Shay Wes't book Dangerous Reflections is by far one of the most unique looks at time travel that I have read. Not only has she incorporated a new mechanism for time travel, she kept the story true to its YA genre, with believable early high-school aged characters I could sympathize with and cheer on or boo at.
Alex, the main character comes across her new found time traveling powers at a pivotal point in her own personal life. She's in a new place, making new friends and dealing with family drama that tangles her up inside. Unlike so many YA novel's heroins, she's neither apathetic or vindictive but she may be a little on the whiny and victimized side of things. For the most part, she behaves as one would expect a typical straight A teen to behave in a similar situation. Her main circle of friends, too, were believable, though I feel they lacked enough physical description for me to fully embrace what they looked like. I especially liked the dynamic between Alex and Beau and, as a former nerd, completely understood Alex's motive in continuing to help him with his studies.
One of my personal favorite bits of this book was Alex's relationship with her mom. Unlike the emotionally unavailable mother that is prevalent in many YA novels, Alex and her mom, Patricia, do not have a perfect relationship but they have a functional one. Their relationship was plausible and Patricia had good healthy boundaries for her daughter to abide by. It was refreshing.
Onto the time travel. Wow! What an interesting concept. I absolutely love the fresh approach to time travel the author incorporates! It is intriguing and I'm eager to read more about Alex's amazing gift in the follow-up books, Twisted Reflections and Desperate Reflections. Being a tiny bit of a history buff, I appreciated the depth the author went to in describing the past times and places Alex was traveling to. Again I wish there were more colors, smells and physical descriptions to draw me into the places Alex traveled, but still I was thoroughly entertained.
The only thing I wish I could know more about were Drifter and Master, the villains. The two main malevolent characters lacked the development of the other characters. I feel like they are more a means to an end, they provided a crucial mission for Alex to embark on but, I felt, in and of themselves they lacked depth. I would have liked to know more about them both, but perhaps I will learn what I want to know in the final two books of the series.
Find all of Shay West's books on Amazon or visit her on line at: http://shay-west.com/
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