The Mirror Thief by Martin Seay was an impressive melding of three very different stories into one. Starting at the Venetian casino in Las Vegas in 2003, Curtis is seeking a man named Stanley who owes a gambling debt. Tracking him through the city, Curtis comes upon a book. The book is Stanley’s favorite and as he is told the story of how Stanley found it we are taken back to Venice Beach in 1958. Stanley is a runaway teen living in a squat and seeking out a poet who wrote the book he holds dear. As he finds the author he is then told the tale of the writing and we sink into Venice Italy in 1592. There a man named Crivano is seeking a way out with his new mirror technology.
The Mirror Thief had quite the plot. It wrapped three stories in three distinct times together in a way that made total sense while reading it. I must say, I did enjoy the first story with Curtis in Las Vegas and the third story of Crivano in Italy the best but understand why the middle portion was needed. The writing of Martin Seay was impressive. It takes a true wordsmith to be able to combine such different time frames, locations and characters and it was done well in the book. The pacing did create some confusion for me, particularly in Stanly’s story arc. I had a bit of trouble keeping up with his actions and when they were happening. The world built was massive and had a feeling of being a sketch rather than a fully realized drawing. It actually worked well for this story as if too much detail had been added it would have been a 1,000 page plus read. There were some emotions in the writing, however I felt that the actions of the characters were prominent and not how they felt about what they were doing. The characters were a large and diverse cast including card counters, security, beatnik poets, hipsters, and Italian whores. They should not all work together but they actually do.
The Mirror Thief is quite an undertaking of a book. Martin Seay crafted a set of stories that do not seem as if they will fit together, but somehow they do and it all makes sense. I really enjoyed the ride I was taken on with this read and can see why it has already gotten such great buzz. This was Seay’s debut and he is one to watch. I can only imagine what will come next.
I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.