Book Review: A Mirror Mended (Fractured Fables #2) by Alix E. Harrow

Title: A Mirror Mended

Author: Alix E. Harrow

Genre: Fantasy Novella

Series: Fractured Fairytales (#2)

Number of Pages: 130

Rating: B

Recommended?: Yes

In this fast-paced and entertaining sequel to A Spindle Splintered, smart-talking bisexual interdimensional heroine Zinnia faces new threats and an unlikely love interest during an adventure that both places her in grave danger and expands the perimeters of her own narrative.

Originally supposed to die in her 20’s from a terminal illness, Zinnia is spending so much time roaming the multiverse and saving different iterations of Sleeping Beauty that she’s alienated her best friend Charm and Charm’s girlfriend, Prim (the princess from the first book.)

They’re constantly worried about her safety and feel like Zinnia is being selfish and running away from her problems and responsibilities. While at the happily-ever-after gala of another version of Zinnia’s trademark fairy tale, she’s pulled through a mirror and meets the evil queen from Snow White, who’s determined to escape her own ghastly ending.

Zinnia immediately feels lots of sexual tension with the queen, even when she’s holding a knife against her throat. After some coercion and violence, the nameless woman (who Zinnia dubs Eve, as in ‘Evil Queen’) explains her side of the story and how things are different from the fairy tale Zinnia has heard countless times.

She just wants to SURVIVE, and Zinnia can certainly relate to that. They hop dimensions where Snow White is a little girl fighting to escape a child-eating monarch. Zinnia jumps into action to help but Eve is reluctant about practicing any kind of altruism instead of looking out for no. #1, like she always has in the past. Fairy tale mayhem and a bit of romance ensue.

This book was really cute, and although I will say the sexual tension between Zinnia and Eve kicked in awfully quickly it made sense since it was a novella. I thought it was shitty that Zinnia didn’t stay in touch with her parents when she was flitting between universes (amazingly, her cell phone still works.) It seemed like they deserve better than how she treats them, but I understand how she associates them with being sick and helpless.

Anyway, I’d love to see this series continue and it would also be cool if the author wrote a more detailed, novel-length work following Zinnia’s adventures. I enjoyed Zinnia’s snarky, self-aware voice and I enjoy stories that play with the multiverse concept, it’s fascinating and there’s potential for creativity. Alix E. Harrow is a talented author and I’d like to check out her longer works one of these days.

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