Mirror Image is the first volume of the MindVision trilogy which begins with the story of the twins ‘Hope’ & ‘Hart Wilson’. While Hart is an ambitious, impulsive and ravishing young man with refined taste & extravagant lifestyle, his sister Hope, on the other hand, is calm, considerate and always looking out for his brother. The twins are blessed with a special power called ‘Awareness’ which lets them see through the lives of others without their knowledge. It is a gift which is both a bliss & a curse as one of the twins has an upper hand, which gives him/her the opportunity to take control of the other’s life.
Though Hope & Hart are fond of each other they have trust issues because of awareness, and so they are prepared to face each other when the time comes. Their lives take turn as they meet two strangers and some unexpected visitors in the story, which triggers a series of passionate, romantic encounters, and conflicts weaved with drama & deceit. While Hope & Hart struggle with their powers, their partners have their own emotional revelations & vulnerabilities to confront.
Structure & Elements of the Book
Mirror Image is a sci-fi novel authored by Paul Steinberg, who has previously authored another sci-fi trilogy named ‘Heartsense’. As the novel progresses, we find it to become more of a general fiction (adult) & romance than sci-fi. Hope & Hart Wilson are the central characters of the story and majority of the action takes place in Richmond (USA) and Paris (France). The author has given ample space & time in the development of each character in the story, whether it is their backstory, thoughts, lifestyle, their taste in clothes and partners. And has painted beautiful imageries of the setting, place, food, accessories and other elements that aptly sets the mood for the scene.
“The early October view showed the waters flowing gently enough to allow an almost perfect reflection of the trees and buildings in the distance. The greens of the foliage were just starting to hint at the softening golds of oncoming autumn. With the change coming this early in the year, a full-blown festival of leafy brilliance was a near certainty.”
Though suspense forms the major plot line, the novel is richly weaved with romance and intimate moments with explicit details. The reader should be prepared for frequent switches from intriguing suspense to passionate & reckless romance of young couples.
Story Development and Writing:
The author is inclined to stage the narrative from every character’s point of view (POV), and so with each chapter the point of view character changes. It takes a while for the reader to get hold of the author’s style of narration, but after a few surprises the reader anticipates such changes for the remaining part of the novel. As a reader, I found this kind of story development less satisfactory as the beginning of the novel had some really interesting conflict & suspense which I would have preferred to continue for two three chapters before the change of POV.
The author has also tried to give a cinematic touch to the novel as the readers may find the characters’ state of mind, the tension, the central conflict, the background and the tone of dialogues creating a scenario for a suspense thriller movie.
From the writing style, the author can be assumed to have a British tongue, a French soul and definitely a French palate. The dialogues give the impression of British dialect and French etiquettes which may not be everyone’s cup of tea. The author’s efforts are visible in the occasional illustration of French cuisine, and flawless French greetings which goes with the setting of the novel.
“So, Mademoiselle Wilson, what can I do for you?” Marcel started as soon as Hope settled in a very comfortable chair. Then he smiled, and his tone changed immediately. “Ah, where are my manners?”
“Generous portions of New York Strip and Lobster sent mingling aromas along with the Au Gratin potatoes and other side dishes.”
Descriptive: is the word to describe the narration. The author is consistent with his love for detailing every object and character in the novel, whether it is the way the silverwares are arranged on the dining table or what is going on in the mind of characters which leads the reader to question why? Is there a hidden string in the backstory, which the reader must be attentive to or is it just the way it has been written? In either of the cases too much detail may put off the reader, and so the story becomes vulnerable to lose the spell on them. The novel satisfies the perfect story arc to a large extent if some of these details are to be excluded. However, the suspense and the curiosity of what happens next will leave the reader captivated till the end.
The ending of the novel marks the end to the first phase of the journey of the twins, which will become more complicated and interesting in the next volume of the series.
Who should read the book?
While I was reading the novel, for some reason I was reminded of Paulo Coelho’s ‘The Winner Stands Alone’ as the narrative has stark similarities with the former. I won’t say it is inspired from Paulo’s novel, but the character development and description follow a similar pattern. Readers who love details in the novel with an ensemble of characters and places, would love this novel. And if you are a little impatient reader and want to get straight to the story you may find yourself skipping some pages.
Mirror Image is a novel crafted with suspense, thriller, romance, extravagant gestures and settings. I found the novel to be an interesting read, as I was curious to see the fate of these two siblings and their journey of mysterious revelations. I recommend this novel as an entertaining, rich and bewildering tale to be read with an attentive mind.
Shelley Reviews Rating
Structure and Elements: 3.6/5