Cover Image: The Mirror: Shattered Midnight

The Mirror: Shattered Midnight

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Member Reviews

This was interesting. I'm not sure what retelling this is supposed to be. I'm really confused about that. It was an enjoyable story. I thought the narrator did a superb job. I think in general though the '20s is not a decade I like to really read about. It's just not one I find a like a whole lot. I didn't read the first book in this series and that could be part of the reason I didn't enjoy it as much.

I would say 14+
*Content Warnings*
Extreme Racism

I would like to thank Netgalley for this chance to listen and review this book. However, it does not in any way influence my opinion.

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Shattered Midnight follows Zora, a young girl who has recently discovered the power she wields. As a Black, magical teen in New Orleans in the 1920s, Zora navigates racism and misogyny while trying to fall in love. 

I really enjoyed this. While this story is “magical”, there isn’t necessarily a lot of world building, which I was ok with. This story prioritized the romance and the historical setting while using the magical element as a catalyst for the plot. If you pick this up, just note that the story is relatively slow paced towards there beginning while she is setting up the story. There were some plot lines left unanswered, but I’m guessing that is to get you to pick up the third book! (Also note I did not read book #1 in this series)
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I listened to the audio version of “The Mirror: Shattered Midnight” by Dhonielle Clayton and narrated by Ndenrele Ojo. At first I wanted to dive deeper into the magic aspect, however, I enjoyed this audiobook/book exactly as it is! N. Ojo elevated the storyline with her ability to vocally express emotion and drew me into the tale from the start.

A sincere thank you to NetGalley, Disney Audiobooks & Disney Hyperion for providing me an advance copy (ARC) of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to read this story and leave my review voluntarily.
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This book was awesome. As we continue on with the Mirror series we follow a girl named Zora. Her mother sent her away to New Orleans to start a new especially what happened in Harlem. Zora now lives with her aunt Selene and her cousins and her aunt is doing everything in her power to find a perfect suitor for Zora so that she will be taken care of and to be a successful black couple. Now mind you this story is taking place in the 1920's during the prohibition and Zora is now just any ordinary girl. She has powers that is beyond her control, but she is very talented when it comes to singing and musical instruments. So now and then she sneaks out and goes to night clubs to perform and her stage name is Sweet Willow. One night they needed a piano player at the last minute and soon she meets Phillip. But it was a risk for him to be her pianist because he was white and it was against the ;aw to have interracial performances. but they managed to get away with it and as time progressed Zora was falling for Phillip but knew that they could never be together because she was black and he was white and it was against the law for a white person to be with a black person. Though the law did not stop them, but they didn't have their happily ever after either. Zora thought getting rid of her powers would solve everything, but she was wrong and she couldn't get rid of her magic even if she wanted to. I really loved how later on in the book we find out the descendants of Elva and Mathilda from the first book of the series. This book was excellent and I can't wait to read the next one.
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Probably more of a 3.5 because I wanted much more from the magic aspect. Like why it was there, why some people had it but most didn't, any sort of magical history, gimme the deets! I really liked Zora but I feel like the storyline was unfinished and that was a little disappointing. Zora was just at the beginning of her story! I've been to New Orleans twice and love it so I liked having some familiarity with the surroundings. I have not read the first book but decided since this is a companion series set in different time periods, it would be okay. I feel like it was but I will be reading the first book in February when I get my Hoopla borrows back!
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Fairytale retellings are kind of hit and miss for me but this one was intriguing. Unfortunately I couldn't quite get into the writing style. I also felt this book didn't use the New Orleans or 20s backdrop the way it could've been used. Lots of flowery descriptions of commonly associated foods as if they are every day eats.
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Actual Rating: 4.5 stars

If you like Dhonielle Clayton's brand of lushly descriptive writing and messy characters, you're going to love Shattered Midnight. Set in 1920's New Orleans, it follows Zora, a Black girl sent to live with her aunt after a disaster with her magic. She's supposed to become a debutante and make a good marriage, but Zora sneaks out at night to perform at Jazz clubs and finds dangerous love with a sweet white boy who plays piano.

The writing is so evocative of the food and music of New Orleans, it will make you want gumbo and beignets. And Clayton doesn't shy away from the harsh realities of what an interracial relationship during this time period would mean. The 1920's was heavily segregated and that relationship is truly dangerous. Zora is a confident, determined character who goes after what she wants and I loved her. Her aunt is kind of awful, but this does a good job of walking that line where the reader can understand that she wants what she thinks is best for Zora and has good intentions, even if her actions are pretty messed up. The pacing is fast and it keeps you turning the pages, so much so that I finished it in one day! I really liked this installment in the series and liked how it tied into book 1 by Julie C. Dao. Looking forward to seeing what we get in the next two books!

