Book Review: Mirror Sight (Green Rider #5) by Kristen Britain

Mirror Sight CoverSince I’ve finished this book, I’ve been debating with myself over how many stars to give it. It definitely deserves at least 4 stars for its technical aspects (there were a few minor issues), but as a reader who was fully invested in the characters, for all the feels I had (yes, it caused some tears–the most since I read The Fault in Our Stars two years ago), for all it manages to accomplish as far as political statements go and providing fabulous role models for young girls and instigating thought, and as someone who has looked up to Karigan and followed her endeavors since middle school (in many cases looking to her as a friend and guide through puberty and into adulthood), I desperately want to give this book 5 stars.
What I will do is give this book 4.5 stars, and the entire series 5 stars.
As the series progresses it reminds me more and more of G.R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones in that Britain doesn’t shy away from painful realities or consequences in a world on the brink of massive war. I respect her so much for that, even if it’s hell on my heart.
Concerning this book:
The pacing was, for the most part, spot on. This is no mean feat, considering how the book is 700+ pages and is told from multiple characters’ points of view. This is especially impressive to me considering that I generally do not like stories told from multiple points of view for this very reason–it screws with momentum. The key was that the other viewpoints were short enough while still being consistent enough to get the other story lines told and to not make it awkward when Karigan was unable to narrate in her own time, leaving it to one of her companions.
The characters themselves were, except for one, complex, interesting, and dynamic. The one exception, and maybe my biggest critique of this book, was that Arhys, a rather significant character, was so thoroughly a brat that I couldn’t find it in me to cheer on the other characters in their interactions with her. That plot progression would have been much stronger for a more robust character.
This new setting was just as well, if not more, drawn out. This new society provided the prime condition for Britain to comment on certain political realities we readers face, namely those concerning female agency/equality and gay rights. Actually, it wasn’t until this book, with its direct juxtaposition with Karigan’s “normal” time period, that I realized quite how awesome this commentary was and has been.
What sticks out most for me, though, are the last 100 pages or so. They are raw and heartbreaking and joyful and dramatic. I both loved and hated it so passionately at the same time and for many of the same reasons. And that, dear friends, is the mark of a good writer and story. That trumps the other technical difficulties by far.
In my estimation, the point of stories are to make you think, but also equally important, to make you feel. So while I may nitpick and notice some issues, what is ultimately the most vital thing for me was that I was emotionally engaged to an extent that profoundly affected me. In doing so, it facilitated and enhanced my thinking in ways that would not have happened otherwise, ultimately making it a book that transcends fiction and becomes a part of not only my real world, but can have implications for this communal world we all share.

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