Review: The Dickens Mirror

The Dickens Mirror The Dickens Mirror by Ilsa J. Bick
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Set in an alternative London, The Dickens Mirror is within a single Now this time around. Continuing with the theme of blurring reality and fiction, Bick centers this story around Elizabeth, who is grown up and committed in this version of London. The setting is post-apocalyptic and the characters from the previous book appear in this, but slightly different. Of course, with multiverses, you can have mutliple variations on the same character, and the book plays on that. So, basic story – someone is hunting down these alternate variations of these characters and Emma is brought to this London as a kid. The adult Emma is stuck in the Dark Passages because the stain won’t allow her to leave. She and the other characters from the first, all are stuck here, and forced to live in Elizabeth’s consciousness. The build-up is definitely slow, nothing like White Space which was mostly horror and action. There is also a Arthur Conan Doyle alternate, and his reason for being there is quite interesting. The book gets very meta towards the end and truly, I cannot explain the ingenuity in words. The ending was surprisingly comforting for a reader, considering the previous book was of nightmarish proportions. I don’t know if this was a duology, but if it is, it ended pretty well, with good resolution to every character. The writing – well, there will never be a day when I don’t praise Bick. I suspect she uses the Dark Passages, with how real her books seem. 😉 Honestly, she has this way of making so distinct and realistic multiple POVs, that I feel like I am living the book. There is also a meta moment at the end of the book that breaks the fourth wall and I was just euphoric at it. Oh, if only! The pace was slow, and that’s where I found it a bit lacking. For a nearly 600 page book, it was less development and more tying up everything together, so it definitely lacked in the action but certainly made up in the mind-messing department. Received an ARC from EgmontUSA via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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