The Obsidian Mirror by Catherine Fisher
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Fisher is usually really good at juggling multiple stories (think Incarceron) but this book misses by just enough, in part because it feels that there's one too many stories going on. Perhaps losing the Shee (and Gabriel)? or Janus (and the Replicants)? or Piers' being a genii? or... or... See my point?
Oberon Venn's obsession with the Obsidian Mirror is driven by his obsession with going back in time to when his wife was killed in a car accident and somehow preventing it (isn't that against one of those sci-fi "rules"? don't change the past???). David Wilde's disappearance into the mirror as part of the experimenting has led to David's son, Jake, being a surly, angry, revenge-driven teen (think "Hamlet", which is referenced in the opening scenes). After Jake is kicked out of his elite Swiss boarding school and returned to Venn's incredibly decrepit, weird house - and the quest to find David, save Leah and solve the mystery of the mirror commences.
Of course there are competing interests here, from the past, present and future - and the Shee (recognizable to others as fae). It would have been great to get a real tour of the Abbey, like the one we get through Misselthwaite Manor because it just sounds so strange: often freezing, snow/frost covered and by turns habitable and decrepit. The Wood outside the Abbey is equally mysterious and I suspect will play a larger role in the next two books (did I mention this is the first of a trilogy?), but how that will get woven in with the mirror and what else is going on is difficult to tell.
The three stars are because of the "biting off a little more than the reader can comfortably chew" feeling; I had to keep going back to figure out which character and what possible timeline and how it all links together. I almost gave it four starts, but the seven cats aren't featured enough.
ARC provided by publisher.