*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of The Mirror in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and my true assessment of the book.*
Backstory: Reading is one of my many passions and hobbies.
My love of the written word started when I was only a few years old. I remember my grandma reading to me endlessly and I loved it. I would bring her book after book and she would continue. When I learned to read, she asked me to read her the stories she had read to me.
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I’m a huge believer in books being an important part of life. They boost our vocabulary and imaginations. They give us a healthy outlet for relaxation and pleasure. We can escape to fantasy lands, get a good scare, enjoy a love story or have a laugh. Books and stories are passageways to another world. Reading is a great form of self-care!
I’ve been reading to Zachary since he was born and collect as many books for him as I can. I’m that parent that can be found elbow deep in a box of books at every rummage sale during the summer. And although he can barely speak he’s already bringing me book after book to read to him as he points to the letters and says “ah, ah, ah.” We’re on the right path.
Needless to say, when I had the opportunity to review The Mirror by Deborah A Stansil, I jumped at the chance. I love all kinds of books, but suspense/thriller is probably one of my favorites types of fiction. That and kid-lit, but I digress.
What better way to share my love and enthusiasm for reading than to provide my readers with a brand new book to help them with their own reading hobby? To provide an honest review for an independent author would be my pleasure. So let’s get into it!
Who is Deborah A Stansil?
Having left her regular day job to pursue her writing dream, Stansil currently writes horror/thriller novels and short stories as an independent author. In addition to her fiction writing career, she also ghost-writes, dabbles in non-fiction freelance, and blogs at My Random Musings, her site where she posts book reviews, discusses her writing journey and posts about her new books. The Mirror is the newest release for Stansil.
She lives in North East England, is in her mid-30’s, and loves to read as well as write.
The Mirror-A Brief Synopsis
The Mirror is an engaging thriller about Amy, her daughter Lilly and husband Scott, and an antique mirror that Lilly discovers in an antique shop. Shortly after the mirror arrives in their home, Lilly begins acting differently. She is creating imaginary friends, becomes withdrawn from her real friends, and doesn’t want to go to school, which she previously loved. Although she thinks it’s a crazy idea, Amy somewhat suspects that the new mirror may somehow have something to do with the changes in Lilly. Scott, on the other hand, thinks that something may be wrong with Lilly and suggests that a visit to a psychiatrist may be in order.
Before any decisions can be made, things take a turn for the worse and Amy and Scott dive headfirst into trying to help Lilly in any way they can before it’s too late. The powerful bond between a mother and child and faith in each other between a husband and wife are the only things they can be certain of as they discover the real reason behind Lilly’s behavior, the mirror’s history, and all of it’s connection to Scott and Amy’s past.
The Mirror is a truly engaging story. I literally had a hard time putting it down. In fact, I intended to begin the book as a little light reading before bed and ended up finishing the entire thing in one evening. Stansil does a wonderful job of creating an exciting plot that continuously leaves you wondering what will happen next.
Not only is the story-line incredibly engaging, but it’s also unique and well thought out. The ending was not at all predictable or cliche. There are far too many novels out currently that, in my opinion, are rehashing the same story-lines over and over. This is not one of them.
Not only is The Mirror creative, but there were literally no plot holes. Seriously, none. I am one of those people that always finds the holes in movies and books. Even now, thinking back to the book, I can’t think of any moments that didn’t make sense or flow cohesively. If you find any, please let me know, because I didn’t think it was possible for a story to have such a beautifully cohesive flow of events.
While the story is phenomenal and definitely an enjoyable read, the novel itself is not without a few flaws. Some of these are trivial and likely wouldn’t bother most people. As an aspiring writer myself and an avid reader, I tend to be a little critical with things that wouldn’t matter in the least to someone looking for a good story.
No page numbers. That really bugged me. I’m not entirely sure why, but I like to know where I am in a book. Call it a compulsive habit, I guess. Not having page numbers to reference just didn’t jive well with me. Does it affect the story in any way? Not one bit.
The beginning and end of the book were a little off pace from the middle. It took a while to get going into the real meat of the story. I felt like there was a lot of exposition at the beginning that didn’t really contribute to the story and dragged on. There was also a chunk at the end after the resolution that left the final chapters of the book a little less powerful and anti-climactic. The actual resolution was fantastic. I wish the book would have ended much sooner after it than it did.
The characters don’t have enough depth to them. I love to feel a connection with a character. Either rooting for or against, I want to have the feeling that it matters what happens. While the story was powerful, I feel it could have been much more so if I were able to be more invested in Amy. She had a few moments where I was almost becoming invested, but then it would drift away as the story switched gears.
There was a lot of alluding in the beginning to Amy’s backstory, but it took so long to get there that I found myself not really caring much about her. There are also numerous mentions to specific parts of Amy’s personality and her past that felt forced. While integral to the story in some ways, there was a lot of telling the reader what kind of person Amy was rather than showing. I felt less connected to her and a little more annoyed with her. There was a bit more connection to Lilly and Scott, but Amy is the main character. I wanted to have that connection with her.
Concluding thoughts, rating, and recommendation
Overall, I enjoyed the book very much. If I don’t enjoy a book, I don’t finish it. Had this been a random book I picked up off the shelf at my library, and not one I was reviewing, I still would have finished it. That says a lot.
The strengths of the story outweighed the weaknesses by far. Regardless of any issues I had with technicalities, I still wanted to know what happened next. That, in my opinion, is the mark of a great writer. Keep your reader enthralled and clamoring for more. This book does that quite well.
Rating this book on a scale from 1-5, with 1 being one of the worst books I’ve read and 5 being a book that was perfect I give this book a solid 4. Overall it’s a great read. It is creative and well-thought out, and for about 75% of the book, it moves at a great pace. It is an engaging and exciting read.
I recommend this book to anyone looking for an exciting and interesting read. If you like to be surprised and are tired of overused plot lines, you will likely enjoy this book. If you have a soft spot in your heart for thrillers or love a quick, easy read (remember, I read the entire book in an evening) check out this book. It is now available for purchase on Amazon along with Stansil’s other books. Judging by the story here, tthey may be worth checking out as well!
If you’re interested in following Deborah on her journey or keeping up to date on her releases, she can be found at the below:
Blog: My Random Musings
Website: Deborah Stansil
Facebook: My Random Musings Blog
Amazon: Deborah Stansil Author Page
If you read this or any other of Stansil’s books, please leave your thoughts!
-To your Better Life-