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The Singular and Extraordinary Tale of Mirror and Goliath (The Peculiar Adventures of John Loveheart, Esq. #1)
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The Singular and Extraordinary Tale of Mirror and Goliath

(The Peculiar Adventures of John Loveheart, Esq. #1)

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  1,092 ratings  ·  292 reviews
1888. A little girl called Mirror and her shape-shifting guardian Goliath Honeyflower are washed up on the shores of Victorian England. Something has been wrong with Mirror since the day her grandfather locked her inside a mysterious clock that was painted all over with ladybirds. Mirror does not know what she is, but she knows she is no longer human.

John Loveheart, meanw
Paperback, 325 pages
Published June 30th 2015 by Angry Robot
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Average rating 3.61  · 
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 ·  1,092 ratings  ·  292 reviews

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Jul 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was definitely a strange book but I enjoyed it! I would call it a weird mix of Sherlock Holmes, Neil Gaiman and a dash of Stephen King and a sprinkle of George RR Martin.

It was so dark and yet whimsical. Very lyrically written. The story itself unfolded in a very unpredictable way which I rather enjoyed as it kept you on your toes.

Overall, I'm glad it read it and look forward to reading its Sequel.
Jun 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
A very dark and unique fairy tale for adults told in an interesting mosaic kind of narrative. Highly imaginative and filled with sense of wonder.

I think this is one of that stories where the journey itself is the aim of the telling. We follow a bunch of characters, everyone of them talking in first person. The very short chapters aren't presented in chronological order, so the reader needs to stay on top of the dates to put together the whole colorful picture of this tale.

Some of the characters
This books is a bit of a disaster. It starts off well enough, and it kept me turning the pages for quite a while, but the issues with this book far outweigh any positives.

Here's an enumeration of just some of the issues:

-Spelling errors: normally a few mistakes are entirely forgivable - no author or editor is perfect - but the number of typos in this book was simply annoying.
-Unnecessary font stylization: Bee often bolds letters or changes the font size mid-sentence, but I found that it never
Frank Errington
Jun 04, 2015 rated it liked it
Review copy

A world of spiritualists, a murderer who kills children and transfers their souls into clockwork pieces of art, a shape-shifting guardian, a possible look at the root of the Jack the Ripper legend, and I still had a difficult time embracing The Singular & Extraordinary Tale of Mirror and Goliath.

Maybe it was the way the story was told piecemeal in a series of vignettes through a wide variety of first person narratives rather than with a single voice. At times it seemed disconnected. A
Yuli Atta
Aug 07, 2016 rated it did not like it
I didn't want to rate this book so low. I love the cover and the story is really extraordinary  and good but there are so many things that I didn't like that I have no other option but to give it 1 star.

Up to one point the story is very good and I enjoyed it but then, after the 100th page of my copy everything started to go down.
The book begins with Mirror's POV and then suddenly there is everybody's POV but Mirror's and it seems as if this is not a book about her and her protector but about ev
Aug 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing

I would describe this as a mix of 'The Book Thief' and 'Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children' with a little bit of American Horror Story.

The story was unique and exciting, it was super fast-paste and I flew through it; definitely one of the best and most addicting books I've read this year!
Lubinka Dimitrova
WTF did I just read? Definitely not for the faint of heart, quite whimsical actually, and the gore, oh, the gore! To be honest, I'm slightly saddened that it wasn't published as an audio book, because its fragmented structure fell even more apart during my tired, sleepy-eyed reading of the book late at night. It gave me some rather intriguing dreams though... 3,5 stars.
Yzabel Ginsberg
(I got an ARC of this book from the publisher through NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.)

Hmmm. A hard one to rate. I liked it, but not as much as I thought I would. Maybe 3.5 stars / between "I liked it" and "I really liked it"?

