review by Alicia Zhang, age 13
Mirror in the Sky by Aditi Khorana
In the novel Mirror in the Sky, Aditi Khorana spins a tale of friendship, family, love, and the struggles of high school. The plot is spurred by the discovery of a new planet, Terra Nova, which scientists believe represents alternate timelines unexplored on Earth—timelines caused by people making different choices. Terra Nova is the “mirror in the sky,” and the main character and her group of friends constantly compare their own lives to these other possible timelines. This main character is Tara Krishnan, the only student on a scholarship at her exclusive private school. She must solve out her familial difficulties and friendship allegiances—all while wondering, hesitating, and doubting her own decisions, because what if a Tara Krishnan on Terra Nova had made better ones for a better lifestyle?
I liked this book when I first read it. When I read it again, it got better, as I figured out how deep character development went and how everything tied together smoothly, which I took for granted at first. I fell in love with the metaphors, existential crises, and overall grey clouds over Terra Nova and the possibilities of another life and more timelines. Though the story isn’t particularly science fiction—more like realistic fiction—it doesn’t read as a teenage soap opera.
The characters are also perfect—perfectly flawed, realistic, and deep, that is. Tara is a very real, unidealized character with friend issues, personal problems, and harsh family relationships, who stays together through thick and thin, which touched me dearly throughout the storyline. Halle, the typical “popular and perfect” girl, has a layer underneath that perhaps is a cliché, but the author turns it into something else at the end, leaving a haunting and suspenseful ending. All the other relatively supporting characters have other dimensions to them, retaining them no longer as the typical one-sided side characters in other stories.
All in all, this book just gets better upon re-reading. It’s a compelling tale, although not the typical science fiction story. Readers looking for futuristic or space-based books may be disappointed at first with the lack of “actual science fiction,” but they may warm up to it and learn to love it like I did. Overall, I would give this book 4/5 stars.
Find this book in our catalog: Mirror in the Sky
Call Number: YA SF KOHRANA,A