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The Dickens Mirror

(Dark Passages #2)

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  186 ratings  ·  42 reviews
Critically acclaimed author of The Ashes Trilogy, Ilsa J. Bick takes her new Dark Passages series to an alternative Victorian London where Emma Lindsay continues to wade through blurred realities now that she has lost everything: her way, her reality, her friends. In this London, Emma will find alternative versions of her friends from the White Space and even Arthur Conan ...more
Hardcover, 576 pages
Published March 10th 2015 by Carolrhoda Lab
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Average rating 3.54  · 
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 ·  186 ratings  ·  42 reviews

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Oct 25, 2014 marked it as to-read
okay, this is me officially giving up. the first version i downloaded was missing pages; i emailed the publisher and eventually got a replacement version, which was missing the same pages. no one seems to be responding to my post-second-version pleas, so i am just going to take this off my "currently reading" shelf and wait until spring LIKE A CHUMP.


Sarah Elizabeth
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Egmont USA and NetGalley.)

“Tell me where the mirror is and how to use it,”

This was a very odd story, in fact it might have been stranger than the first book.

There were multiple characters in this, and characters who were doubles – so we had 2 ‘Tony’s for instance, and it was all very confusing as to which character was which, how they related to each other, and even how to keep them straight
Mar 08, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
I loved White Space and I really wanted to love this. But it was so deliberately confusing. It felt like it was written by a different author - perhaps another Ilsa from a different Now?
Jan 21, 2016 rated it did not like it
I hate to do this because I've liked every other Ilsa Bick book I've read but I just plain didn't like this book. It's convoluted in the worst of ways and from the first moment doesn't expand on it's book vs reality theme. Thus the 600 pages of this book was filled with tons of repetition (every character coming to the realization of their real/unrealness over and over and over). It was just too much of not much at all. Such as:

Young Emma at 12 years old reveals much of the conclusions reached l
Feb 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, fantasy
Set in an alternative London, The Dickens Mirror is within a single Now this time around. Continuing with the theme of blurring reality and fiction, Bick centers this story around Elizabeth, who is grown up and committed in this version of London. The setting is post-apocalyptic and the characters from the previous book appear in this, but slightly different. Of course, with multiverses, you can have mutliple variations on the same character, and the book plays on that. So, basic story - someone ...more
Rachel Adiyah
Jan 17, 2019 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one
Shelves: boring, dnf
After 93 pages I believe that I am quite finished. I've skimmed ahead, and nothing new happens for a very long time. I am confused and perplexed that Ilsa Bick, who created a piece of sheer genius with White Space, decided to take her sequel in the direction that she did. Essentially, the characters from White Space are trapped for hundreds of pages in an absolutely disgusting Victorian London in which everyone and everything is dying. Lizzie/Emma is trapped in a nightmarish insane asylum while ...more
Roberta R. (Offbeat YA)
Excerpt from my joint review for White Space and The Dickens Mirror - originally published at Offbeat YA.

Pros: Different, exciting, engrossing - an outrageous kick in the butt of "regular" fiction, which is, at the same time, a love letter to it.
Cons: May sound confusing to some. Truncated chapter endings and suspense may drive the reader a little mad sometimes. All the different versions of the same characters and/or characters at different age stages may frustrate those who like step-by-step
Champaign Public Library
Apr 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: staff-recommends
Recommended by Rebecca K.
Have you ever wondered where ideas for stories come from? The answer is much more insidious than you would ever imagine, as Bick explores in a dizzying intricate unraveling of ideas within ideas within people within people, leaving the reader to decipher who and what is real. Recommended for writers, readers, philosophers, psychologists (professional or armchair) and anyone who isn’t afraid of what goes bump in the night, day, inside your head or in reality.
So you can totally find this title at Netgalley for those who have access :D

Jan 12, 2015 rated it did not like it
I tried - I really, really tried. This was so confusing: multiple POVs and multiple eras and multiple Londons led to a confusing plot and a DNF.

ARC provided by publisher.
Ria Bridges
Jan 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is going to be difficult for me to review properly. In part because it’s such a brain-bender, requiring you to really really challenge your grasp of timelines and your sense of reality, and in part because a section of my brain just wants to make this review entirely out of swear words, because it’s just that amazing!

Continuing from where White Space left off, Emma is now trapped in the mind of Elizabeth, who is in turn trapped inside an asylum in an alternate-universe Victoria London
Raina Liu
Aug 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
so i definitely never read this book before.
oh, boy.
i feel like this sequel made the first book much, much better in retrospect, which i’m not sure is entire a good thing. i’m still not sure if i hated these books or loved them. they’re just so fucking meta with all the book world stuff, and all the existential crises really Got to me, and there was a lot of like unnecessary shit, upon first read. man. and i’m still not sure i actually understood what was going on. but, damn. that final reveal
Jul 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book was for me a beautiful ending to the Dark Passages. When Emma alludes to this book in White Space, I was rather confused seeing that there was no second book at the time, but I definitely found this book easier to follow than White Space, being set in only one Now. I was a little perturbed at the disappearance of the whisper-man, who is only alluded to and makes no appearance, and the fact that Emma insists that there is no returning to her Now. All in all, the book was satisfactory ex ...more
lisa  grace ♡
Dec 04, 2017 rated it did not like it
Oh dear God.
This was just beyond confusing. There were just so many characters to keep track of, and it was impossible to understand how they all related to one another. Not to mention the fact that there were multiple versions of characters.
The whole alternate reality idea really messed with my head in the first book, but I sort of liked it and decided I would read book 2. Bad decision. I just sort of gave up 3/4 through the book.
Oh well.
Apr 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
It was slow-ish but not, and it was like things were happening but not. And then right at the end it's like they all happen to get together and then the characters talk about it and it's over. I don't lie it when the characters just tell you whats going on