The setting, characters and writing had a twisted fairy tale-like quality, rather close to what I'd expect from authors I love (like Neil Gaiman). Victorian England, for starters, with a dash of the Egyptian craze. An Egyptian princess whose soul may have travel
Apr 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really enjoy books that refuse to be pigeonholed. Here's one with fantasy, horror, science fiction, and steampunk elements. A lot of people who have read this are baffled as how to explain it. Think of Alice in Wonderland overtones with a high body count and creepy, kooky characters and you'll get the general idea. One of the very few books I've read where I thought there were too many points of view and the story layout gets a shade more convoluted than it has to but still a very strong deb ...more
Jan 24, 2016 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one, ever, ever, ever
Mirror was trapped in a clock by her grandfather and came out as something more than human. She wanders England with her shape-shifting guardian, Goliath. When they encounter the evil Mr. Fingers and his “son” Mr. Loveheart, they must tread carefully, because Mr. Fingers is after Mirror’s soul.

This book is hard to summarize, because of the threadbare plot and vague, dreamlike (nightmarelike) prose. Had I not been told about this book by a friend and stumbled across it on my own in the bookstore,
GrilledCheeseSamurai (Scott)
I rounded up from what should have been 2 and a half stars if Goodreads would have let me.

There were parts of this book that was amaze-ball reading experiences. Perfectly crafted sentences that were like tiny drops of the bestest candy you have ever had melt in your mouth.

Then there were parts that were disjointed, awkward, and felt like a thorn pricking your side when you are hiking in the hills. So much beauty to look at and then all of a sudden...OUCH.

It's a shame. I don't feel like its the
Allie Riley
Decidedly odd hodgepodge of a book with too much going on for its short length. It started out really well, but then went off on too many tangents for my liking. Speaking of which, there was precisely no-one likeable in the whole thing. A disappointment.
3.5 Stars

Read all my reviews on

Read near the end of 2016, but it is certainly a contender for the weirdest book of the year for me. It is difficult to place it somewhere, but if I had to, it would be some kind of adult fairy tale. I really liked the cover.

It starts out rather like a horror tale. Mirror grandfather, being mad, tried to kill her to conserve her soul in a clock. It turns out that a lot of children are disappearing by the hands of a certain cul
Apr 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing

Publisher: Angry Robot

Publishing Date: June 2015

ISBN: 9780857664426

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 4.6/5

Publisher Description: 1888. A little girl called Mirror and her shape-shifting guardian Goliath Honeyflower are washed up on the shores of Victorian England. Something has been wrong with Mirror since the day her grandfather locked her inside a mysterious clock that was painted all over with ladybirds. Mirror does not know what she is, but she knows she is no lon
Angela Oliver
Apr 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Beautiful and dark, haunting and mesmerizing. The prose is beautiful, the atmosphere creepy and delicious. The colourful cast of characters, equally delightful. The plot is strange, richly layered and switching between narrators (all in first person). Definitely has that Victorian charm, found in such books as The Night Circus.

A wonderful read, even if quite an unusual one. SIngular and extraordinary indeed.
Yasmin ✨
My first reaction when I finished this: what the fuuuuuuuuck was this.

For real, if there's one thing that this book was, then it's all over the place. The title would make you think that the story is about two characters called Mirror and Goliath. Wrong. It's about nobody at all and at the same time about everybody ever.

The book starts off with some chapters about Mirror and Goliath. I rather disliked these chapters, because it was a boring story trying too hard to be creepy. The simplicity of
Silviya ☾
Nov 10, 2017 rated it liked it
The book is really similar to Alice in Wonderland. It’s weird, unnatural and at first sight it seems as a children’s book. Unfortunately...
Check the whole review in my blog ! ♥️
Vanya Yakimova
Sep 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this dark fantasy fairytale, which reminded me a lot of Grimm Brothers and Neil Gaiman's Coraline. Would definitely read the second book!
Wiebke (1book1review)
Nov 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book is fascinating the way it tells the story, slowly and through the perspectives of mostly all the characters involved, jumping around in time and space.
The characters themselves are all interesting and especially Mirror and Goliath are lovely to read about.
John Loveheart is a weird and crazy character that you just like and dislike at the same time while you are wondering how he gets away with the stuff he does.
There is quite some violence in the novel, but it just seems so casual it is
Jul 25, 2016 rated it liked it
This book was freaking insane. I don't know what i feel about it. I'm somewhere between the one star and the five stars, but don't wanna give it three stars, because the book doesn't deserve that much.
Strange loves, pedophilism, a lot of Death, weird retrospections and absolutely mad personages. That was this book... I like the book, but at the same time i absolutely despise it. Pfff, i don't know, really...
May 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Actual rating: 3.5/5
I love the narrative style so much. It’s really a peculiar read and I keep picturing it as a movie. The play with myths, fairytales and time is clever. It’s a shame that so few people know about this book! This is a gem!
Sachin Dev
Apr 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015-great-reads
The Singular and Extraordinary tale of Mirror and Goliath with the intriguing tag-line: The peculiar Adventures of John Loveheart, ESQ - from Angry Robot is Ishbelle Bee’s spectacular debut in the speculative fiction world. Just like the peculiar title, the novel itself is a riotous splash of many a familiar fairy tale liberally wrangled with a dash of macabre horror, set during the fag-end of the Victorian Era – An 1880’s London rife with the East-end murders, missing children and magic like bl ...more
Oct 07, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
See my other reviews at Never Enough Books

