I’ll be honest with you, normally with book recommendations I just write it down and forget about it. Like we’re different people, I’ve got a list of other stuff to read, blah blah blah. But one of my dearest friends was raving about this author and I thought “What the hell. His eyes were twinkling, his heart probably all a glow. Let’s do this.”
Disclaimer: There are things about this book that I really do love that some people hate and find confusing. In my reviews I try to hold up the book for what I loved first and in comparison to others second. I don’t care if a concept is “original”, what is important to me is how well they used it and what they accomplished. I mean, if I’m going to not like a book and banish it from my library, I’m at least going to give it a honest chance first. The Obsidian Mirror gets 4.5/5 for me and with that let’s begin!
Timing. I thoroughly enjoyed how each scene was timed and set the pacing for me really well. I didn’t get the impression of wasted space, where we’re lingering on this one thing for way too long. Flashbacks were of appropriate length for maximum curiosity stroking and heartstrings plucked with variation in intensity and duration. I kept waiting for something shake me out of the spell that was being woven and it never came. But that’s not the best part.
Characters. Normally with fantasy oriented books, you see a super small main cast and a handful of background characters that read as obviously unimportant, “let’s keep this simple” attitude. In this story, every character, no matter how brief their scene is feels important, feels necessary. Again waiting to be disappointed, “Who’s the clear favorite? Who is lacking in development?” Not a single one. She also doesn’t spend too much time on any main character, and there are several. Each member of the cast has their purpose and fulfills it properly, efficiently. It was so wonderful, I couldn’t pick a favorite. Every character is a well developed, worthy of paying attention to in this book. But that’s still not my favorite part.
Emotions. When every character has lost something it’s important to make it clear how that bleeds into what they do and who they are. The driving force of their desire must be consistent, revenge, survival, you know, but also allowed to develop as it would in real life. The situations they get into should be able to, at the very least, glimpse that driving force, and communicate to the reader all of these things without ever giving it away completely. I feel like Fisher didn’t pull any punches in conveying emotions in any aspect of the story. There were times where I was like “Damn. This is young adult fiction?” It could have been simple and still be a nice story, but she gave it the complexity it deserved to make it a fabulous story. A close second to my favorite part.
The Mirror itself. The focus of the book of course, there is something special about it that they don’t mention from the back of the book, so I’ll leave it out here too. But I will say this, the function of the mirror is described neatly and is like a character in itself. There isn’t too much or too little said about it. The thing I liked best about the characters and their relationship with the mirror, is that their reactions stay true to their personality. There wasn’t a sort of sacrifice made in development to build up the grandeur of the mirror. Everything was perfectly balanced. But you know what…
My favorite part. Perspective. Switching between perspectives of several main characters is not an easy thing to do. Sometimes it weakens a story, sometimes it just makes a big old mess. I feel like this is where Fisher shows what she’s capable of achieving as a writer and I do love seeing it. It was fluid, flawless, and only made the story work. I didn’t get the feeling it was like “the easiest way to write the story” or gimmicky. It was written in the only way it could be written. It’s been a while since I’ve seen this done in a book that didn’t leave me getting frustrated or bored. I live for on point perspective switching and I’m super happy to have this book in my collection.
Not convinced because of how I drenched the book in compliments? Okay. Pick up a copy for yourself and I challenge you to find one thing to not like about it. Here, let me make it super easy: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and local bookstores (while they still exist).
Until next time,