Review by vermontelf -- Something in the Mirror

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Review by vermontelf -- Something in the Mirror

Post by vermontelf »

[Following is a volunteer review of "Something in the Mirror" by Doug Hall.]
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2 out of 4 stars
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I rate Something In The Mirror by Doug Hall as 2 out of 4 stars. I enjoyed the story and would recommend it as a quick read, but I was disappointed at the lack of horror and abrupt ending. I would like to give this 2.8 out of 4, because the writing and editing are quite good, the story just feels unfinished.

I enjoyed seeing both drafts of the story, which seemed so appropriate as the setting is a writers’ retreat to finish a story. Immediately, I was drawn into the story through the descriptions of the character, the writing exercises, and the commentary about the other writers. A writer, having recently broken up and feeling angry, using drugs as an emotional crutch, is believable but not too cliche.

I enjoy horror, and the author's blurb suggested horror, humor, sarcasm, and a fun read. I knew it was a short read, so I was surprised by how well the author developed the main character. The tone of the book is brutally honest and sarcastic, just as I expected. The story, both stories, are more breakup stories than horror, which left me wanting. The book ended short of my expectations for the action.

I enjoyed the narration style of the main character, a writer describing his thoughts and actions as he participates in a writing retreat. I could immediately relate to the awkward conversation and inability to stay focused on the lectures. The intrigue of the abandoned mansion starts right away and the setting of the novel as a Catholic school also seems a natural set-up. The story within the story of the ex girlfriend, flows with the main plot and gives background understanding to the main character. However, I would have liked more of the main story expanded, especially the scenes in the mansion.

I would recommend this story for someone looking for a light afternoon read. It is well written and very well edited. There are drugs, sexual references, and profanity through the story so I would not recommend it to a young or innocent audience. Likewise, due to a reference of suicide and the concept of ghosts, I would not reccomend it to some people of strong religious beliefs. I would recommend it to most twenty and thirty year olds that I know. I would certainly read more pieces by this author.

Something in the Mirror
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