Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Published: March 1, 2011
Source: Won from Books Are A Girl's Best Friend (Thanks!)
Rating: 2 Stars
Lady Victoria Mansfield, youngest daughter of the earl and countess of Fairmount, is destined for a charmed life. Soon she will be presented during the London season, where she can choose a mate worthy of her status.
Yet Tory has a shameful secret—a secret so powerful that, if exposed, itcould strip her of her position and disgrace her family forever. Tory’s blood is tainted . . . by magic.
When a shocking accident forces Tory to demonstrate her despised skill, the secret she’s fought so hard to hide is revealed for all to see. She is immediately exiled to Lackland Abbey, a reform school for young men and women in her position. There she will learn to suppress her deplorable talents and maybe, if she’s one of the lucky ones, be able to return to society.
But Tory’s life is about to change forever. All that she’s ever known or considered important will be challenged. What lies ahead is only the beginning of a strange and wonderful journey into a world where destiny and magic come together, where true love and friendship find her, and where courage and strength of character are the only things that determine a young girl’s worth.
In short: Unfortunately, Dark Mirror by M.J. Putney was unable to capture my interest and somehow managed to make even magic lame and boring.
The magical abilities that Tory and her friends have weren't even interesting, which I didn't think was possible. Talk about some of the lamest magical powers ever. One guy is an expert at moving clouds around; one girl specializes in heating things; one guy is particularly good at finding things. LAME. And they seriously thought they were going to be able to take on Napoleon's army with these powers? Don't get me wrong, it's noble and all that they want to fight for England, but they were clearly delusional.
I disliked the writing as well but I'm not sure I could put into words exactly what didn't work for me. It seemed a bit amateurish, though I know that's not true because M.J. Putney is a fairly experienced author. I guess I thought the writing was too simple and bare. I'm not saying I need writing to be extremely flowery and detailed all the time, but I like to be able to experience more fully the surroundings, the plot elements, and the characters' personalities than Dark Mirror allowed me.
One thing that I was impressed by was the setting: not one, but two historical settings were involved, 1803 and WWII. M.J. Putney demonstrates a great amount of knowledge of the eras, though I would've preferred had she not stated this knowledge so matter of factly in the novel. If she had interwoven the historical information more seamlessly into the plot (something that Rick Yancey, author of The Monstrumologist Series, does very well), then I would've been truly impressed.
Think you might want to give this one a try yourself? Enter my giveaway to win Dark Mirror and Choker (Hmm? What's that? You no longer have any interest in entering my giveaway now that I've trashed the book? Well, for what it's worth, other bloggers seemed to enjoy Dark Mirror more than I did.)
Books Are A Girl's Best Friend
Tales of Whimsy
*Read as part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge