Satan’s Mirror – Roxanne Smolen

Storyline: Roooooooxxxxxxxxanne! You don’t have to turn on the red light! Wait… I mean, Ms. Roxanne Smolen’s Satan’s Mirror really captures the essence of evil and the enduring faith of mankind. Not much to do with *ahem* ladies of the night or Sting…

Emily has the world figured out: she’s a skeptic through and through. Nothing is as ever spooky, scary or terrifying as it seems. Emily is the host of an investigative show that disproves urban myths and unravels mysteries for the world to see.

When her boss gives her a lead to follow down in sunny Florida, things take a decidedly dark and evil twist. Ghosts, demons and disappearances abound as Emily tries to unravel the mystery of Satan’s Mirror. A local legend that has otherworldly beginnings. Only when her own life begins to fall apart does Emily start to believe that something beyond rational explanation is the cause of the horrors…

Can Emily’s sense and sensibilities keep her safe and help her find her missing daughter? Will she be able to find the strength in herself to do the impossible to fight the evil incarnate and maintain her sanity?

Grammar/Spelling: I didn’t notice any grammar or spelling issues. Yay!

Character Development: Emily is an interesting woman. She’s smart and determined and not easily swayed by the world around her. She even goes so far as to insist that her daughter face her fear of monsters headlong (much to her dismay as these kinds of monsters aren’t exactly Sulley and Mike Wazowski). It was definitely easy to see the strength in Emily and even when she was in the horrors of hell – making her way to save her daughter – she tried to help everyone that she met. Even at the risk of running out of time and getting caught herself.

Writing Style: The book could use a good hair cut with a pair of carefully wielded surgical scissors.  What I mean by that is: it has too much ‘fluff’ for my tastes and what I mean by ‘fluff’ is ‘extraneous description’.  If it was a little less wordy, it would be more appealing to me.  The method works well for Stephen King, apparently; but, I do find myself skimming in The King’s books simply to get past the ‘fluff’.  I prefer a little less talk and a lot more action.

On the other hand, there are several instances where a lack of description really takes away from the story. For example, Emily decides to hide out at a bar in St. Augustine and the author describes what Emily ordered and she also mentioned that it looks like there is a stage for a live band (but not that one is performing). From this description, I wasn’t really able to garner if Emily was actually able to “hide” in plain sight; meaning that I didn’t know if the bar was busy or if it were empty and if she even did a good job at avoiding the police. It seems as if she’s describing something for a report.

Continuity:  No issues with continuity.

Overall Rating: 3+

I would say that this is a good novel to read for anyone who is interested in the paranormal and proving or disproving faith. Satan’s Mirror presents us with an interesting take on the concept of hell and an all too familiar story about a woman fighting her way through her own skepticism and trying to save herself from Satan himself.

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