Review Detail

4.7 1
Young Adult Fiction 1152
Voices in the Mirrors?
Overall rating
Writing Style
Review of "Dark Side of the Mirror" by R L Austin

Plot 5 Stars

Is fifteen year old Emily crazy or does she really hear voices in the mirrors?

Emily and her family have moved from Manhattan to San Francisco to live with her uncle in the large old house where her mother grew up. Emily's parents attribute the voices to the stress of the move and take her to see a psychiatrist. Emily is almost willing to go along, but when one of the voices turns out to be a fifteen year old boy who she can identify, and another the boy's father, everything changes.

Faced with a powerful opponent, Emily grows up quickly and steps up to the challenge using her wits, cunning and new-found powers.


I read the book in a single sitting. It is suitable for middle school and older, although adults will enjoy the story as well. It starts slowly but quickly picks up the pace. Once into the second chapter, the story races along at a furious pace.

The writing style is spare as would be appropriate of a good detective novel, which, in a sense, this is. There is a minimum of extraneous detail or unnecessary description. There are places where I think more detail would have enhanced the suspense, but it would have slowed down the action. This is a decision every author makes with every sentence.

The minimalistic writing style means that while Emily and Tyler's personalities are drawn in satisfying depth, the other characters are not filled out as well. While I agree with most of how the characters are handled, in the last few chapters, some of the characters, notably Ty's parents, fade out of sight. They are too important to have been shuffled off in this manner.

Even with my objections, I still feel the characterizations are worth four stars.

The writing style is perfect for the tone of the book and for the intended age of the reader. I found no grammatical, punctuation of formatting errors.

I would recommend this book for anyone middle school and older who likes a fun, easy, exciting read.
Good Points
The story is straightforward and uncomplicated with enough mystery to keep the reader intrigued.
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