Review of Scott Westerfeld’s MIRROR’S EDGE

Mirror’s Edge by Scott Westerfeld

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

You got it – my usual boilerplate complaint against present tense formatting. (I will never omit the complaint until the publishing industry gets the hint and removes the utterly unnecessary trend) Pair it up with what is essentially a travel volume in a series, and it becomes particularly tedious.

Given the previous two volumes, I anticipated revelations from Mr. Westerfeld this time, similar to what he presented in the Uglies series. I wanted to see the foundations shake, find rot in the basement, or discover someone standing in the wings. (No, I don’t consider the final two words much of a surprise) But everything fell into the established pattern from the first book, adding nothing of merit. From the beginning, he created such a domineering evil that there’s nowhere to go. It’s disappointing.

Even more so, Frey’s fractured personality has yet to gain new facets. She continues to limp along as a cast-aside doll. There’s nothing empathetic in her character. On the one hand, it’s a credit to his descriptions of her upbringing. But on the other hand, it makes her an unreliable protagonist. (S.J. Kincaid created a veritable monster in The Diabolic series, but she added touches of genuine emotion and trauma that bled through the robotic facade) Frey – and everyone else in the rebellion – is wooden and unrelatable. You feel like a scientist observing bacteria in a petri dish.

Not the best set-up for a dystopian tale.

Ironically, the most interesting “characters” are the cities. The collective AI consciences offer the most intrigue in the tale and present a point of contention for Shreve – the only city to lack such depth. It’s at least one reason to complete the series with the final volume.

Once it’s out of hardback, at any rate. (The reading potential isn’t THAT good)

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