Tuesday, June 24, 2014

ARC Review of Dangerous Reflections by Shay West


YA Fantasy

Alex has the ability to time travel via mirrors. She can't pick the time or place, but all the women she morphs into are very, very familiar, especially around the eyes ... she soon realizes that the lives she's jumping into are ones that she lived before! I love the entwining of reincarnation and time travel. It's an original idea that I don't think has been explored before.
Alex is also a teenager dealing with all kinds of very real issues. Her father walked out on her family, and her mom is forced to move them to a different town and into her rich aunt's guesthouse. Things aren't as dire as they seem, however. Turns out that she loves living in the guesthouse, and being part of her aunt's life. She also meets a great group of friends at school and discovers she has a talent for acting. 
And ... she's lucky enough to be lab partners with Beau, a hot guy who happens to be dating a nasty piece of work named Catelyn. Is Beau being nice to Alex just because he wants homework help? Or does he harbor stronger feelings for her? I thought the way this relationship progressed was very realistic. Alex seems a bit sheltered and naive for her age, perfect bait for Beau and Catelyn. I was so happy when she starts to stand up for herself, instead of letting Catelyn push her around. 
The time travel segments were really interesting. Alex is a history buff, so it makes sense that she quickly finds her footing in every time she's thrown into. She's everything from a courtesan in Venice (an uncomfortable vocation for a teenage girl to be in, but no worries, nothing sexy happens while she's there) to a elderly slave woman on Jefferson's plantation. Two mysterious figures, Master and Drifter, hope to stop Alex from time traveling. They want to change history, and Alex is there every time to thwart them. There are a few close shaves, however. I wasn't sure she would be able to leave the plantation at all ... gulp!
There were a few things that bothered me: I wanted to know more about Drifter, especially since he mindlessly took Master's orders. I just didn't buy it without knowing more about his life, pre-Master. The slaves on the plantation also seemed ... a tad too happy to be realistic. 
The novel ends on a real cliffhanger. I can't wait to read the next book!




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