But I love the levels of stuff, in kind-s broke my brain again, but it's wasn't as good as book 1
May 27, 2017 rated it did not like it
This book was so hard for me to read.. I never not finish book bit I could not finish this. White Space was amazing and I thought this book would be similar but it felt like a completely different book.
Apr 11, 2015 rated it liked it
The Dickens Mirror is unlike any other book I've ever read. It's the only book that's every made me question my own existence, and if that's what the author intended for the reader, then might I say bravo! By far this book's best quality is its ending, particularly the second to last chapter. Everything about it leaves you blown away and shell-shocked. I fell in love with every single one of the characters (even more so than I did with the first book). They are each eloquently crafted, overflowi ...more
Jul 27, 2014 rated it did not like it
I received an advanced copy from Netgalley via the publisher for an honest review.
This book got harder and harder to read and understand as it went along, instead of answering questions I just got more and more and everything made LESS sense. When a book gets to a point where it is not at all easy to understand and no longer enjoyable, I just am not going to waste my time any longer.
The first novel was weird and thrilling and I felt like it answered a few questions near the end, but then the end
Apr 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Unfortunately, this is the conclusion of the Dark Passages series. To be honest, I could read ten more like this and not have had enough. Strong 5 stars. This series is one of the most original and well thought out young adult plots I've ever read.
This book gets pretty meta, which I usually hate, but this whole series is filled with things that I usually hate and for some reason love. I cannot praise the Dark Passages enough to be honest. It has been a long time that I read a young adult novel t
Feb 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-review
Updated May 25, 2015

**Thank you to EgmontUSA for allowing me to read this in exchange for an honest review!**

As soon as I finished reading White Space, I knew that I instantly had to pick this one up and give it a read to find out what happens next. Let me tell you one thing: This book did not disappoint.

This book picks up right where the last one left off, which was wonderful. We were instantly thrown into the world in London where Emma was stuck in a younger girl's body, trying to figure out
Samantha Boyette
Oct 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
Good, but not as good as the first. The first one had me thinking Stephen King all over the place. I think the setting of this one just didn't work for me as well.

I think it picks up pretty much where the first one ended(it's been a while) and I had little trouble getting back into the characters, but by half way through the book gets very confusing, especially on an audiobook since you can't easily flip back to check stuff. My brain started to hurt thinking about how hard it must have been to
Good, but not as scary as the first one. Maybe more... not gory (there's plenty of gore in both), but more.... horrifying? I don't know, but I do know that maybe I shoud've reread the complete fuckery that was the first book. I had no idea what had happened, or what was going on (though I'm sure that the latter would still be valid even if I had read it). I mean... It got fucked, realllyyy fast. Much like with the last book in her Ashes trilogy, Monsters, things sped up super fast, and I had no ...more
Jan 05, 2016 rated it liked it
Tied up some lost ends of the first book (which was fantastic). This book was still very confusing, which I loved about the first one, but this novel felt very dreary and slow to me. Too much focus was put onto new characters instead of the old, and I was often left wondering what any of it had to do with the first book, and what happened to my Casey??? It still was very satisfying, and I really liked the ending. Just my two cents.
Kelly Sierra
Jul 29, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2015, arc
I tried this book in the series. Initially I did not like the first book, it was to convoluted for my liking, it even lost the artistry because of the craziness in the delivery. The second book was much the same. I am glad I gave it another chance, but this series is not for me.

Thank You Edelweiss and NetGalley.
Mar 12, 2015 rated it did not like it
WHAT??? I could not figure this out. I'm not one to give up on a book, however I did not finish this one. This is only the fourth book that I have not finished..and I have read some bad works. This was just a jumbled mess, didn't make any sense and just felt like the author was everywhere and nowhere all at once.

I was given this book in exchange for an honest review via NETGALLEY.
Candy Carrion
This book was confusing and fascinating and weird, but it was something I couldn't stop reading. I'm still not sure I understood everything, but I felt like I just had to know, even if it didn't make sense. ...more
May 20, 2014 marked it as couldnt-finish
I gave up around page 100 when I realized it was becoming a chore and not a pleasure. Back to the library it goes. I may revisit it later, only because I read the first book and don't like to leave a series unfinished. ...more
Siufong Tran
Jul 29, 2014 marked it as dnf-skimmed-to-end
Need to read the first book again cause theres just waaaay too much confusion to just jump right into the second book after such a long my brain just wasn't up to being wrecked at the moment (curse you finals). ...more
Feb 01, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: owned-books
It had a good story line and plot and all but I could not seem to finish this book for the life of me! I had significant troubles finishing. I did not like this book, which is pretty hard for me to say considering I'm pretty easy going on reviews. ...more
Emma E
Aug 31, 2015 rated it liked it
so I more or less feel satisfied with the ending since it gave a resolution as best as it could when one is dealing with the wibbly wobbly mess of time, space, varying continuums. Three stars as it could have probably been wrapped up a bit quicker. But I enjoyed the read.
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Among other things, I was an English major in college and so I know that I'm supposed to write things like, "Ilsa J. Bick is ." Except I hate writing about myself in the third person like I'm not in the room. Helloooo, I'm right here . . . So let's just say that I'm a child psychiatrist (yeah, you read that right)as well as a film scholar, surgeon wannabe (meaning I did an internship in surgery an ...more

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Dark Passages (2 books)
  • White Space (Dark Passages, #1)

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