In nearly every review I write I mention how I got this book or that book at my library. It makes it seem that I don’t actually purchase books – but the opposite is true. I do purchase books, just not often! It’s not because I don’t like spending money on books, it’s because I have such limited shelf space left! I have a wall of books, some stacked 2-3 deep with others in boxes on my floor. So when I do actually purchase a book, I do so only one or two at a time simply because I don’t have enough space.
One of my most recent purchases though was this week’s book: The Singular & Extraordinary Tale of Mirror & Goliath: From the Peculiar Adventures of John Lovehart, Esq., Volume 1. Whew, what a mouthful!
A small girl named Mirror and her guardian; a shape shifter by the name of Goliath Honey-flower; have arrived on the shores of Victorian England. Mirror hasn’t quite been herself since the day her grandfather locked her in a strange clock painted with ladybirds. Mirror doesn’t know what happened or what she is – all she knows is now she’s not quite human.
John Loveheart was not born a wicked man. After the untimely death of his parents he was taken in by the demon lord of the underworld; Mr. Fingers. Some say this turned John mad and John tends to agree.
Now Mr. Fingers wants Mirror for his own. He intends to eat her flesh and consume her soul, and by doing both secure his eternal reign. He has sent his son John to track her down and bring her to him, however one must wonder – will John do as he is told?
I found The Tale of Mirror & Goliath a most interesting book. It is very reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass – both books with a little girl as the main character and where the ordinary becomes the extraordinary. The book jumps from time to time and place to place which can be a bit disconcerting for some. It also has a very stream of consciousness kind of narrative; again a bit disconcerting but I found it added to the flavor of the story.
The book has an oddly disjointed flow, which again reminds me of Alice in Wonderland. The characters themselves are engaging enough but there were a few I would have liked more background on. Like Mr. Goliath, how exactly did he come to London from Egypt? And John, I would have loved to have more information on him. Perhaps in the second book – which is also out in stores – we will see him again?
A mixture of dark fantasy and gothic horror, The Tale of Mirror & Goliath is an interesting one. It is hard to place this book in any one genre or to any one particular age group. Older and younger readers alike will likely enjoy the tale but it could also leave one reaching for the nightlight.