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Reviewed by:
  • Refraction by Naomi Hughes
  • Natalie Berglind

Hughes, Naomi Refraction. Page Street, 2019 [320p] Trade ed. ISBN 978-1-62414-890-3 $17.99 E-book ed. ISBN 978-1-62414-891-0 $9.99 Reviewed from galleys R* Gr. 8-12

A year ago, teenager Marty Callahan's life was turned upside down when the ShatterRing encircled the Earth, broadcasting the arrival of aliens and obliterating most of the planet, excluding a few locations such as his own island in Florida and London, where his brother went pre-apocalypse to study abroad. Mirrors are banned in Marty's town: staring into reflective surfaces brings forth the Beings, creatures sent by the aliens who are guaranteed to slaughter any humans in the vicinity. Marty is saving up to hitch a helicopter ride to London to reunite with his brother. He teams up with Elliott, the mayor's handsome son, and the two head into uncharted territory outside their safe town but find that their expectations are literally reflected in the world around them. Nothing is as it seems in this character-driven page-turner of a sci-fi thriller—clever plot twists alter the way readers will view the entire story. The development of the tender friendship between Marty and Elliott drives the story where the plot doesn't, and Marty's OCD consistently puts him in significant danger as he alters the world around him to face his biggest fears. With an execution like one of the more thought-provoking episodes of Doctor Who, not to mention a satisfying ending, this novel greatly exceeds its intriguing premise. [End Page 170]



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p. 170
Launched on MUSE
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