Image and Reflection: Michael Scott

Image:  ** spoiler alert ** Wow. Hollywood should make this into a horror movie. It was creepy – and subtly so in many way – and scary and bloody and so totally wonderful! Plus, there’s even a sequel if it did well… 

So, our main character, Jonathan Frazer (although one could argue that the Image and the Mirror are really the main characters, since the mirror in itself really is a character the way it was written) finds this mirror being auctioned and purchases it, thinking it is the find of his lifetime. And that’s where the trouble begins. The first death at the mirror’s hands (in “current day”) is gruesome. I cringed as I read the details. The poor man meets an awful end – and even though I knew it had to happen, just because I was waiting for the mirror to start “causing” accidents, it was nonetheless a shocker as I read the horrificness (I know, not really a word, but it really is the best way to describe it) of it. And the mirror doesn’t stop, once it gets started. The pace picked up from there. Enough so, that even the interlaced chapters about the mirror back in Elizabethan times kept us propelling wonderfully forward. I love how Mr. Scott isn’t afraid to kill any one of the characters. It means I never know what is coming next and I love it!

The end that some of the other characters met surprised me. I won’t share them to keep the spoilers from being too much, but let’s just say that I was equally horrified and stunned a number of times. I was routing for Jonathan to be saved and to not be lost to the mirror. But, while he didn’t redeem himself or manage to save others it was interesting to see the book end the way it did.

The mythology of the mirror isn’t really clear until very close to the end. And even then, I would have loved a little more detail then just the one chapter. But it tied things nicely together and was a welcome chapter. And it wasn’t really necessary – the mystery of it added to the suspense. And even though we were slowly seeing the parallel story line with Dee and the unnamed woman, I was still left with a few questions about the mirror, which to me, makes the story that much creepier.

The jacket warns the reader that this is an erotic horror story. And it doesn’t mislead. The sexuality wasn’t gratuitous or out of place. In fact, I found it some what disturbing that the erotic was so easily tied to the gruesome and that it felt fairly natural to read the two together.

The characters are well written and the dialogue is very well written. I got a few unintended laughs from some of the material that was “dated” (the chapter with the young boy who got the computer – but it wasn’t the 486 he wanted – made me chuckle even though that wasn’t the intended effect, since I think my macbook with it’s mere 100 GB is now virtually obsolete!) but those chuckles didn’t distract from the end results (like in that chapter when the screen exploded and killed the young boy). The characters were everyday people, struggling with each other and their relationships. None of them were perfect and that made it easier to identify with each. Which is partially why it was so disturbing to see the path Jonathan takes to appease the mirror.

The end didn’t disappoint either. It nicely wrapped this time and place and this set of characters. Yet, it also left open the possibility of the sequel (which I right away ordered on alibris since these are no longer published). And if the sequel never came along, it would just be like so many horror movies or horror stories – one without a “happy” ending.

I hope in Reflection we get a little more about the origins of the mirror but this was an excellent read for fans of the horror genre. So long as you can stomach some gruesome death scenes.

I love that Mr. Scott, like many of his other books, ties in some reality – the note at the end about Dee and the Obsidian Mirror was intriguing and sent me right away to do some research of my own.

Can’t wait for Reflection to arrive. I hope it’s just as good!

 

Reflection:  Wow. Even better then Image.

I was so pleased to pick this up and to see how the story of the mirror concludes. It was wonderful to see the further development of some of the characters too.

The story picks up where it left off – Manny, is wheelchair bound after the accident at the end of Image paralyzes her. Her family is all dead and she has hired live-in help. The trouble here starts when a mysterious man shows up looking for the mirror.

The imagery is again incredible. While this was a little more gory then the first, this was well worth the read. Like with the first, we get a parallel story to follow in the mirror’s history; about a nasty countess who loved to sacrifice young ladies to the mirror in her attempt to stay young. It was creepy and gross and I loved every second of it. It was so well written that I often forgot I was reading a horror story and them wham! The scary stuff hit me again.

It was wonderful to see the same police detective and her niece. Although, that was the one part that I sort of saw coming; I knew the niece had bigger ties to the overall story. It was too convenient the way Image ended otherwise. The murders and the small chapters where the mirror is the narrator were even better then in Image. The chapter with the murders felt more important to the story and were awfully gory and erotic at the same time.

It was nice to learn the history of the mirror and where the power came from. Ujvary and his tie to the mirror and therefore the story was interesting and made for a great ending. And while time travel normally totally fries my brain, the way Mr. Scott worked that in, through the astral plane and with a character that is technically already dead – well, it was wonderfully done. It wasn’t done in a manner so that I felt that I needed to figure it out or try to understand it – and therefore, I was able to accept it into the story line so much better and easily.

I had forgotten how much fun reading stuff in this genre could be. This is definitely a must if you read Image – and, any fans of creepy horror stories must read both!


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