oliviasbooks's Reviews > Dark Mirror

Dark Mirror by M.J. Putney
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's review
Mar 21, 2011

it was ok
bookshelves: young-adult-fiction, witches-sorcerers-magic, historical-fiction, e-version, historical-fantasy, sequel-no-thank-you, time-travel, read-2011, love-story-romance
Recommended for: Fans of the Gemma Doyle Trilogy (Bray)

This could have been so good - and the beginning was indeed extremely promising: A young English Lady born into an alternative version of the Georgian era who is able to fly! A society which has chosen to shun gentryfolk with magical abilities, but embraces the "tainted blood" in commoners out of convenience. A gothic, prison-like boarding-school that is meant to un-magic the rich boarders, who represent a burden and a genetic embarrassment for their families. And finally ... a club of secret magic users, romance and time travel!

My high-flying hopes plummeted pretty quickly to the ground like a stone ... or rather like Lady Victoria Markham, who - in the couse of the whole story floats only four times altogether. Think of the wasted possibilities! Who wouldn't have loved a hidden, female superwoman in stays and laces instead of ill-fitting spandex? Alas, our overtly nicey-nice, goody-goody heroine opts not to talk about her elating gift at all and – after finding out that she possesses the more commmunity-friendly and boring skill of channeling other mages' energy and taping into other peoples' magical ressources on top, she concentrates solely on promoting that one. Maybe because she shrewedly noticed the match-making potential of hand-holding within a circle. (The reader shall not begrudge her since her value on the matrimonial market is pitiful.)

Certainly there were additional aspects that often peeve me – like the obligatory rich, bitchily mean roomate -, but they would have been forgivable, if the heroine and the majority of the supporting cast were life-like and interesting characters who constantly kindled my interest. In the case of „Dark Mirror“ the muscles operating my eye-balls felt well-trained quite soon.

As far as the girly part of the storyline is concerned, I feel rather cheated and not really taken seriously as a regular reader. I had always thought that the average author roughly sketches the main turning points / important landmarks before plunging into a wild scribbling marathon. Apparantly I guessed wrong. I imagine Mrs. Putney inserted the first hint at a later budding romance when introducing the love-interest; then she was distracted by all the action in her head and wrote and wrote and wrote about Lady Tory’s adventures. When the the story started to reach the climax (after about three quarters oft he plot), she suddenly remembered promising her publisher a paranomal romance and broke out in panic. That resulted in a rushed, melodramatic I-cannot-live-without-you-and-am-about-to-ruin-you-since-you-are-my-sun-and-my-moon historical soap opera. B.t.w., the narrator speaks of the love-interest like of a healthy horse – admirable pedigree and all.

I really had to force myself to finish reading „Dark Mirror“. That reluctance on my side had not been something I had anticipated after enjoying the first one or two chapters. However, if you like historical, paranomal teen-romances like „A Great and Terrible Beauty“ (Bray), you might enjoy Dark Mirror“ as well. So inspite of my ranting I do not want to un-recommend it in general.
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Reading Progress

March 21, 2011 – Shelved
March 21, 2011 – Shelved as: young-adult-fiction
March 21, 2011 – Shelved as: witches-sorcerers-magic
March 21, 2011 – Shelved as: historical-fiction
June 14, 2011 – Shelved as: e-version
August 6, 2011 – Shelved as: historical-fantasy
September 11, 2011 – Started Reading
September 11, 2011 –
26.0% "Although this is a boarding-school story (the sort with mean and magical female roommates),Dark Mirror has already managed to pull me in. As you maybe have noticed, Nomes, I am avoiding The Cloud Atlas. But I will start eventually this month. Really."
September 11, 2011 –
67.0% "The first thrird was better, but I am still hooked."
September 11, 2011 – Shelved as: sequel-no-thank-you
September 11, 2011 – Shelved as: time-travel
September 12, 2011 –
85.0% "I just want it over. But since it's only 15 percent to go, I won't stop."
September 13, 2011 – Shelved as: read-2011
September 13, 2011 – Finished Reading
June 22, 2012 – Shelved as: love-story-romance

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by joy (new) - added it

joy *the clean-reader extraordinaire* well that sounds disappointing. pooh! my library doesn't have it yet anyway, so it's good to know that i'm not suffering from the lack. thanks!

Rebecca Turpin She does use it to save another life in the 2nd book. Actually she uses it a few times to get at the Nazi's

message 3: by Victoria (new)

Victoria This sorta sounds like the book "the girl who could fly" by Victoria Forester

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