In the forward to Mirror, Mirror Les Edgerton quotes one of his young daughters as saying something like “I really liked that book. It scared the crap out of me.” Edgerton wrote the book hoping to impress his daughters, and boy did he. He impressed me, too, and, believe me, you’ll be impressed as well.
16-year-old Elizabeth Mary Downing begins to see a reflection in the mirror that isn’t quite hers. She gets curious, investigates. Mistake. Soon she ends up on the wrong side of the mirror. And she doesn’t get to go on fun adventures with Chesire Cats and Mad Hatters once she steps through. Instead, she has to watch her ne’er-do-well doppelganger ruin her reputation and relationships while she watches helplessly from her void on the dark side of the glass. It’s a mess designed to both entertain and frighten. Guaranteed.
Edgerton is one of the best writers around for inventing dire dilemmas for his protagonists, and here he’s at his best because he’s created a paranormal environment where he’s not bound by laws of physics, time, or space. Turn him Les loose like that and you’re in for a scary ride.
For those of a certain age (read me) there’s nostalgic value in having Mirror, Mirror during a time period when a teenage can speak of Yoko Ono and Lawrence Welk and depend on her compatriots to understand her. But that’s just a bonus. The heart of the matter is the fix Elizabeth finds herself in and what she has to do to get herself out of it. That’s the book, and a juicy one it is. This is billed as a Young Adult novel, but don’t let that keep you adults from picking it up or downloading it. It’s a world you may be nervous to enter, but one you can’t resist stepping into. Go for it.