The Rule of Mirrors picks up where The Vault of Dreamers left off, with Rosie Sinclair having her consciousness fractured after failing to stop her nemesis, Dean Berg, from mining students' dreams. Rosie is still Rosie, but part of her is missing as well- and part of her consciousness finds itself in someone else's body. Althea is a girl in a coma after suffering an accident, and after receiving treatment where she is "seeded" with Rosie's dreams, she wakes up- but she's not Althea anymore. Now she's Rosie in Althea's body.
That's pretty much the set-up for this one. The story is told in alternating viewpoints- Rosie and Thea. Although they're both Rosie, in effect, and I enjoyed seeing the differences between them as Rosie's personality is fractured. The pacing of this one is just like the first book, and it was just as readable- I think I read it in two sittings.It's just an easy story to roll with. We find out more about the dream mining/ seeding process, which is kinda neat but also a little creepy, and we see a love triangle almost develop, with both Linus and Burnham as possible love interests for Rosie. This is actually one of the more interesting love triangles I've read in YA, and I'm normally not a fan of that trope, but Linus and Burnham are so different it makes it fun.
I've been a little suspicious of Linus, frankly, at times in this series and that continues here. Is he on the up and up? Hard to say. Rosie does a lot of traveling here, from Montana to Georgia and eventually back to the Forge school, where of course all the secrets are. Although we learn that there are other facilities, including one where Rosie is held prisoner for several months. The story is deepened although if I have one complaint, it would be that after three hundred pages we're still sort of where we were at the end of book one. Not a lot is resolved, and this is a trilogy after all, but like many trilogies I wonder if this one was entirely necessary?
Having said that I don't mind that much, because frankly this series is very fun. There are hints that not all is as it seems, and Berg seems to always be a step ahead of her, but Rosie is a plucky protagonist and I liked her- both versions of her. I think the author here plays with the concept of the personality fragmenting in an interesting manner- someone at one point refers to her as Rosie ego and Rosie id, and while it doesn't seem to be that simple, the principle may apply somewhat. This was one of the more interesting aspects of the story. Both versions of Rosie have different ways of dealing with the situation, and the story also raises questions about the nature of consciousness, and what someone might do if they could live in another body.
So even though I would have liked more resolution here, and this definitely feels like the middle book of a trilogy, I still recommend this heartily if you're a fan of the first book, or just want to read a fun series. The idea of mining and seeding dreams is a unique one, and the villains are nuanced enough that they are realistic (mostly), they're not just cardboard cut-outs, and I really like Rosie. She has her work cut out for her in the next one, and I'm looking forward to seeing where she takes the story. And oh yeah- Linus or Burnham. Or neither? I sort of have a preference, but I'm not telling.
Between your first review and this one, I actually think this might be a case of the cover not matching the story at all. This cover just makes the book look ... cold? I don't know how to describe it. So thank goodness for your reviews!ReplyDelete
Thanks! The covers are... I don't know, I like them but they don't tell much about the story either? So I think I'm agreeing! I can kinda see that...Delete
Middle book feeling aside it sounds like you're enjoying this series. That cover, I don't think, would have drawn me in tbh.ReplyDelete
The covers are funny. I like them but they like give NO clue as to what the story is about! And I am enjoying the series, although the third one was just okay.Delete
I LOVE the cover. That's weird that it gets such different reactions out of people. It looks kind of sciency to me.ReplyDelete
Agreed. I like the covers- even though they give NO indication about the story, there's something - yeah sciencey- about 'em. I think they look good on shelf too :)Delete
It's an interesting cover...surprisingly I like it!ReplyDelete
Yay me too!!Delete
I haven’t read the first book, but from the sounds of this one, it sounds like it is a great series.ReplyDelete
It's pretty good! I got them from another blogger and I'm glad I read 'em.Delete
This sounds really interesting and different from what I usually read.ReplyDelete
It is differnt for sure!Delete
Ugh my mind is blank today *waves instead*
Ha ha *waving* is fine :):)Delete
The personality fragment thing, getting two different POVs but having both be essentially the same person, that's really interesting! Glad to hear you still had a lot of fun even if it suffered a bit from middle book syndrome.ReplyDelete
Was fascinating! I loved the idea and even though this was typical Ya in some ways, it had a unique premise. The reality thing was hit or miss for me but the idea of a boarding school where they mine kids dreams- yes please :)Delete
Well now I want to know your preference! Mine actually changed several times during the series. I really liked this one (it's my favorite of the series I think) just because the whole concept of two Rosies in different bodies and then the personality splitting again... it was just so different! And how crazy would it be to wake up in someone else's body anyway? Especially in Althea's situation, yikes!ReplyDelete
That is a strange setup! I wouldn't want part of my consciousness put into someone else! Poor Althea and Rosie! Too bad to hear not much progress in plot, but sounds like it was entertaining enough to ignore that. Wonderful review, Greg! :)ReplyDelete
I really love the concept of this series. I actually just picked up this one yesterday at the Book Outlet box sale. Hopefully I can get to reading it one of these days. I totally get what you are saying about the middle book in a series. That does tend to be the case. :)ReplyDelete
yup series sequels can be tough but I'm glad you enjoyed it anyway. The premise of the series is awesome!ReplyDelete
this series does look fun, sorry you did not feel this book was very strong. I'll have to add the first to my list, mainly due to conceptReplyDelete
What a compelling review!! I've always wondered about this dreamer series but felt meh about the covers... but to hear you rave about a middle book and especially talk of how fun it was... I think I've got to add this to me TBR ;)ReplyDelete
This is one I've been wanting to read for a while. Glad you enjoyed it and now I need to get my hands on book one.ReplyDelete