Hello, lovelies! Good morning and nice Monday if possible to you all! Welcome to my review for The Wolf Mirror, from Caroline Healy =D I’ve received this book from Xpresso Book Tours in exchange for an honest review and this is the moment! Thank you guys! (shout out to Giselle, as usual! You roooock, girl! ❤ )
Changing places doesn’t always help you see things differently.
Cassie throws the first punch in a brawl at Winchester Abbey Girl’s School. Her subsequent suspension is a glitch in Cassie’s master plan; Finish School/Get Job/Leave Home (and never come back). As punishment her mother banishes her to Ludlow Park, their creepy ancestral home. In the dark of a stormy night Cassie finds herself transported to 1714, the beginning of the Georgian period.
With the help of a lady’s maid and an obnoxious gentleman, Mr Charles Stafford, Cassie must unravel the mysterious illness afflicting Lord Miller. If Lord Miller kicks the bucket the house goes to Reginald Huxley, the brainless cousin from London.
Cassie’s task is to figure out who is poisoning the Lord of Ludlow without exposing herself to the ridicule of her peers, getting herself committed to the asylum or worse, married off to the first man who will have her.
Cassie must learn to hold her tongue, keep her pride in check and reign in her rebellious nature – because the fate of her entire family, for generations, rests on her shoulders.
Meanwhile, Lady Cassandra Miller frantically searches for her smelling salts or her trusted governess Miss. Blythe, whose soothing advice she would dearly love. Instead Cassandra finds some woman and a boy squatting in the Ludlow mansion; her father, her lady’s maid and all the servants have magically disappeared.
Tell-a-vision, the In-her-net, horseless carriages and women wearing pantaloons; Cassandra is afraid that she might have inhaled fowl air causing her to temporarily lose her senses.
Only when both girls can get over their pride, societal prejudices and self-importance will they be able to return to their rightful century. Until then, they are free to wreak maximum damage on their respective centuries.
Me after finishing this book:
Just remembering that those are my impressions and opinion as a reader =)
As soon as I read the blurb, I knew I’d adore this book. Time travelling? Check. Doppelgängers shifting lives? Check. Strong and stubborn women ready to rock their ways into unknown times? CHECK. The Wolf Mirror was a wild realistic narrative that proves how a little distance from the problem can drastically change your perspective into it and help you see the bright sides. It’s not always that I’m tempted at giving half stars to books – I’m a go hard or go home kind of panda, oops! – but The Wolf Mirror left me torn. In the end, I opted for 4 stars instead of 5, as while the book was mind blowing, the little flaws I saw in it were enough to make me hesitate to pull the perfect score =) Really, this is like 4.95 stars. Sshhh!
The narrative was third person styled with switching points of view between Cassie and Lady Cassandra, with a major dominance of Cassie’s reports. I loved the writing style and the care that Healy had to the language, setting Cassie and Cassandra so apart as individuals that I barely needed the labels to know who was telling me the story. However, it was painfully annoyingly how much more invested the author was on Cassie’s side of the adventure than on Cassandras, as there are far, FAR more chapters dedicated to the 21st century girl than to our 1700’s lady. Also, several parts of Cassandra’s adventure in 2014 (the year when the story is set on the present times) were rushed and highly unbelievable.
The plot was brilliant in both sides of the mirror [haha, this panda is so funny]. While Cassie lived in a twisted web of social procedures and interactions, trying to discover what in hell is going on at Ludlow Park, Cassandra is forced to cope with a whole new world and to fit into a society she doesn’t understand. There are many comical moments for both women, several edging ones when we know they are screwing things badly and we want to step in and help and deep and emotional ones when they are lost or overwhelmed by the unfairness of the cosmos. Healy did a hell of a job, entwining their adventures and keeping both characters relevant in their own place.
My solely rant goes to the end and I don’t cope well with open endings. This book has an open end as you may have guessed and the final chapters are MEGA ULTA BLASTER rushed. Healy had the work to build a perfect world with so much care to just end things with a snap of her fingers? Really? I’m not amused. Also, have I mentioned that I DON’T COPE WELL WITH OPEN ENDINGS?
I already spoiled a lot about characters, but I’ll go on a little more about them, haha! My favorites were Tallulah (Cassie’s BFF that helps Cassandra when things go south), Molly (Cassandra’s dress maid that helps Cassie pretty much 24/7) and Cassie herself. I’ll get to Cassie in a moment, but I want to generally appraise the growth of all relevant characters during the book. I still don’t understand Charlie’s shady behavior, Nicholas sudden appearance – acting like he owned the world, and if anyone that has read this book as well may be so kind in informing me what in hell happened to Mrs. Elizabeth, who is mentioned several times along the book and never showed up or had her absence explained, it would be much appreciated, BUT: everyone relevant grows and changes and that is life. This is awesome.
Now, I need to take a moment to talk about Cassie. I was SO SURE I was going to hate her when the book began. She was literally a rebel without much cause, acting bratty and stubborn all the time for nothing. However, when she finds herself alone in a strange place with no apparent means of ever going back to her own time, Cassie evolves in a lovely fashion. She still makes a lot of mistakes and her temper is awful, but the outbursts make sense. Her mistakes are earnest and she has clear objectives in mind. Seriously, I’m so proud!
Now, the time you all had been awaiting for. I was so engrossed in this book I only ended up highlighting two quotes; coincidentally, one from Cassie and another from Cassandra. BAD PANDA, I KNOW. For more Healy’s wisdom, read the book 😉
Jane Austen movies never showed how horribly uncomfortable carriages were to ride in. – Cassie’s thoughts
She had a duty, a duty to what was right, not what was proper. – Lady Cassandra’s thoughts
I loved the concept of this cover and it is the solemnly responsible for my first interest on the book, as it was my first book by Caroline. I loved the duality modern girl versus vintage girl and the mirroring on their images was a genius move. The colors, the mansion, the background: I liked it all! My only complaint lies on the thin type font chosen for part of the title and for the author’s name. It’s too thin and the purple shade did nothing to help in the reading – all you can read is the “wolf” in the flourished writing (another master move). Honestly, I stopped scrolling down when I saw this book because I thought it would be something like time travelling wereshewolves, but I ended up stuck with something far more interesting, haha!
Overall, if you like Young adult, time travelling, multiple relevant characters and a bit of suspense, YOU HAVE TO GRAB THIS ONE.
Thank you so much for reading this review and thanks a lot again to Xpresso Book Tours for my review copy =D Bellow, you can read more info abou book and author, plus check out an amazing giveaway!
The Wolf Mirror
by Caroline Healy
Publication date: February 14th, 2017
Genres: Historical, Romance, Young Adult
The Wolf Mirror is available in ebook and paperback!
Caroline Healy is a writer and community arts facilitator. She recently completed her M.A. in Creative Writing at the Seamus Heaney Centre, Queen’s University. She alternates her time between procrastination and making art.
In 2012 her award winning short story collection A Stitch in Time was published by Doire Press. Fiction and commentary has been featured in publications across Ireland, the U.K. and more recently in the U.S. Caroline’s work can be found in journals such as Wordlegs,The Bohemyth, Short Story Ireland, Short Stop U.K., Five Stop Story, Prole, Literary Orphans and the Irish Writers’ Centre Lonely Voice
Her debut Y.A. novel, Blood Entwines was published by Bloomsbury Spark in August 2014 and she is in the process of writing the second book in the series, Blood Betrayal, as well as a short story collection, The House of Water.
She has a fondness for dark chocolate, cups of tea and winter woollies.
One lucky INTERNATIONAL winner will take home a $25 Amazon gift card!