A small girl named Mirror and her guardian; a shape shifter by the name of Goliath Honey-flower; have arrived on the shores of Victorian England. Mirror hasn’t quite been herself since the day her grandfather locked her in a strange clock painted with ladybirds. Mirror doesn’t know what happened or what she is – all she knows is now she’s not quite human.

John Loveheart was not born a wicked man. After the untimely death of his parents he was taken in by
Saruuh Kelsey
I enjoyed this book, but not as much as I thought I would have from reading the first chapter. The title set me up for a book 100% about Mirror and Goliath, and while it is, it's all in a very roundabout way. Example: the policement main characters are investigating a girl who was killed by the man who made the clock that Mirror's grandfather stuffed her into. The story this book told wasn't the story that the title made me expect, but it was still very, peculiarly good.

I loved the parts about M
David Edmonds
Apr 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
So... I don't even know where to start with Ishbelle Bee's The Singular and Extraordinary Tale of Mirror and Goliath. This will probably be ranking as one of my favorite books of the year, but I can't tell you a think about it! I'm not entirely clear I understand what I read or understand what was going on, but I loved every minute of it. The story follows the strange events surrounding Mirror (who may or may not be dead) and her shape-changing protector, Goliath Honey-Flower, who are trying to ...more
Apr 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Incredibly creative and deliciously dark. Though a very different tale than that of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, it is slightly reminiscent of that style. However, it is not a child's tale and it is far from predictable. I never knew what to expect next and that in itself kept me turning page after page.

The characters were inventive and definitely not the normal fairy tale characters, which was kind of refreshing. Even though I didn't want to, I found myself cheering for Mr.
Jun 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
This wasn`t exactly what I expected..
It was much more and I loved it!!! The book isn`t only about Mirror and Goliath their are a lot more characters who have an important part. All of these characters and there stories were odd and beautifull. The atmosphere of this book was so unique. The imagery was so stunning. The font and the writting were exactly what I like and I think it matches the story and the characters so well.The Victorian set up was for me totaly perfect that was what I saw behind
Nov 07, 2015 rated it liked it
I'm not really sure how to react to this book. I'm honestly feeling a little affronted by my feelings for it. Like, it seems like I should like it, but I am skeptical of it in general. The language was weird and the metaphors were weirder, the changes were abrupt and there was very little holding it all together. And yet I keep looking at it askance as though something is going to jump out and scream, "I LOVE THIS." But that hasn't happened yet, so I'm going to give it 3 stars and hope I figure ...more
Jul 08, 2015 rated it really liked it

So dark and bizarre and whimsical - I absolutely loved this book. At times it was a little hard to follow, hence the not-quite-5-star-rating, but overall this was such an obscure and strange and wonderful read. I would definitely recommend it to fans of Neil Gaiman or people who loved books like The Night Circus.
Jul 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Probably one of the freshest debut I've read in a long while! This steampunk title features a little girl, Mirror and her guardian, Goliath as they try to run from the forces of evil that want to....well, want to eat her.

Haven't been down the rabbit hole later? Pick up a copy of jump in!
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