Adenrele Ojo does a good job narrating the audiobook. She very much reads it as a teen drama. I received an advance copy of this book for review via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
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This series is really cool, as it spans over generations of a family through 4 books written by different authors. This is the second installment and takes place in 1920's New Orleans. It gave me a little bit of The Diviners vibes taking place in the same time frame which was fun. We don't immediately know how these characters connect to the ones in the previous book and they actually connected in a way I wasn't expecting.
The characters were well done. We have the main character Zora who has been forced to hide out with her aunt and cousins in New Orleans because of something horrible she had done with her magic (we learn what this is later on in the book). She is trying to navigate being a young black women in a time where it was hard to be a young black woman. Her only friend is Jo, who sings with her at the nightclub she sneaks out to. I thought they had a wonderful friendship and it was a joy to read about. Zora meets Phillip at the nightclub and even though he is white and they are not legally allowed to be together, they form a relationship that is absolutely sweet.
While I was able to fly though this book, it wasn't super exciting. The writing style was wonderful though, and I could picture New Orleans and the clubs and parades perfectly. I did really enjoy the bittersweet ending and so many things happened that I didn't see coming. I had it all planned out in my head how I wanted it to go but I knew something bad was going to happen.
I'm actually really interested to see where the next book takes us in this family's story!
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I loved the jazz music intro to the audiobook!!! It really set the tone for a novel set in New Orleans. The narrator's voice is very pleasant. I read the physical copy of Shattered Midnight first. This audiobook had me sucked back into the story and its world all over again! I wish that I had access to the audiobook while I was reading. I already really liked the book, the audiobook just enhanced my opinion of it. The narrator really brought the story some extra light and I am probably going to listen to it more than once, since I am going to read Book One of The Mirror series soon.
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A magical adventure across generations with a fairy tale like quality. Zora is a likeable character. Her magical ability has caused trouble in the past but she has so many secrets!  From the magic, to past disasters that sent her into hiding from bad men, to a forbidden love.  Teens will fall in love with Zora.
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I absolutely loved this book! I originally selected the book based on the author and cover alone. When the story started and I found it was a period piece in New Orleans, I was intrigued. This is actually book two in the series, I did not read book one, and still found the storyline engaging. 

The main character is a young lady with a big gift and seemingly emotionally unstable. She is running from a life changing event that could cost her her life. She runs right into another spider's web, if you will. She arrives in New Orleans to hide at a relative's house. The persona that is the aunt she stayed with, screams of the bourgeoisie and the proletariat. There was a huge segment of the plot dedicated to the formal introduction of ladies into society, courting, and the problem with pride. Not to mention a true forbidden romance. 

I am very excited to share this book with students and fellow readers. I can't wait to get my hands on book three.
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A quick read with well-developed characters. Zora is a very relatable character who wants to forget the problems of the past and move on to a new town with a fresh start. While in New Orleans, Zora finds a partner in the most unexpected person.
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Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for the advanced electronic audio copy of this book. I enjoyed Shattered Midnight and now have to go back and find book 1 in the series. Even though this is the second book in the series, it reads well as a stand-alone. I loved the characters, magic, multiple fairy tale references, the big part that jazz music played in the story, and the writing. The characters feel authentic and the world that Dhonielle Clayton created feels believable. I look forward to reading the other books in the series , Julie C. Dao’s Broken Wish (book 1), J C Cervantes’ Fractured Path (book 3), and L L McKinney’s Splintered Magic (book 4).
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Thank you to Net Galley, the publisher, & the author for an ARC of The Mirror: Shattered Midnight.  
I loved the narrator of this audio ARC. I enjoyed this fun mash up of fairy tales. I loved the setting and the power of music in the story.  I did not read the first one, but I want to go back and read the first one and then the ones after this one. Ms. Clayton writes vividly and as I was listening I could clearly picture all the experiences Zora experienced. I will be purchasing this book and the series for our library.
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This story is part two in a series of 4 that follow one family over several generations. Zora has been sent from New York City to live with her aunt and two cousins in New Orleans, a loose adaptation of Cinderella. She is a talented singer and musician, finding a sense of belonging in the clubs of New Orleans as a performer. Zora and a pianist embark on a forbidden inter-racial relationship, and much of the story centers on the skirting of authorities, avoiding discovery, and playing music together. The love story was very sweet and evolves from their mutual respect of one another's passion for music, which was a refreshing change from the novels where there's no logical explanation for the characters immediate devotion to one another. The other thread of the story is that Zora has "magic". Not much is known about this magic, other than Zora is unskilled and knows little herself. It is a little frustrating that the nature of the magic and the abilities it provides is also not shared with the audience. I would say it's a little too secret and there was much more specificity about her musical talent than her magical gift. New Orleans is an old, vibrant, and interesting city, yet all of the references to the city were the stuff of guidebooks. For example, at every meal they ate crawfish, jambalaya, etouffe, pralines, or beignets and only ONE meal included anything besides those items. .

I enjoyed the narration, with the exception of the two male characters. They sounded like they were from Jersey instead of New Orleans. I think the narrator may have been going for the New Orleans Yat, but it wasn't even close.  

The story's pacing seemed a bit uneven, but overall I enjoyed it and would be interested in completing the series. I suspect the story may have made more sense if I had read the previous volume, but I wish there had been stronger world-building around the "magic" Zora possesses considering the magic was one of the two major themes. I have read a lot of YA Fantasy and have never felt so unenlightened about the magical talents of the protagonist.
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