Reflection: The Stranger in the Mirror (Records of the Ohanzee #1)
Author: Rachel R. Smith
Publication Date: May 9, 2015
Published by: Self Published
Format: 226 pages, Kindle eBook
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Rachel R. Smith | Goodreads | Amazon
** Copy was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review **
What harm could possibly come from reading a book?
Hundreds of years ago, in the land of Renatus, a prophecy containing an ominous prediction for the distant future was recorded and hidden in six books. These books were passed down through the generations, their true nature unknown even to their inherited owners. Now, Nerissa, the Heiress to the throne of Chiyo, prepares for the annual masquerade, unaware that one of the books has been discovered and an urgent warning of an impending attack is on its way to the capitol. A chance encounter and an unexpected rescue by a mysterious man alters the course of Nerissa’s future and reveals that the secrets of the past are just beginning to be uncovered.
Plot/Concept: Reflection is very intriguing and different from many fantasy novels out there. I really liked the concept of storing prophecies within crystals and books and then coming to life in the future. It was very unique and original. There were so many things going on, it was great! I think that the plot progressed wonderfully and built great anticipation, especially for the next book. The last 20% of the book were the most exciting for me. Everything was finally rolling into place and the action was building up. I was so mad when I read the last page because I didn’t have the second book with me!
Writing: It’s always a risk when you start reading a book from a new author. It was really worth it with Rachel, though! I really like the world that she created and you can tell that it was well thought out. I liked the action sequences and I wish that there was more of it. I felt that the book picks up once the masquerade party happens. The beginning was very confusing for me. There were a lot of new characters introduced and I kept wondering when it was going to stick Nerissa. Once it happened though, I couldn’t stop reading. I wish that there was a map, I think it would have helped me out (I don’t know why but I just love maps!). Like I said earlier, I loved how prophecies were stored and I wish it went more into it but there will be more books so I’m really looking forward to.
Characters: There were a lot of characters and it was a little hard to connect with some because the point of view would switch before you got to really know them. However, the book eventually focused on a couple of point of views and towards the end, I was really missing some of the POVs that we read at the beginning — if only to give me an update as to what everyone else is up to! Nerissa was such a lovely character. When I first met her, I loved her curiosity and her wanting to be anonymous especially since eyes have been on her since she was born. As the book continued, you see her develop and her ferocity for her people was wonderful. I can’t wait to see more of her and see where she’ll take the kingdom. I also liked Einar, Ildiko, Raysel, and Rian! All these characters put together had this fantastic dynamic and my heart swelled with all the love and support that they showed for he royal family. We didn’t see more of Shae and Desta but I was really intrigued by them. I can’t wait to see more of them in the second book! I also hope that we get more Casimer point of views.
Memorable Moments: I really loved the masquerade party! The anticipation of knowing what was coming was killing me! I was excited and scared at the same time. I can’t spoil anything but I loved when Raysel and Rian learned the truth about Caeneus. I can’t wait until more and more of the Ohanzee and the people learn of the truth! Casimer doesn’t know what’s coming at him! Reflection: The Stranger in the Mirror is definitely a great start to a series! I look forward to rest of the books.