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Refraction by Naomi Hughes #BookReview

Ever since an alien ship was destroyed over earth, cities have been plagued by a deadly fog and monsters that use mirrors as doorways. After an attack on earth, all reflective surfaces become weapons to release monsters, causing a planet-wide ban on mirrors. Despite the danger, the demand rises, and 17-year-old Marty Callahan becomes a distributor in an illegal mirror trade-until he’s caught by the mayor’s son, whose slate is far from clean. Both of them are exiled for their crimes to one of the many abandoned cities overrun by fog. But they soon realize their thoughts influence their surroundings and their deepest fears begin to manifest. Together, the two discover the horrifying truth behind what really happened when the spaceship was destroyed, and what they must do to save earth from the total destruction no one knows is coming. With fast pacing and riveting characters, this is a book that you’ll finish in one sitting.

Book cover for Refraction

Title: Refraction | Author: Naomi Hughes | Publisher: Page Street Publishing | Pub. Date: 2019-Nov-5 | Page: 320 | ISBN: 9781624148903 | Language: English | Triggers: None | Rating: 5 out of 5 | Source: I received a copy of this book from Netgalley for review consideration

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Refraction Review

I read the synopsis for this book and I thought: “Wow, this is either going to be exceptionally bad or exceptionally good.” I was attracted to it because of the idea of mirrors unleashing bad things (referencing Constantine in my head), and the fact that it had aliens. The potential for a queer relationship added to some of the appeal. But oh, it could have went so horribly wrong.

Except… it didn’t.

Refraction was everything my previous read (Salvation Day) was not. I was immediately hooked by the story. I read it in two sittings with an unavoidable break between them. I was captivated and could never guess what was going to happen next. What happened next was always a new level of “Holy shit!” as well.

An absurd premise: An alien invasion, an isolated town, reflective surfaces summoning demons (and yet of course there are one two dumb shits who want to sell you the reflective stuff FOR REASONS). Then unbelievable stuff is found out,and then more unbelievable stuff,and finally just when you’re at that wall of “Oh, c’mon, seriously, what can you come up with next?” You’re left going “Well… there’s that.” and at that point you just sort of give up guessing and let the author finish her story without any of your silly little guessing games.

She finishes it very well once you let her get about her business.

And as for the possible hanky-panky that I expected to find? There was NONE. Not even just between the main characters. Just none in general. Hallelujah, it has been proven that a YA book can be written without the hormones making things go screwy. Naomi Hughes, I salute you! (And bless you, actually.) This is the type of story I was dying to read!

Overall, folks, Refraction gets high marks from me across the board. You gotta check this one out.


You can find this book at many retailers via clicking on the appropriate link on Goodreads; however, in the spirit of supporting literacy programs, we would like to point out that you may be able to purchase this book through BetterWorldBooks.

Published inScience Fiction Book ReviewsStarred Reviews


  1. Me reading the blurb for the book was a roller coaster. “Oh… oooooh… ooo I want… ah man that sounds awful.”

    Your review successfully convinced me to maybe try it out next year. Just my kind of review.

    • I hope you do give it a try, it’s a lovely book.

  2. Wow. You really made me think the ending was going to be something… well, I’m adding it to my list. 🙂

    • Hope you enjoy it!

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