After an attack on earth, all reflective surfaces become weapons to release monsters, causing a planet-wide ban on mirrors. Despite the danger, the demand rises, and 17-year-old Marty Callahan becomes a distributor in an illegal mirror tradeuntil he’s caught by the mayor's son, whose slate is far from clean. Both of them are exiled for their crimes to one of the many abandoned cities overrun by fog. But they soon realize their thoughts influence their surroundings and their deepest fears begin to manifest.
With fast pacing and riveting characters, this is a book that you’ll finish in one sitting.
|Publisher:||Page Street Publishing|
|Product dimensions:||5.80(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.20(d)|
|Age Range:||14 - 17 Years|
About the Author
Naomi Hughes is the author of Afterimage, a book that SLJ said “deserves a prominent place on sci-fi shelves” and which Kirkus describes as “A wild, fast-paced ride full of unexpected turns.”
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you to Netgalley, Page Street Kids, and Fantastic Flying Book Club for this free copy. Do you know how much I wish I had freaking exciting books like this when I was growing up? Seriously though. I was not expecting to have a near heart attack kind of hyped up experience from reading something like this, and I was completely wrong! First, I wanted to say that I really appreciate Hughes being so thorough in listing all of the potential trigger warnings that her book has in her Goodreads Review. I have seen so many people – not that I know personally but around – that feel like the world should not cater to someone’s triggers, but I mean, people don’t have to be jerks about it and they usually are. So for Hughes to be so aware and considerate about this, and made it a point to list them for us was really great. Second of all, I really enjoyed the premise of this novel. I think about how many times I look into a reflected surface on a daily basis, and I don’t know if I would be able to discipline myself enough to NOT put myself in danger like that. And it’s not even the makeup or anything, but just to see what’s on my face, or see what’s up with my hair, or even put on and take out my contacts! But it’s also interesting that even though mirrors can be used to unleash monsters, people still want to sell and buy them on the “black market”. If it’s so dangerous, what would they want to use it for? Or is it just too difficult to not look at yourself every once in a while? Well, wait didn’t I just say that about myself? Also, I felt like Hughes did such an amazing job with showing a realistic take on someone with a disability that would normally rely on their medication but can’t do so because of the current state of the world. Sometimes I feel like people think its easier to portray someone with a disability in the “real world” because there wouldn’t be much… obstacles that they could have to face if everything was perfect. Sure, an author could write about how damaging it could be for someone to be rejected for their medicine because of a lack of health insurance or something of a real life problem like that, but how would we figure it out when the world just went to hell? What would we do to keep ourselves balanced and functional? This is where Hughes did a great job with going into that thought process, and I appreciate that this came from an #OwnVoices author in regards to OCD. This was such a great science fiction/dystopia type novel, and I’m so glad that I got to read it! I’ve also seen some reviews of people that NEVER read science fiction novels, and loved this, so I would recommend you giving this a try if you’re still a SFF newbie!
I received a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! In no way does this affect my rating or review. Also, thanks to Page Street Kids and The Fantastic Flying Book Club for sending me a finished copy! Content Warning: Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Death, Gore, Injury Refraction is a fast-paced Sci-Fi thriller packed full of surprise and character depth. I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered that the story was told by a male lead, and there was no romance! (It’s such a refreshing feeling to read about a different character dynamic. I'm getting tired of the “strong female lead who doesn't need anyone to help her” being in the spotlight constantly). Marty Callahan does not disappoint in character. After an alien invasion on Earth, he has had to learn how to survive on his own, and survival doesn’t always look pleasant. Marty has taken up the occupation as a mirror-dealer. Since the invasion, mirrors, and anything with reflective surfaces have become outlawed as they cause fears to manifest. Desperate to buy passage to London--one of the few cities still contactable since the invasion, and where his brother was last known to be--Marty will stop at nothing to get there. The eerie fog surrounding the island makes escape to the mainland utterly impossible. Anyone who enters the fog is killed within moments by the creatures that lurk there. The island becomes smaller and smaller, and Marty is finally caught. He’s banished to the mainland, AKA his death, along with the mayor’s son. What makes his banishment most interesting is Marty’s struggle with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. His struggles are craftily worked into the scenarios throughout this story that make his character tangible, as if the reader is living his story. I thought that this aspect was done so well, and I really enjoyed how the author crafted his entire character. Refraction is a unique story that brings to light how fears can consume someone if they aren’t kept in check. This will be the perfect read for anyone who likes The Illuminae Files. Vulgarity: None. Sexual content: None. Violence: Moderate. My Rating: ★★★★
There is much to like about this book but two things in particular really made me love it—(1) the main characters are boys and (2) there’s no romance. No, girls do not have to be the stars of everything Marty is a flawed character in any number of ways, not least of which is his propensity to do what’s best for himself even if it’s not legal or good for anyone else; in fact, he has been known to actually put others in harm’s way. Despite that, he works hard to control his OCD and his ultimate goal is to find his brother. Before the alien attack, Marty was making progress under therapy to manage his OCD but it’s much more difficult now without professional help and, of course, medication is no longer available. Earth is in shambles after the aliens brought monsters and survival is predicated on a strict ban on reflective surfaces because that’s how the monsters get through. That ban, quite naturally, created a black market for mirrors and Marty is a player. When he gets caught by another teen, Elliott, both are headed for real trouble, sent into the deadly fog. The two boys are on their own and have to rely on each other, developing a real friendship as they come to know and trust each other. The plot here is creative and well-planned, keeping me flipping electronic pages to find out what would happen next. The author’s characterizations are vivid and appealing and the monsters are just as scary as they should be…almost as much as Elliott’s mother. Also, not to repeat myself, it’s really refreshing to have a story focused on two boys.
REFRACTION is a highly readable/devourable book that is certainly a page-turner. In the post-apocalyptic future, a small island appears to be the only place to have survived an alien landing. A strange ship showed up in the sky and mirrors are the tools through which aliens have sent Beings to destroy humankind. The island has survived by outlawing mirrors. Marty has hopes that his brother is still out there somewhere, and he is determined to get to him. He illegally deals in mirrors to gather the funds he needs to find his brother. The penalty for such dealings is exile, which essentially equates to death with the Beings who are out there. When he is caught by the mayor's son, and they are exiled together, their journey becomes even stranger than the lone island they came from, and bigger questions and answers arise. To avoid spoilers, I will be somewhat vague. The plot was quite creative with plenty of twists and turns. A lot of questions come up earlier and they are all answered by book's end. The strongest part of the book is the main character, Marty, and how he lives with his OCD. The book does a great job of describing this as well as his past therapies/treatments, and the portrayal really brings OCD to life for people who do not have this disorder. Given the setting/other events, this may seem like a smaller part of the story, but I found it to be the most poignant and the biggest takeaway from a solid sci-fi/dystopian read. Overall, this is a great YA sci-fi read- not only for the page-turning, fast-paced, and mind-stretching plot that keeps the reader hooked, but also, mainly, for the powerful #ownvoices portrayal of a main character with OCD. Highly recommend picking this one up. Please note that I received an ARC. All opinions are my own.