16 August 2014

Review: Dangerous Reflections - Shay West

Alexis Davenport begins seeing other faces in the mirror, faces that are not her own. When she inadvertently bets transported to Medieval Ireland and averts a small disaster, she quickly realises that she has the power to travel back in time. Her life is already complicated, and now her new home and boy drama are conflicting badly with her new-found gift. That's not even mentioning the shady, evil character who is meddling with time, and it seems like Alex is the only one who can stop him.

This book flew by in a blur for me. It had so much packed into it, everything to make it the ultimate teen read; magic, boys, confusion, parent issues, good friendships and a flowing, fast-paced narrative. I loved the massive amount of drama in this book - not only the brushes with history, which were great - but also those to do with moving to a new place, bullies and boys.

As characters go, not too many stood out for me apart from Alexis and her small group of friends. Even then, it was Alex that took centre-stage and only a couple of others stood out. I would have liked to see more of her friends in this book and have them explored a bit more thoroughly. Maybe this is done in the second book. Alex is not without her faults; she's selfish, easily jealous and unthinking when it comes to other's feelings. However, this doesn't make me like her any less. Let's face it, at her age, we are all like that; we all don't understand why our parents would act the way they do, we think everything is unfair and our hormones are going so crazy that our emotions flit from one to another like bees around flowers. In that way, the author has built a character we can all empathise with, who has a good heart and who quickly realises her mistakes. I loved the way she gained confidence and the ability to deal well with difficult situations - her character arc is subtle, and yet it really hits home after you read it.

The time travel element is fascinating and I loved the way it worked. Thankfully there were no loose ends in the explanation, but there was a hint of something more to come as Alex's powers develop. I loved the situations Alex found herself in and the amazing way she dealt with them, using her knowledge of history to ensure the timeline stays the same. You get the feeling that a lot of research has gone into these parts as you are truly transported to each of the times and places.

There was one thing that I did not like, and I am sure most people will agree with me here, the absolutely major cliffhanger ending. I turned the page, fully expecting there to be more story, only to be greeted with more titles from Shay West. My mouth must have fallen open and I just sat there a little bit confused. It honestly seemed like half the book had just been ripped away from me! OK, so this really makes me want to read the second book (Twisted Reflections) but most of the time I like the story to round its-self off as a whole instead of leaving the entire thing gaping like a wound.

Despite the ending, this was a great read. It's fast, shows a teenage viewpoint beautifully and it has just the right mixture of action, angst and fun. I need the second book right now.

Dangerous Reflections on Goodreads
Dangerous Reflections on Amazon.com
Dangerous Reflections on Amazon.co.uk

Thank you to Pamela Labbe at Booktrope Publishing for the review request and to Shay West for writing this great piece of fiction. This has not affected my rating.