Mirrorfall: Episode One (Require: Cookie, #1) - Grace McDermott Stef, or Spyder, is a hacker, computer genius and an all round geek. Who has just been given a job that is compelling, fascinating and almost impossible – decipher indecipherable code. Code that resembles nothing on Earth. Code that she can almost comprehend and is driven to solve. Code that may not even be from Earth – nor her employersAt least until guys with guns show up and everything becomes very confusing very quickly.She’s always wanted to see magic and things beyond the norm – and now she’s plunged into the middle of it, torn between loving every second and running in terror of not being able to meet the challenges of her new world – or her new job as a field agent for the Agency. Police, facilitators – she’s joined the organisation that tries to bring some semblance of peace and order to a very chaotic supernatural world.And her boss may be an angel. He certainly saved her life before.In story terms I think there are 2 stories pushed together here. One is Stef discovering the world beyond the one she knows, being recruited for the agency and then actually joining up and becoming Ryan’s protégé. This is a good story and needed a lot of growth. Then there is the Mirrorfall which feels kind of rushed, addressed only in passing and to be made up of a whole lot of bad decisions and not very well explained. I feel the Mirrorfall could have been a separate story and we could have just focused on Stef joining the agency and proving herself and establishing he bond between herself and Ryan – things which badly needed doing.I didn’t dislike the stories but they needed more development, and to move faster. We spend so much time on Stef’s internal dialogue and doubts with occasional lectures that not enough happens or develops. Which is a shame because with some development this could go from a good story to an excellent story. With some development the intriguing relationship between Stef and Ryan could have become powerful and fun and interesting and not a little rushed and with Ryan’s affection being understandable – but excessive in the brief period he’s known her.Which is a shame – because Ryan, the man who is never remembered, connecting with the child he saved, the child he broke all the rules for, the child he would not die who then grew up and actually remembers him is poignant and powerful without the angsty monologues that are so often used to try and convey strong emotion in the genre. Throw in him not being seen as human or living by most people who see his true nature, but Stef’s unique outlook caused her to not only see that but embrace it joyfully and you have a powerful foundation. Or Stef and her past and thought processes negotiating this new world, bringing to it the unique perspectives of her mind and hobbies and how this brings new strengths and richness to her role and makes her a far better field agent than anyone expected. These are great stories, these are excellent stories and there are wonderful cores of them there – but they’re not developed to their full potential before we head off to the Mirrorfall and a whole new story setting.There is very good ongoing presentation of Stef as neurologically atypical person. Her thought processes are extremely good and representative of that, how she thinks, the odd places her mind goes, the unusual way her mind works is really well expressed. Several of that bleeds over into her actions – things she does, things she can tolerate, things she can’t abide and odd behaviour that is explained a lot when you can see into her head. This is compounded by her upbringing and her father who wouldn’t tolerate his daughter and her different mentality, his cruelty and his harshness has left Stef with an extremely low self-esteem and zero sense of her actual self worth.This leads to a lot of insecurity on Stef’s part. She is constantly going to Ryan assuming she’s not good enough, assuming she’s too much of a horrible person to be tolerated, assuming she’s too criminal or too useless or too embarrassing to keep aroundRead More