Mirror Shards

Young Adult - Fantasy - Urban
304 Pages
Reviewed on 05/22/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite

In Mirror Shards by Olga Werby, a young man, Higs, who has been disabled is miraculously healed after visiting a booth in a county fair with his family. The 'Mirror of Wishes’ that heals him also causes the untimely death of his mother and the disappearance of a loving uncle with whom he shares a strong emotional bond. Years later, Hig is at another county fair, together with Klaire, his girlfriend, when they come upon the same booth where he experienced healing. This time, Uncle Charlie returns and in the events that follow, Hig’s younger sister disappears. The truth dawns on them: Mistress Kismet’s booth is a portal and the adventure to find Hig’s sister takes the characters through new, unexpected changes and encounters, with Hig becoming bound to the wheelchair again. Can they ever discover the key to return to a world they have always known and be together with their entire family?

Mirror Shards is a story brimming with mystery, adventure, and magic. The author’s world-building craft is impeccable. I had the impression of being wrapped up in a dream so that I didn’t feel aware of my surroundings as I read this mesmerizing story. Character development is stellar and the relationship between Hig and his uncle is expertly written. I enjoyed reading about the pair until the painful moment when Charlie disappears. These characters are real, navigating a world that stuns them with its changes and the unsolvable mystery that compels them to seek answers. The themes of change and human transformation, family, and love are intelligently written, and in the world the author has created, it seems like to gain something one must lose something of value as well. While Mirror Shards is filled with mystery, it is never lacking in drama that is stimulating; the prose is excellent and the setting is vividly written. Olga Werby writes clever dialogues and the fresh plotting will keep readers racing through the pages.

Pikasho Deka

Mirror Shards is a young adult fantasy novel written by Olga Werby. Eight-year-old Freddie, a.k.a., Hig's life changes drastically when a visit to the House of Mirrors at the local county fair leaves him cured of his disability. However, it comes at the cost of him losing his mother and his favorite Uncle Charlie. A nanny named Ms. Marta raises him to adulthood. But the past comes back to haunt Hig when, thirteen years later, his uncle turns up unexpectedly in his life, transformed as a woman, and a similar visit to the fair brings him once again face-to-face with Mistress Kismet. He receives a further setback with the sudden disappearance of his sister Nona. Hig, alongside his girlfriend Klaire and his friends, must now navigate the alternate timelines to put everyone's life back on track.

Complemented by a uniquely creative premise, Mirror Shards keeps you hooked with plenty of mystery and intrigue. Author Olga Werby keeps a decent pace to a plot that is authentic and, at times, even weird. The characters felt genuine and easy to root for, despite their flaws. The relationship dynamic between Hig and his friends and family is the driving force of the narrative. I found the plot extremely unpredictable, and its twists and turns never let your attention waver. Olga Werby's worldbuilding is highly imaginative, and it evokes a palpable sense of wonder within you. I also found the concept of alternating histories utterly fascinating. I will recommend Mirror Shards to readers who enjoy sci-fi/fantasy novels with unique premises.

Rabia Tanveer

Mirror Shards by Olga Werby is a brilliant urban fantasy catering to a young adult audience with its phenomenal world-building and incredible details. The story follows young Hig who was born with congenital spina bifida. Being stuck in a wheelchair is almost bearable because of his mother and his favorite uncle, Charlie. However, things changed when they visited a Mirror of Wishes booth at a county fair. Suddenly, his uncle left without a trace, and Hig and his little sister lost their mother. But what shocked them the most was the fact that Hig was cured of his condition. Something is not right, and Hig knows that. Years later when he comes across the same booth at another county fair, Hig uncovers a secret that shocks him to the core. Things are not as they seem, and everything is connected to the mysterious booth at the county fair. What happened? Is there something fishy happening or was Hig very lucky?

Mirror Shards by Olga Werby is an entertaining story that had me hooked the moment I read the blurb. Hig is a smart guy, he caught the issue pretty quickly and knew something wasn’t right with the booth he visited with his family. The owner of the booth, Mistress Kismet, is despicable yet an incredible character. Her character is detailed, perfectly developed, and given ample opportunity to share their side of the story (even though I hate her for it). The narrative is brilliantly paced, it has the right amount of action and intrigue to make you feel like you are right beside Hig as he tackles one twist after another. I loved this book!