|Bell between worlds (Mirror chronicles)|
Author: Johnstone, Ian
Sylas must seek out a girl called Naeo in a mirror of our world known as the Other who might just be the other half of his soul--otherwise the entire universe may fall.
Kirkus Reviews (11/01/14)
School Library Journal (12/01/14)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (06/15)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 12/01/2014 Gr 6–10—In this promising series opener, 12-year-old Silas Tate lives with his uncle, as he's been told that his mother had died. Silas, an introverted and imaginative boy, leads an uneventful life until the day he walks into an unusual shop and meets Mr. Zhi. The mysterious shopkeeper gives Silas a book containing an ancient code and reveals that the boy's mother is in fact still alive. Here the novel, which starts off slowly, picks up in pace and complexity. Silas is later awoken by the sound of a bell that only he can hear. He is chased by a giant hound but manages to take refuge under the house-size "Passing Bell." Silas soon discovers himself in another world—one that is strange yet familiar. He meets the Suhl people and learns that his "Other" world is actually a mirror image of this new one. The boy also discovers that he possesses magical powers, which he uses to decipher prophecies from the antique book and to fight against the horrific Ghor, who have hunted the Suhl for generations. The story concludes with a daring escape and many questions left unanswered concerning Silas's and his mother's connection to the Suhl's world. Using rich language and imagery, the author's extensive world-building will appeal to fans of fantasy and make them eager for the next book installment. He includes several imaginative elements, such as the concept that people have another half to themselves in the other world called a "Glimmer." Because of its intricacy, hand this fantasy-adventure to confident readers.—Sherry J. Mills, Hazelwood East High School, St. Louis, MO - Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 06/01/2015 In this British import, a boy leaves his lonely life and enters the Other, a parallel world where he discovers that he is magical, and he learns that his mother may not have been dead for years as his uncle always claimed. Sylas may have been destined to enter the Other all along, as he is likely a key player in a prophecy that could unite divided worlds and his innate talents are extraordinarily rare. Even with the legion of slavering beasts out to kill him, Sylas is better off in the Other, as it is a place where he can start being the bold, kind, stouthearted boy he was clearly always meant to be rather than the stifled, silent, abused child his cruel uncle has turned him into. There’s admittedly little nuance to the plot, but Sylas follows the appealing and familiar path of the reluctant hero, working toward defeating the very bad guys while garnering help and knowledge from the impeccably good ones. It’s a sturdy fantasy and readers will undoubtedly sympathize with Sylas, and they’ll likely want to stick around for the anticipated two more volumes to make sure that he helps save both worlds-and ends up okay. AS - Copyright 2015 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.