Review: The Missing of Clairedelune

“One grows up and then one grows old, and that’s it, from one day to the next, one’s forever angry with one’s mirror,” Christelle Dabos. 

The Mirror Visitor Book 2: The Missing of Clairedelune by Christelle Dabos
540 pages
Genre: Fiction, fantasy
Published: Europa Editions, 2019 (originally published in French in 2015)
Rating: 5 out 5 stars
Reviewed by: Indiana 
Re-readability: I’ll definitely come back to this one. 
Spoiler-free reviewer

Combining steampunk-esque thrills with fantastical elements reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland and an annoyingly well-written love story, The Missing of Clairedelune was stronger and more twisted than A Winter’s Promise

It picks off relatively soon after the first book in The Mirror Visitor series left off, with Ophelia (who can jump through mirrors and “read” objects with her touch) being promoted to Vice-storyteller by Farouk, the Pole’s family spirit. People soon start disappearing around the Pole, even those living in the safest parts of it. As these disappearances go unsolved, Ophelia starts to get mysteriously threatening messages.
Once again, it seems like the only one she can trust is Thorn, her emotionally distant and ever busy fiance who has a powerful memory. In the midst of these threats, Farouk’s demanding stories, and Thorn’s increasingly stressful job, the two also have to plan a wedding, after which they will be able to inherit one another’s abilities. Oh, and they have to host Ophelia’s overwhelmingly large and intrusive family while doing so. 

As soon as they’re married, Thorn plans to “read” an ancient book tied to Farouk. The family spirit has struck a bargain with Thorn, saying that he’ll revoke Thorn’s bastard status if he can “read” the book. It’s an impossible task, one that Ophelia fears will only end in Thorn’s death. 

Interspersed between these hectic and hurried chapters are passages written from the family spirit’s perspective that give reader’s glimpses into the importance of Farouk’s book and what it might mean, not only for Ophelia and Thorn but their entire world. 

While many authors struggle with their second books, Christelle Dabos somehow wrote one stronger than the first. The mysteries (of which there were many) had more weight and the amount of character development that she was able to fit into the book astonished me.
Once again, I had a bit of an issue with the translation. Some of the descriptions just seemed off to me. However, I can’t remember the last time I was so bummed when I turned the last page and I’m already checking on the release date of the third one (while it’s out in France, it’s not out in English yet).

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