March 20, 2016
CreateSpace Independent Publishing
"Creative. Engaging. Well written. " By L. R. W. Lee 1 year ago
Creative. Engaging. Well written. These adjectives summarize well the fun steampunk novel, Nyssa Glass and the House of Mirrors by H. L. Burke.
I’ve never read anything by H. L. Burke before but when she offered her latest release to me for an honest review, I thought I’d check it out and I’m glad I did, for this fun adventure did not disappoint.
I love steampunk for the creativity authors show re: inventions in the Victorian era that could have been. This novel captured Burke’s vivid imagination as we find a house full of mirrors that feed data into a central computer. I love the imagery, for mirrors not only reflect ourselves, but more importantly, give sight and that’s the roll the host of mirrors throughout the old abandoned manor serve. In fact, after investigation, they reveal that the manor is not deserted at all. But what manner of beings does Nyssa, our protagonist, find inhabit the place? Now that is the question…and it won’t be what you expect, trust me, for it proved a great plot twist when I found out.
The characters were well done as well. Our primary character, Nyssa Glass, is a spunky teen thrust into a situation not of her making. But this girl, who has a past she is trying to escape, proves quite the curious heroine as she befriends the house’s computer. I appreciated her resolve as well as ingenuity as she encounters obstacle after obstacle, but like McGyver, figures out a way through. If I had a complaint it would be with this character for Nyssa’s seeming lacks of response to a horrific murder she witnesses as well as lack of an emotional response to who/what she finds in the house. seemed odd. If I put myself in these situations, I would have totally freaked, but Nyssa puts on a stiff upper lip of sorts and under reacts. That’s not a big detraction from the narrative for she is very much an analytical, figure-things-out kind of character, but I thought Burke could have made her a bit more emotional.
I also loved the house computer Nyssa meets early on. The personality and humor it introduces are steampunk at its best and enhances the story. If the protagonist isn’t reason enough, read this book for the computer, for we find out it’s more than just your average machine..and yet another great plot twist :)
If you enjoyed this review, find more YA Fantasy reviews on my blog at blog.lrwlee.com