FICTION

Refraction

Page Street. Nov. 2019. 320p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9781624148903.
COPY ISBN
Gr 8 Up–A first-contact dystopia with hints of Stephen King’s The Mist, Hughes’s #OwnVoices novel featuring a hero with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an engaging addition to the genre. After an alien ship is shot to pieces in the exosphere, all reflective surfaces on Earth become alien weapons. Eye contact with a mirror is all that’s needed to unleash a deadly fog and terrible monsters that take shape as your greatest fears. Marty deals in mirrors on the black market, a crime punishable by exile into the mysterious fog surrounding the island. When Marty is eventually exiled, he learns the fog is more than just creepy ambiance—the fog is reading the islanders’ minds. Marty’s OCD raises the stakes of this novel—he struggles with the stress of knowing his every obsessive thought could come to life and kill them. Hughes deftly balances the reluctant hero character arc with Marty’s single-minded mission to find his brother in London, one of the last cities standing against the fog. This thrilling dystopia features characters who act as mirrors and foils to Marty’s nuanced development.
VERDICT Librarians will find this novel a go-to recommendation for fans of Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff’s Illuminae and an accessible sci-fi for reluctant readers. Recommended for YA collections, especially those suffering from series fatigue.

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