A Mirror Mended (Fractured Fables #2), by Alix E. Harrow

A Mirror Mended by Alix E. Harrow

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

From a story point of view Harrow’s second “Fractured Fable“, “A Mirror Mended”, starts right after “A Spindle Splintered” with Zinnia Gray, our protagonist, still trying to fix happily-ever-afters for a lot of Sleeping Beauties.

That’s where my issues start: Why Zinnia again? Why not create a new character? Zinnia’s story arc was complete after “Spindle” and in my opinion, it would have made a lot more sense to create a fresh new character for this book.

In fact, there’s a lot that gets repeated here: Zinnia still “falls” through the multiverse with the evil queen from Snow White, Eva, she intends to help. Sadly, while “Spindle” was a modern retelling of the old fairy tale, “Mirror” features some of Snow White’s characters and ideas but at no point is it any kind of retelling. It’s much more of a complicated series of events that somehow occur – sometimes all too conveniently – without much influence from either Zinnia or Eva.

There are also a great many references to the first book that serve no real purpose, remain mostly obscure and, sometimes, completely unexplained. Since there’s no real plot to this book, much of what we get to read feels forced and contrived: Eva gets to redeem herself and changes her character – but hardly convincingly. She’s pretty much bribed into being a good queen by Zinnia and also likely motivated by the sexual tension between both of them but there’s no real catharsis.

Maybe I’m mis-remembering it but I also felt that “Spindle” had less “young adult vibes”. While that was certainly the target group, I (far beyond young adult age) still enjoyed it. “Mirror” feels much more “young” and naïve at that. It even shows when Zinnia complains about the “spoken” exclamation or question marks which even get spelled out:

»Another, while her eyes bore into mine and my brain produces nothing but strings of panicked question marks (?????????). I try very hard not to look at her mirror.«

All in all, while not being outright bad, this book pales in comparison to its predecessor.

Two out of five stars.

Ceterum censeo Putin esse delendam

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