Refraction

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4.3
 
4.3 (1)
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Refraction
Author(s)
Age Range
12+
Release Date
November 05, 2019
ISBN
978-1624148903
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After an attack on earth, all reflective surfaces become weapons to release monsters, causing a planet-wide ban on mirrors. Despite the danger, the demand rises, and 17-year-old Marty Callahan becomes a distributor in an illegal mirror trade―until he’s caught by the mayor's son, whose slate is far from clean. Both of them are exiled for their crimes to one of the many abandoned cities overrun by fog. But they soon realize their thoughts influence their surroundings and their deepest fears begin to manifest. With fast pacing and riveting characters, this is a book that you’ll finish in one sitting.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

strong #ownvoices sci-fi/dystopian read
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
REFRACTION is a highly readable/devourable book that is certainly a page-turner. In the post-apocalyptic future, a small island appears to be the only place to have survived an alien landing. A strange ship showed up in the sky and mirrors are the tools through which aliens have sent Beings to destroy humankind. The island has survived by outlawing mirrors.

Marty has hopes that his brother is still out there somewhere, and he is determined to get to him. He illegally deals in mirrors to gather the funds he needs to find his brother. The penalty for such dealings is exile, which essentially equates to death with the Beings who are out there. When he is caught by the mayor's son, and they are exiled together, their journey becomes even stranger than the lone island they came from, and bigger questions and answers arise.

To avoid spoilers, I will be somewhat vague. The plot was quite creative with plenty of twists and turns. A lot of questions come up earlier and they are all answered by book's end. The strongest part of the book is the main character, Marty, and how he lives with his OCD. The book does a great job of describing this as well as his past therapies/treatments, and the portrayal really brings OCD to life for people who do not have this disorder. Given the setting/other events, this may seem like a smaller part of the story, but I found it to be the most poignant and the biggest takeaway from a solid sci-fi/dystopian read.

Overall, this is a great YA sci-fi read- not only for the page-turning, fast-paced, and mind-stretching plot that keeps the reader hooked, but also, mainly, for the powerful #ownvoices portrayal of a main character with OCD. Highly recommend picking this one up.
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User reviews

1 reviews

Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0  (1)
Characters 
 
5.0  (1)
Writing Style 
 
4.0  (1)
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Refraction
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
4.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
Marty is a flawed character in any number of ways, not least of which is his propensity to do what's best for himself even if it's not legal or good for anyone else; in fact, he has been known to actually put others in harm's way. Despite that, he works hard to control his OCD and his ultimate goal is to find his brother. Before the alien attack, Marty was making progress under therapy to manage his OCD but it's much more difficult now without professional help and, of course, medication is no longer available.

Earth is in shambles after the aliens brought monsters and survival is predicated on a strict ban on reflective surfaces because that's how the monsters get through. That ban, quite naturally, created a black market for mirrors and Marty is a player. When he gets caught by another teen, Elliott, both are headed for real trouble, sent into the deadly fog. The two boys are on their own and have to rely on each other, developing a real friendship as they come to know and trust each other.

The plot here is creative and well-planned, keeping me flipping electronic pages to find out what would happen next. The author's characterizations are vivid and appealing and the monsters are just as scary as they should be...almost as much as Elliott's mother. Also, not to repeat myself, it's really refreshing to have a story focused on two boys.
Good Points
There is much to like about this book but two things in particular really made me love it---(1) the main characters are boys and (2) there's no romance. No, girls do not have to be the stars of everything ;-)
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