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Mirror X (The Van Winkle Project Book 1) by…

Mirror X (The Van Winkle Project Book 1)

by Karri Thompson

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Read all my reviews on http://urlphantomhive.booklikes.com

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, thank you!

Mirror X is the first book in the Van Winkle Project series.

Finally! It's been a while since I actually liked a Dystopian YA, but this was a very interesting story. A weird side note though, the description in the blurb (at least on GR) is incorrect, as she doesn't come from 'space'...

When Cassie wakes in a hospital, she never expected to be in the 31st century. She died a thousand years ago in a helicopter crash and her body was frozen, in hopes she could once be restored back to life. But if that's what is best for Cassie?

The 31st century isn't unlike the 21st, but with some robots, no trees/grass and a mandatory iPad. Medicine has obviously invented new stuff, as they can now bring people back from the dead (by regrowing all neurons in the brain; how can she still has her memory?). Everyone is wearing a L-band, which can track people down and also is a telephone and a key. No one seems to have problems in this Brave New World...

That's not where the comparison ends. Babies are grown in artificial wombs, as a great plague that killed half the population left all women infertile. Their solution was cloning, but a flaw caused all women to have under developed ovaries and therefore no eggs. Cloning a clone isn't a success either, so the world's population is running on it's last legs. Until that is, Cassie is awakened, with her perfectly fine ovaries...

I had to search Van Winkle, as I had never heard of it. It turns out to be a short story by Washington Irving about a man who falls asleep and wakes twenty years later to find the world a completely different place (as in the US are no longer part of Great Britain). Nice touch.

What did annoy me was the love *insert some kind of geometrical shape*. I could for once understand why everyone would fall in 'love' with her, as she is the only person on the planet who can bear children. But there are too many mentions that she's so beautiful, making it just plain old insta-love.

However, it was very hard for me to put this novel down. The story has something refreshing even though it's far from perfect. I'll check out the next book in this series... ( )
  Floratina | May 26, 2016 |
How great does this book sound, right? It’s not hard to believe that I was super excited to gain access to it, meaning that I read it at the first opportunity I got.

But that’s just my problem. This book had so much potential with it’s unique idea but it really let me down.

Problem 1# – Annoying protagonist:
Cassie, Cassie, Cassie. I have read about some really annoying characters recently and Cassie is right up there, if not at the top. She was confusing and changed her mind too quickly and too frequently. I really couldn’t relate to her and she was just dislikeable in general. Her reactions to situations were unrealistic, or, well, annoying. She has no idea what she wants and overreacts. Plus she can’t seem to grasp the fact that she may possibly be in the wrong herself sometimes and that sometimes people just had to do things concerning her. Sometimes even for her benefit. She spent a lot of time crying or being sick.

Problem 2# – On again/off again:
The romance confused me so much. She sees this doctor really early on in the book and immediately melts over him. And it gets worse. He falls in love with her too. Instalove at its worse. But possibly worst of all, the doctor (Michael) falls in love with her before she has even been awoken. It’s confusing because it’s weird and kind of in reverse. She loves him and swoons at the possibility of seeing him and then that seems to gradually decrease. It’s hard to explain without spoiling anything. But hence the title of this sub-catergory, her feelings for him seem to be on again and then they are gone.

Problem 3# – Flaws:
The heading for this title is very broad because I am going to summarise some stuff here, so that I don’t spoil anything. But there really were some flaws. Some things that couldn’t have happened and I picked up a mistake or two (that I can currently remember).

But it wasn’t all bad.

Good Thing 1# – Imagery:
I have this bad habit of skimming what I read and I don’t always catch myself doing it. But I wasn’t actually bored in this book. Plus I actually pictured what was going on! I never do that!The good world building probably helped there.

Good Thing 2# – Easy read:
It was a relaxing, easy read. Without being boring. Readable.

Good Thing 3# – Plot twists:
Some of the most decent plot twists I’ve seen in a while! Seriously, this is what is rounding my rating up to two on Goodreads (since half stars aren’t offered). I didn’t see them coming and they really did improve the book.

I liked the idea of cloning and bringing back famous people. As much as I wasn’t a fan of Cassie (or Michael really), I definitely cared for quite a few of the other characters. Plus I really like the cover.

I would probably read a sequel, which suprises me because I don’t always read sequels for books
I rate 3 stars. I think that any sequels really do have potential and could be pulled off well. I’d like to see some good personal development in Cassie especially. I’m curious in terms of the story, so I would like to read a sequel.

1.5/5 comets
Just missed Earth. Almost ok. ( )
  Livvvy75 | Jul 7, 2014 |
Mirror X is set in what is supposed to be a utopian, technologically and societally advanced world. But in reality, it is a dystopian in which horrible things may be done for altruistic reasons. In many ways, this book reminded me of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. Humanity was lost in the face of science, hidden behind an agenda that, on the surface, would seem positive.

This book was difficult for me to read at times, the issues at hand often reminding me too clearly what I have recently lost. Women in similar circumstances may find these themes particularly poignant, even meaningful, even as it is hard to read. But there is also a level of empathy to be had for many of the characters.

Cassie was an interesting character, our heroine. She died in Arizona in the year 2022 and wakes up 1,003 years later in a hospital in Los Angeles. Not only is everyone in her life long gone, the world as she knew it is also gone, mostly without a trace. She is surrounded by people she doesn't know, people who will not give her straight answer about her future, setting the stage for a life filled with secrets and distrust. This is worsened when the only people she does feel close to also lie to her and withhold vital information. True, many times it was for her own protection, but lies are lies and I could empathize with her feelings. There is a level of empathy that seems to be largely mission in the society of 3025 and it makes those from that time unable to understand or relate to Cassie's personality and emotional reactions. So much of treatment made me bristle, so much that I felt like my blood pressure was going to go through the roof!

The characters in this book all evoked emotion, which is something I love to find. Michael irritated me throughout most of the book. Lies, lies, more lies. There were reasons, reasons that made a certain amount of sense. The result was a character that I still don't entirely trust. He spent much of his time fawning over her and whining about their situation, but for most of the book he spent little time actually doing a whole lot about it. Mentioned in the blurb, I thought Travel was going to be a more central character in the novel. He does have a major role, but his story line went in places I did not expect. I am still not sure how I feel about that. I think Magnum may be my favorite, the tech rebel who goes above and beyond. He rocks!

There was some insta-love, too, which I generally hate. But in this case, I thought it really worked. She has been thrust into a world that makes no sense to her, forced into situations that are violating and rather reprehensible. It was Cassie, grasping to have some kind of true human connection with someone in this weird world that she felt no connection to.

The ending was the only part that I questioned. It was very hurried and seemed to tie things up too easily and too neatly. I don't know if this was purposeful, but, with all of the betrayal and distrust throughout the novel, it could just as easily be a setup for the next novel.

Things to love...

--The imagery. This is a world set more than a thousand years in the future, so imagery was important in order to visualize a world so different than our own.
--Twists and turns. There were so many unexpected moments that totally turned the story on edge.
--The premise. Harsh and disturbing it may be, but it is gripping.

My Recommendation: I will definitely be reading the next book in this series. I couldn't put this one down, even through the parts that most disturbed me! I gave it 4.5 mugs! ( )
  Kiki870 | Jun 24, 2014 |
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