Book Review: Mirrorland by Carole Johnstone


Published in 2021, Mirrorland by Carole Johnstone follows twin sisters Cat and El. When El disappears, Cat is sure that her sister isn’t dead. She would have felt it. She would have known. To find her sister, Cat must return to their dark, crumbling childhood home and confront the horrors that wait there. Because it’s all coming back to Cat now: all the things she has buried, all the secrets she’s been running from. The closer Cat comes to the truth, the closer to danger she is. Some things are better left in the past.


A complex, twisted and creative story, Mirrorland is a brilliantly original dark thriller that will take you on an intriguing journey filled with horror, escapism, betrayal and sacrifice.

I’ve seen that a lot of readers struggled to get into the story due to the mix of genres, not knowing what’s real and what’s fantasy at the start. But the story reminded me of the film Sucker Punch which I love, so I had some idea of how it would play out.

This made it much easier for me to be taken in by this world of chaos and imagination, so I revelled in the claustrophobic and mysterious setting and was completely blown away by how the story played out.

Switching between the present as Cat tries to figure out what’s happened to her sister and the past as we explore their childhood in Mirrorland as we get to meet the threatening characters who live there, Mirrorland feels like a nightmare with its hazy and bewildering atmosphere.

Using a pinch of fantasy to overcome the trauma of long-buried memories, the story is both haunting and compelling, and I absolutely loved the spooky adventure that it took me on. I love a good horror story, and that’s exactly what this is!

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