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The Dickens Mirror Hardcover – Mar 10 2015

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Carolrhoda Lab TM (March 1 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1606844210
  • ISBN-13: 978-1606844212
  • Product Dimensions: 14.7 x 4.1 x 21.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #167,521 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

Ilsa J. Bick is a child psychiatrist, film scholar, former Air Force major, and now a full-time author. Her critically acclaimed, award-winning YA novels include The Ashes Trilogy, Draw the Dark, Drowning Instinct, and The Sin-Eater’s Confession. Ilsa currently lives in rural Wisconsin, near a Hebrew cemetery. One thing she loves about the neighbors: they’re very quiet and only come around for sugar once in a blue moon.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Continuing from where White Space left off, Emma is now trapped in the mind of Elizabeth, who is in turn trapped inside an asylum in an alternate-universe Victoria London that is besieged by a strange thick fog and a dreaded rotting disease. Rima, Tony, and Bode are also there, but as though they grew up in that London, rather than as the characters we got to know in the previous book. Kramer is still after the secret of the Dickens Mirror and the ability to jump to different Nows.

This book is a brain-bender, and I'm not exaggerating. Firstly, there’s all the ideas that got introduced during White Space. That book-worlds can yield real people. That characters in books can create characters of their own and in turn become real. That real people can have pieces of themselves put into characters in books and thus share a deep link with them. That time is an illusion. That’s all still in there, and is fundamental to understanding what’s going on. Then you add in a tweak on dissociative identity disorder, the question of whether characters are more real than the people who created them, and whether or not I as the reader am even real or whether Ilsa Bick is still writing me!

(No, seriously, I actually had a moment during this book where I doubted my own reality. The Dickens Mirror may go down in my personal history as the only novel to give me an existential crisis.)

Then it goes on to get even more meta with the ending, when Emma is sitting in a bookstore listening to an author talk about her new novel, The Dickens Mirror, and how it plays with multiverse theory, and Emma thinks that she hates it when characters in books have the same name as her.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa1cd2294) out of 5 stars 4 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa1d8bcfc) out of 5 stars Utterly phenomenal; Bick's done it again! March 19 2015
By Bibliotropic .net - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Continuing from where White Space left off, Emma is now trapped in the mind of Elizabeth, who is in turn trapped inside an asylum in an alternate-universe Victoria London that is besieged by a strange thick fog and a dreaded rotting disease. Rima, Tony, and Bode are also there, but as though they grew up in that London, rather than as the characters we got to know in the previous book. Kramer is still after the secret of the Dickens Mirror and the ability to jump to different Nows.

This book is a brain-bender, and I'm not exaggerating. Firstly, there’s all the ideas that got introduced during White Space. That book-worlds can yield real people. That characters in books can create characters of their own and in turn become real. That real people can have pieces of themselves put into characters in books and thus share a deep link with them. That time is an illusion. That’s all still in there, and is fundamental to understanding what’s going on. Then you add in a tweak on dissociative identity disorder, the question of whether characters are more real than the people who created them, and whether or not I as the reader am even real or whether Ilsa Bick is still writing me!

(No, seriously, I actually had a moment during this book where I doubted my own reality. The Dickens Mirror may go down in my personal history as the only novel to give me an existential crisis.)

Then it goes on to get even more meta with the ending, when Emma is sitting in a bookstore listening to an author talk about her new novel, The Dickens Mirror, and how it plays with multiverse theory, and Emma thinks that she hates it when characters in books have the same name as her. And while it’s a lovely little tongue-in-cheek scene, it also begs the question as to whether or not that Emma is the primary Emma, or whether that’s even an applicable question because of course she can’t be, she’s just a character in the book I’m reading, OH WAIT MY BRAIN HURTS AGAIN!

This is what you’re in for when you read this series. And I strongly recommend you do. It’s phenomenal, one of the best YA series to come along in years, and tragically underappreciated because it involves a highly complex plot that many people just don’t seem to be able to wrap their heads around. It’s not a light read. It may require you to keep notes so that the converging plotlines and multi-dimensional versions of characters keep making sense. It’s the kind of series you read when you want something utterly out of the ordinary, something to challenge you and your fundamental beliefs about reality and the nature of being. It introduces some advanced ideas that aren’t simple to comprehend and are even more difficult to apply.

But here’s the thing. If you can fall into the right headspace, throw aside your understanding of reality and just let the story carry you along, it still all makes sense. It’s a mind-twister for certain, but it’s still a cohesive story that gets a solid conclusion within the boundaries it sets for itself. It’s not trite. It’s disturbing on multiple levels, both with stomach-churning imagery and thought-churning quantum theory. I think it works best for people who already know how to look at the world sideways, who look at life from different angles and who don’t just accept things as they are because that’s what everyone says is so. It’s for people who love to ask questions and be challenged by the answers. And it’s a series with amazing reread potential, something with earlier scenes you can probably read completely differently when you already know the truth.

I can’t recommend White Space and The Dickens Mirror enough, I really can’t. Bick works wonders here, true wonders, and I have immense respect for someone who can sit down and hold this entire story in their head while writing it out. Take your time with this one, let the amazing characters and the outstanding story sweep you away, keep copious notes, and enjoy the ride. I’ve found a gem among gems, a novel with wide cross-genre appeal, and while it may take some getting used to, it’s worth every last second.
HASH(0xa2404060) out of 5 stars The Dickens Mirror March 7 2016
By Sarah - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to Egmont USA and NetGalley.)

“Tell me where the mirror is and how to use it,”

This was a very odd story, in fact it might have been stranger than the first book.

There were multiple characters in this, and characters who were doubles – so we had 2 ‘Tony’s for instance, and it was all very confusing as to which character was which, how they related to each other, and even how to keep them straight when one character claimed to be both Elizabeth and Emma.

“Just because you keep waking up in the same body? How do you know that whatever you wake up in is yours?

The storyline in this was very confusing, with strange settings, and even stranger conversations. We had characters who weren’t sure if they were real or whether they were the product of an author’s imagination, weird discussions about whether dreams meant that you were real or unreal, and just generally what seemed like utter nonsense. I had hoped that we’d get some answers in this book as to what was going on, but I’ve finished it and I’m still pretty lost.

“I knew it. We’re the originals. These others are only impostors and pieces.”

6 out of 10
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa152e5f4) out of 5 stars Amazing text. Love reading a text that stretches your ... June 3 2015
By Jacqueline McMahon - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Amazing text. Love reading a text that stretches your thinking.
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By m pollard - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
WHAT??? I could not figure this out. I'm not one to give up on a book, however I did not finish this one. This is only the fourth book that I have not finished..and I have read some bad works. This was just a jumbled mess, didn't make any sense and just felt like the author was everywhere and nowhere all at once.

I was given this book in exchange for an honest review via NETGALLEY.


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