Obsidian Mirror

Obsidian Mirror - View this review and more at Whitley ReadsFisher’s writing creates a sense of atmosphere that gives new life to old concepts. The plot isn’t anything we haven’t seen before (someone mucks with time to get their dead loved ones back, it goes awry), but the book isn’t plot-driven. It’s atmosphere-driven. I have to admit, I can’t remember the last time I could apply that description to a novel. It manages to mix the feel of a fantasy, a light-sci-fi, and a dystopian all in one, then sets it in a gothic abbey. · Variety! There are so many genres and themes packed into this book, and that’s both good and bad. Nothing really has the time to be explored in depth, but it’s still interesting to see all these elements mix and coexist together. · The characters, likewise, provide something for everyone, but not really enough for anyone. They are very much one-note characters, with little in the way of development or depth, because there are simply too many of them to get really invested. But there’s such a variety, and their notes are so fitting, that it’s easy to get sucked in anyway.· The writing was at turns beautiful and infuriating. Some of the scenes and lines were so biting that I had to put the book down. Descriptions were concise and economical. Phrasing was beautiful. And then there were times where you wished she’d be a little less lyrical and use a few more words. I still have no idea what Venn’s lab looks like, and I’m very iffy on what goes on when the mirror is in action, because Fisher was, in a way, too careful with her words. It wouldn’t have hurt to throw a few more in there.· There was a staggering amount of POV hopping in this book. It didn’t quite feel 3rd person omniscient to me, because we’d get some very clear 3rd person limited style narration for a while…and then a few paragraphs later it would be limited to someone else…and then it would switch again…the text could barely decide who to focus on for more than a page.· This is another in a long list of examples of books that don’t realize that “character telling a story” and “part of the book where this character takes over narrating” aren’t the same thing. Excerpts from a character’s diary are supposed to tell us some backstory, but it’s literally written as if he is a narrator in a book, not in the manner that anyone, anywhere, would write in a diary. (Double-fail, since this wasn’t even supposed to be a diary; it was supposed to be a log of experiments and results.) A minor issue, but a major pet peeve of mine.