***I received this book in exchange for an honest review via NetGalley and Entangled Teen.
“…and once again President William Gifford had me under his jurisdiction, he couldn’t resist plucking an apple from the tree of knowledge and taking a bite. Travel and I were their Adam and Eve, but this was no Eden. There was no place like home, and clicking my heels together wouldn’t help.”
“Flooded with nausea, I imagined the babies in various stages of growth catching fire as they hit the flames, babies who never had a chance, fetuses who didn’t choose to be born under odds that were against their fate.”
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.
Mirror X is quite possibly one of the most disturbing and weird books I’ve ever read and that’s saying something. It’s creepy in the most vile and intrusive ways, getting under your skin and working its way through your system in the form of shock and disquieting foreboding. If you’re looking for the kind of chilling, goosebumps inducing, hair on end read without breaking into the horror genre, this is definitely for you.
- Mirror X is an unconventional, horrifying dystopian that in many ways has veins of other popular YA books but takes them to a new level, one darker and decidedly more twisted. Several of the plot points are ingenious and just so despicable and wicked that it’s hard to imagine that much evil and lack of regard for personal space. The way they harvest DNA, the experimentations, the treatment of the fetuses is all just so grossly and grotesquely described that it will leave you reeling and haunted. The scenes in the uterus chambers are extremely disturbing and nightmarish, the treatment of death and disregard for human life is harrowing and jolting. You will not be able to unsee these images. The descriptions were really intense and graphic.
- It’s impossible not to feel bad for Cassie. The way she’s viewed by society, their inability to understand how violated she feels and what they’ve done to her without consent is the most hellish, horrific thing I can imagine. As a woman, as a human being, Cassie’s trauma with shake and twist your stomach. My heart broke for her, to be so worshiped in some aspects and neglected is just hard to handle and understand. While sacrifices for humanity are never easy, this is just beyond anything I’ve seen. And in a comatose state no less-abominable.
- The technology and the 31st century is crazy detailed. The life forms, the various shades of robot and devices, the computers and the advances in cloning are see-inspiring. So much has happened and the transition from Cassie’s world in the 2200s to this world is a kick to the system that completely startling and everything in this world is a surprise.
- The genetics lab members are creepy. They’re like indoctrinated little puppets with their odd phrases and egg jewelry. The fertility symbols and the leers that Cassie gets from some of the doctors is gross and will leave you feeling dirty.
- How Cassie holds up and pushes through her circumstances is so admirable. As the truth comes out and what’s been done to her is revealed, she has moments of gut-wrenching clarity and an awareness of her body that puts biological function at the forefront of every thought. Cassie has lost so much and it’s ironic because in being saved it produced the death of her free will. She’s robbed of choices and placed into a lifestyle that she would never have chosen. Death seems like the better alternative, it’s just so sickeningly bad. Cassie is a fighter, she plots and plans to make an escape despite the consequences and the pretty impossible situation, she never gives up. Cassie is an incredible person, despite everything she still sympathizes with the plight of the 31st century and is willing to give herself up to it but on her own terms. That she is able to overcome the hurt and pain of what the society has done to her is amazingly strong and shows how powerful her compassion is, I don’t know many who would do the same in her situation.
- Love the cover. The colors just pop and while it’s not what I would have imagined for the story, it’s really pretty.
- The story itself is very bleak and it should be. There’s nothing happy or hopeful, the overall tone was well done and consistent.
- It’s difficult to make a connection with most of the characters, not because they’re brainwashed or so wrapped up in their goal for a productive future but because there’s just not enough of them. Most of the plot is focused on extremes from Cassie’s perspective, there are clear villains and love interests but this is skewed too. Cassie, on one hand is so paranoid and expects sinister intentions from everyone yet is so trusting of others. The entire book, I was just waiting for betrayal.
- There’s a substantial amount of foreshadowing or in the very least hints that you can fairly often predict what’s coming and because of this, it’s kind of disappointing that Cassie isn’t more ahead of the government’s game.
- Instalove. Upon meeting there’s an undeniable attraction between Cassie and Michael and a few pages later it’s full-blown love. There wasn’t any build up, at least from Cassie’s side. While Michael has had a long time for his enamored feelings to form, from Cassie it feels random and unfounded.
- Travel is like a dreamy, fluctuating free spirit without opinions of his own. First, he’s all for the government’s game plan and into making the best out of the situation because that’s what he’s been told to do, then he starts listening to Cassie and he’s 100% with her wishes. Travel’s personality wasn’t developed enough for attachment and his relationship with Cassie is just too easy, it falls into place and it’s hard to gauge whether Cassie feels anything for him and vice versa.
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