Carrie's Reviews > MirrorMask

MirrorMask by Neil Gaiman
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's review
Jul 18, 2007

it was ok
bookshelves: young-adult
Read in June, 2007

Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean’s Mirrormask is a graphic novel adaptation of their movie of the same name. According to Neil’s blog at the novel includes things not seen in the movie, while also leaving movie scenes out, so it is its own experience whether one has seen the movie or not. The book is similar to The Neverending Story, or even The Wizard of Oz, and might be shared with readers of these related books.

Mirrormask is told from Helena’s point of view. Helena’s family owns a circus, and she is home schooled by her mother while they travel and perform. Helena has grown tired of the circus life and wishes to “run away and join Real Life.” After blurting this to her mother, the two women have an argument, which is left unresolved when her mother collapses and is rushed to the hospital. With the future left in limbo, Helena falls asleep worrying about her mother’s health and their argument. She enters a dream world of jugglers, strange animals, and books full of really useful answers, based on her own drawings hanging on her bedroom wall. In this world, she is mistaken for a princess who has run away, and even when the Prime Minister realizes that she is not the princess, it is decided that Helena looks enough like her that she will do. She learns that the princess put the Queen of the Light (who resembles her mother) under a spell and only a Charm can wake her. Helena tries not to worry at first because she is aware she is in a dream, and sets off to find the Charm, which she learns is the Mirrormask. Helena begins to get glimpses of her own world through windows in this world though, and she sys the missing princess wrecking havoc, fighting with her father and snogging boys. As she starts to think that maybe this is not quite a dream, the princess begins to destroy the drawings hanging on the bedroom wall, which causes whole chunks of this other world to disappear.

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