Monday, September 1, 2014
Desperate Reflections by Shay West
Desperate Reflections is one of those rare books I've come across as a reader where I’m continually excited as it unfolds because of how beautifully it’s executed. I knew after the first few chapters that this was going to be an amazing story and it surpassed even those expectations. The story is wonderfully composed with great pacing, engaging narration, and continual suspense. Its portrayal of realistic issues and innovative approach to time travel are further enhanced by great characterization.
Similar to the previous books there are two interwoven storylines. There is the contemporary storyline that deals with Alexis’ everyday life as a teenager. The other storyline focuses on her time traveling adventures and the complications it presents. The storylines are interlaced nicely and support each other without disrupting the story's progression.
Alexis is a wholesome teenager that has gradually matured over the course of the series. Each adventure back in time has tested her resolve and she’s learned to emulate the positive qualities of the women she’s encountered. She’s gained better control over her emotions, become more assertive and eagerly grasps at opportunities for independence.
A couple of years have passed since Alexis’ father walked out on the family leaving them in dire straits. When her mother enters into a new relationship, Alexis reacts with hostility. It’s a moment of great insight into Alexis’ anxieties and residual pain. At the same time it was able to illustrate that a parent is more than their parental role. I liked that the story was able to break down the situation into an understandable dialogue with a healthy perspective. Through the course of the story Alexis identifies the necessity of opening up to others while becoming mindful of the people she allows into her life. It’s an insightful perspective on a situation I rarely see represented in young adult books which makes me wish I had access to it as a teenager.
Overall, this story has a darker intensity then previous books but this adds to the tension further heightening the suspense. In prior books there has always been a slight sense of safety when Alexis and Drifter simultaneously time traveled because there was anonymity and a mirror offered a potential escape. Alexis’ abilities have strengthened to where she can travel to the immediate past, near present without being summoned. Though a versatile ability this enables Drifter to be at his full strength without the vulnerabilities time travel creates. Alexis soon realizes how dangerous her adversary truly is when his plans to alter history are revealed and her loved ones become targets of retribution. Desperate Reflections is an intense and dramatic story that incorporates elements from the previous books to create a satisfying conclusion to the series.
[Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.]
Dangerous Reflections (Adventures of Alexis Davenport, #1)
Twisted Reflections (Adventures of Alexis Davenport, #2)