The Singular and Extraordinary Tale of Mirror and Goliath – Ishbelle Bee
1888. A little girl called Mirror and her shape-shifting guardian Goliath Honeyflower are washed up on the shores of Victorian England. Something has been wrong with Mirror since the day her grandfather locked her inside a mysterious clock that was painted all over with ladybirds. Mirror does not know what she is, but she knows she is no longer human.
John Loveheart, meanwhile, was not born wicked. But after the sinister death of his parents, he was taken by Mr Fingers, the demon lord of the underworld. Some say he is mad. John would be inclined to agree.
Now Mr Fingers is determined to find the little girl called Mirror, whose flesh he intends to eat, and whose soul is the key to his eternal reign. And John Loveheart has been called by his otherworldly father to help him track Mirror down…
Release Date: June 2nd, 2015
Thank you to NetGalley for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review!
Before I tell you what I liked/didn’t like, can we all take a moment to appreciate that cover?? It’s gorgeous. I think I’ve fallen in love with a book cover. No…I know I’ve fallen in love with a book cover.
What I liked:
-the writing. It had a whimsical, Neil Gaiman-esque quality (and since I worship Neil Gaiman, this is very high praise). There were moments that would have been confusing if it had been presented by a less-skilled writer, but in Ishbelle Bee’s hands, you just sort of accepted it. Lovely, somewhat lyrical, the writing was wonderful.
-Mr. Loveheart. He is clearly “mad as a hatter” (I kept picturing him as the Mad Hatter too, except with hearts on his clothes), but his back story was intriguing and I found myself looking forward to his scenes, even the brutally violent ones.
-speaking of violent scenes: it was almost comical how blithely Mr. Loveheart went around slicing people to pieces. I realize this makes me sound like a terrible person,but it was so off-handed and Mr. Loveheart was so convinced he was doing the right thing, I couldn’t help but find it both horrifying and funny.
-the setting. Victorian England is awesome, isn’t it? I’m fascinated by that time period, so of course, the setting worked for me!
-Mirror and Goliath. While I eventually had issues with their storyline (see next section for what I didn’t like), I loved how cute their relationship was at the beginning: Mirror is so small and almost fragile, while Goliath, with his bear-like attitude is warm and protective.
-the Jack the Ripper connection which I saw coming about halfway through, but still liked how it played out.
What I didn’t like:
-Pomegranate’s section. I loved the story she was telling (I’ve always liked the Persephone myth), but it seemed to come out of the blue and distracted me from the main story. I could see why she was introduced, and I respect the decision to keep her in there, but she was distracting and by the time I was done her part, I had almost forgotten what the main plot was.
That being said, I’d probably read an entire novella about Pomegranate and her aunt Eva.
-Mirror and Goliath. I know I just said I liked their relationship at the beginning of the book, but I don’t love how it ended (though, again, I respect that Ishbelle Bee wanted them to go down this road).
HIGHLIGHT FOR SPOILER (and please excuse my poor formatting, one day I’ll figure out how to hide spoilers properly)
Apart from those two issues, I really enjoyed this book! It was fun and magical and beautifully written. According to Goodreads, there is a second book coming out later this year, and I definitely want to read it.
Also, who are we kidding, I’m going to buy myself a physical copy of Mirror & Goliath because it’s just too pretty to not have on my shelf!