Thursday, June 9, 2022

Mini-Review: A Mirror Mended (Fractured Fables #2) by Alix E. Harrow

*This was meant to be a mini review, so it's set up in my usual mini review format, but it went a bit longer than I anticipated. Whoops!

A Mirror Mended (Fractured Fables #2) by Alix E. Harrow
Publication: June 14th, 2022
Hardcover. 144 pages.

About A Mirror Mended:
"Zinnia Gray, professional fairy-tale fixer and lapsed Sleeping Beauty, is over rescuing snoring princesses. Once you’ve rescued a dozen damsels and burned fifty spindles, once you’ve gotten drunk with twenty good fairies and made out with one too many members of the royal family, you start to wish some of these girls would just get a grip and try solving their own narrative issues. 

Just when Zinnia’s beginning to think she can't handle one more princess, she glances into a mirror and sees another face looking back at her: the shockingly gorgeous face of evil, asking for her help. Because there’s more than one person trapped in a story they didn’t choose. Snow White's Evil Queen has found out how her story ends, and she's desperate for a better ending. She wants Zinnia to help her before it’s too late for everyone. Will Zinnia accept the Queen's poisonous request and save them both from the hot-iron shoes that wait for them, or will she try another path?"

A Mirror Mended is the second book in Alix E. Harrow's Fractured Fables that follows Zinnia Gray as she travels throughout fairy tale worlds saving princesses (only when they need saving, of course) and making sure everyone gets a safe and fair story. This time, however, things go a bit haywire when Zinnia is sucked into a mirror after seeing a face staring back at her–and falls right into the lair of an actual Evil Queen. 

What I liked: Zinnia's narrative tone has easily been and remained one of the highlights of these novellas. She has a very dry, witty, and biting humor that could not work better for the story, and I consistently find her voice impossible to ignore. I found Zinnia a surprisingly endearing character and someone whose adventures and struggles I empathize with and really enjoy following. All of Harrow's characters are fully fleshed out and manage to both embody stereotypes while subverting them at the same time. You really never know what you're going to get! I have also loved Harrow's exploration of agency in this series and the pre-ordained roles characters are often typecast into without hope for change. 

What I didn't like: There really weren't too many things I didn't like about A Mirror Mended, which is always a great thing to be able to say. My biggest "complaints" (if you can even call them that) were that there were a few elements here and there that felt a bit too rehashed from the plot of the first book, or that just didn't fully feel as though they offered much in the way of new ideas. There were also times when moments of the plot felt a little too convenient or "easy," as if the author had a very specific story and message to tell and wanted to make sure to get that done without too much trouble. I wouldn't say there's anything really wrong with this, especially in a shorter book, but it just gave the story a bit of a different vibe with slightly lower stakes. Neither of these issues took that much away from me being able to enjoy my reading experience, but they are things I wanted to point out anyway. 

Overall, I've given A Mirror Mended four stars! I've really liked this duology of novellas and think anyone who enjoyed restructured fairy tales and an exploration of their foundational components would enjoy this as well!

*I received a copy of A Mirror Mended courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.*

Buy the book: Amazon |

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