Title: Mirror X
Author: Karri Thompson
Series: The Van Winkle Project #1
Genre: Teen Dystopian
Rating: 2/5 stars
Release Date: June 30, 2014
The Overview: Cassie Dannacher wakes up in a hospital over 1,000 years into the future after her space capsule is retrieved from space. She soon learns that 600 years prior to her arrival, the earth was struck by a plague, killing over half of the world’s population. Naïve and desperate, Cassie, who longs for home and is having trouble adjusting to the new, dictatorial 31st century government, is comforted by Michael Bennett, the 20-year old lead geneticist at the hospital where she was revived. But why is Cassie in genetics’ hospital in the first place, and why do several of the people around her seem so familiar, including Travel Carson, the hot and edgy boy she is fated to meet? Soon she discovers there is a sinister answer to all of her questions – and that they want something from Cassie that only she can give.
I want to start off by saying that I love the initial concept for this story – it got me thinking: what if characters like Katniss or Tris had grown up in our day and age before being thrust into their futuristic, dystopia societies? How they viewed the world around them would’ve been a lot different, that’s for sure. Well, that’s exactly what happens to Cassie in Mirror X, and that culture-shock was enough to grab my attention right away.
Granted Katniss and Tris had advantages Cassie did not – having been immersed in a society from birth does give one a deep understanding of how things work and, even more importantly, how to fight back. Cassie had to discover everything on her own. That discovery process, in which she got to see and explore this futuristic world, is what I was most looking forward to reading about. The trouble is, aside from its few advances in technology and medicine, there wasn’t as much exploration of this new world as I was hoping for. The plot was structured to give the story a very narrow focus, making it really difficult for the character to see much of anything (heck, most of the book took place in a single setting). This was a shame because the possibilities for world-building were endless.
I also thought the story’s pacing could have been a bit stronger – that is, having the character discover things a little faster. There were plenty of the drop in hints and allusions to what was really going on, but nothing concrete driving the story until about a third of the way in. There were even a couple of scenes that I thought could have been comfortably combined early on that would have helped move the story along quicker. The book was definitely a lot more character and dialogue driven than action driven.
Overall, Mirror X had a great concept and a killer cover (which was enough to get me to read it) but I unfortunately didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. It wasn’t written poorly or anything, but my expectations were a bit different than what the author delivered.
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