Title: Mirror X
Series: The Van Winkle Project #1
Author: Karri Thompson
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: 06/30/14
From the publisher—
Cassie Dannacher wakes up in a hospital over 1,000 years into the future after her space capsule is retrieved from space. She soon learns that 600 years prior to her arrival, the earth was struck by a plague, killing over half of the world’s population. Naïve and desperate, Cassie, who longs for home and is having trouble adjusting to the new, dictatorial 31st century government, is comforted by Michael Bennett, the 20-year old lead geneticist at the hospital where she was revived.
But why is Cassie in genetics’ hospital in the first place, and why do several of the people around her seem so familiar, including Travel Carson, the hot and edgy boy she is fated to meet? Soon she discovers there is a sinister answer to all of her questions – and that they want something from Cassie that only she can give.
Shades of Kirk and Spock: The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Or the one. That is the logical way of looking at things but, sometimes, it doesn’t seem like the human way. What if you were put in a situation in which you had to make a truly serious choice? Taking it a step further, suppose your decision would mean either the end of humanity or a new beginning? Given those parameters, the choice would appear to be pretty straightforward—I think most people would opt to sacrifice themselves if it meant life could go on for our species—but things are never that simple, are they?
Cassie is an odd mix of maturity and childish rebellion but most 17-year-olds would be much like her in similar circumstances. That dichotomy made connecting with Cassie a little difficult for me at least in part because she flips and flops and seems to give in much too easily. Michael, on the other hand, seems to be a poor choice for a romantic lead because the man never stops lying. As for the other characters, well, quite a few were deliciously despicable and I took pleasure in wishing harm would befall them sooner rather than later. If I have a favorite, it has to be Magnum but I won’t say why lest I influence you unfairly.
So, if I don’t like most of the players, does that mean I think Ms. Thompson’s character development is faulty? No, not at all, because the hallmark of good characterization is that the reader reacts to them and that I did in spades. With very few exceptions, this is Cassie against the world and the potential outcome is as critical as it can possibly be. My attention was on this book even when I was away from it.
Ms. Thompson does a good job with worldbuilding and, even though most of the story takes place in a limited area, I could easily visualize the surroundings. If there’s any weakness in this element, it’s that things are remarkably similar to our own time other than the robots and the L-bands and a few other things while I would expect much more technological advance in a thousand years, plague or not.
With regards to the ending, I really felt it was a bit rushed and was one of several areas when things seemed to happen too neatly but I also enjoyed the way this first of the trilogy wraps up with a sense that Cassie’s life is about to change dramatically. I’m already anticipating meeting up with her again, hopefully not too far in the future, pun intended 😉
Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, July 2014.
About the Author
My debut YA novel, Amateur Angel, was released May 1, 2012. The next book in that series, Hollywood Angels, comes out September 1. The first book in my dystopian trilogy, The Van Winkle Chronicles, was released by Entangled Publishing Summer 2014.
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