1888. A little girl called Mirror and her shape-shifting guardian Goliath Honeyflower are washed up on the shores of Victorian England. Something has been wrong with Mirror since the day her grandfather locked her inside a mysterious clock that was painted all over with ladybirds. Mirror does not know what she is, but she knows she is no longer human.
John Loveheart, meanwhile, was not born wicked. But after the sinister death of his parents, he was taken by Mr Fingers, the demon lord of the underworld. Some say he is mad. John would be inclined to agree. Now Mr Fingers is determined to find the little girl called Mirror, whose flesh he intends to eat, and whose soul is the key to his eternal reign. And John Loveheart has been called by his otherworldly father to help him track Mirror down…
If Luna Lovegood of Harry Potter fame and The Mad Hatter from Alice in Wonderland had a child, and the child grew up to become an author, than perhaps you might get a book like Mirror and Goliath.
This is a whimsical/dreamy tale of a girl trying to figure out what she is…and that’s about it, really.
Unfortunately, I found this book to be all style over substance. The dreamlike prose and cRaZY typesetting all work SO hard to create the atmosphere, and then almost nothing happens within it. Yes, we find out what happened to Mirror…well before the end of the book. This book doesn’t have a plot, so much as it has several characters more or less share their life stories (in a non-linear fashion, mind) and the stories eventually interconnect. There is no reason this can’t work to make a compelling story, but only if you care about the characters, and sad to say, I didn’t.
That same prose and cRaZY typesetting wound up being more of a distraction than anything. Towards the end there is quite literally a “chapter” that is nothing but ❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤ for like two kindle-screens solid.
I’m personally not a fan of messing around with the typeset in prose – I believe the words should be able to convey the meaning you wish to get across. Tricks like the one above push the style dangerously close to purple, or worst, pretentious. That said, the book does manage to quite crossing the line into obnoxious or unreadable, so there is that.
Ultimately, I think those who can get into the atmosphere may well enjoy this book and swept away, but if it doesn’t work for you, there’s little else to reel you in. If you’re considering this book, I strongly recommend checking out a sample first to make sure it’s a fit.
Verdict: Skip it. Pretty, but hollow
Available: June 2nd