapidly (in an effort to be finished with this book once and for all) I found it to be a much better read than I gave it credit for. So, 2 stars for the first half (too confusing for me atm) and 4 stars for the second half. Certainly an original idea even if I did get confused.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Jul 19, 2015 05:53PM  
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WINNER of the Prestigious 2011 Norma K Hemming Award for Excellence in Science Fiction and Fantasy Themes (of race, gender, class, sexuality, disability etc) for DIAMOND EYES.

FIRST Writer to Win the Award TWICE! (Second time for Hindsight, in 2012)

An earlier draft of DIAMOND EYES also won HIGHLY COMMENDED in the 2009 FAW Jim Hamilton Awards for an unpublished manuscript in any genre.
More about A.A. Bell...

Other Books in the Series

Mira Chambers (3 books)
  • Hindsight (Mira Chambers #2)
  • Leopard Dreaming (Mira Chambers #3)

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“I'm not afraid of dying. I'm afraid I'll never get a chance to live!” 72 likes
“I don't need to travel back in time to cause trouble. Seeing back through time finds me trouble enough!” 7 likes
More quotes…