Monday, November 7, 2016

O’Brien, Caragh M. The Rule of Mirrors.

O’Brien, Caragh M.  The Rule of Mirrors.  (Bk2, Vault of Dreamers trilogy)  Macmillan 2016    418p  $17.99  ISBN 978-1-59643-940-5  hs  Science fiction  VG-BN 

The Rule of Mirrors is the story of one mind and two bodies. Rosie Sinclair, who had her dreams mined in the first book of the series, The Vault of Dreamers, now finds her consciousness has split, and part of her awakens in the body of a pregnant stranger in a place far from Rosie’s home. The other part of Rosie remains in her original, captive body; Rosie focuses on revenge and escape in an intricate, fast-paced psychological thriller.

Families of coma patients vie for miraculous cures found only at Chimera Centre.  When, in defiance of all expectations, Althea Flores recovers from a six-month coma, she can no longer recall anything of her own life.  Instead, she has the memories of Rosie Sinclair, a missing actress who starred in The Forge, a reality television show.  Althea is also amazed to find she is pregnant.

Told from alternating points of view, the story reveals that Rosie Sinclair’s sleeping body is captive to the medics of Chimera Centre, who are plundering her dreams. She struggles to escape and plots revenge on Dean Berg, who stole her dreams and forced Rosie into this unending nightmare. This engrossing sequel to The Vault of Dreamers describes Rosie’s attempts to make sense of her dual identity as she deals with the shattered subconscious that still survives in her old body. 

Readers will be caught up in the drama of a single personality, split between two bodies that take on lives of their own.  Rosie’s memories and mind dominate Althea, who is little more than a shell to house Rosie’s personality.  Althea and her family must learn to accept this new reality. Rosie must deal with being pregnant, a situation with which Althea and her family had previously come to terms.  Rosie and blended-Rosie slowly embark on experiences that individualize their lives. As Rosie shares awareness in both bodies, this divergence creates a dissonance that may never be resolved.

O’Brien explores important themes about identity and the links between the soul and the body.  While the second volume makes sense even if the reader has not yet read the first, savvy spenders may wait until the final book in the trilogy is released in 2017 and binge read the whole series! This is a solid addition to collections of speculative fiction.   

Summary: In the sequel to The Vault of Dreamers, Rosie Sinclair’s consciousness is split between two bodies.  Rosie plots escape, revenge, and a way to re-synthesize her shattered personality.  "The rule of mirrors. So many possibilities. We seek until we find a true reflection of ourselves."

Split personality-Fiction                             --Hilary Welliver

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