Review: Reflection: The Stranger in the Mirror by Rachel R. Smith

Monday, May 9, 2016

Records of the Ohanzee #1
Publisher: Self Published (I think)
Publication Date: May 9th, 2015
Rating: 2 Stars
Source: eARC from Netgalley
Pages: 265

Summary (from Goodreads):

An Heiress, an ancient prophecy, and a masquerade... 
Nerissa, the Heiress of Chiyo, prepares for the masquerade celebrating the twentieth anniversary of a thwarted assassination attempt on her family. Longing to be admired for herself and not her title, she arranges to switch costumes and enjoy the ball in blissful anonymity. But, when the fateful night finally comes, a prophetic warning of a second attack arrives too late, and the evening turns from revelry and romance to violence. After being pulled from the chaos by an enigmatic guardian, Nerissa learns that the Royal Family has been concealing a formidable secret for generations--and it is only one of many that are about to be revealed. 

Reflection: The Stranger in the Mirror is Book 1 of 4 in the Records of the Ohanzee series, which is written in a serialized style with a story line that flows continuously between books.

This book was definitely a cover request for me! That cover is so so pretty. However, I didn't care much for the rest of the book.

The Plot

It's been twenty years since the assassination attempt on the family of Nerissa, the Heiress of Chiyo. To celebrate, every year the royal family hosts a masquerade. Nerissa doesn't enjoy the masquerades as much as she used to before she was officially named as the Heiress. She misses just being another person in the crowd. So for this masquerade, Nerissa has secretly gotten herself another costume that she can wear after sneaking away in her original costume.

When something at the masquerade goes horribly wrong, Nerissa is taken, unconscious, to a hidden city to heal and figure out where to go from there.

I think that I really could have liked Nerissa, she seemed like a fairly reasonable girl. Wanting to deal with the disaster that happened after the masquerade, but also not running headfirst into danger with no thought for anything or anyone, but her goal. But at the beginning of the book, she called another girl a hussy for her masquerade outfit and I thought that was uncalled for and this book was short enough that I didn't have time to get over it.

There are lots of other characters talked about in this book and the story will sometimes switch to their points of view. Some of them I didn't see the point of. Some of them, if they had been excluded and maybe added later, could have made the book more interesting. Most of them, I just didn't care about.

I felt like everyone was entirely too rational in this book. Like there was conflict, but at the same time, I didn't think there was enough??

There really is no romance in this book. For two seconds during the masquerade, Nerissa connects with another partygoer, but then stuff goes down and that's about the extent of it in this book.

I feel like this book just jumps into everything. There's not really any introduction to what's going on, not really any background. There's a lot of stuff about crystals in this book, but like, I don't get it. It doesn't really explain the crystals, I didn't think. There is a prologue... at the END of the book. But by that point, I couldn't have cared less what it had to say.

And this book just kind of ends. There's really not much for any kind of action in this book. The book ends like right where the action could start picking up.

On my Nook, this book had 137 pages. I thought ooh, yay this will be a fast read. But it felt like it draaaagged on so much. I was just desperately trying to get to page 50 so I could DNF it, but then the story started to fractionally pick up and I felt like I could make it to the end. And I did. Barely.

Overall, I probably would not recommend this book. It didn't give any background, it just ends. Nothing really happens. I would not continue to read this series and if anyone downloaded this book from Netgalley after seeing the cover in my stacking the shelves post... I just want to say I'm sorry.

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