Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Prince of Mist Review

Book Talk: Max's family has picked up their lives in the capital to head for a small sea-side village to wait out the war.  Life is supposed to be safer for them in this out of the way town, but from the moment they arrive Max can sense that they're in danger.  When his father tells him the story of what happened the family that lived in their house before them, he becomes even more suspicious.  Soon his youngest sister is in the hospital and his older sister and their new-found friend are left alone, except for the haunting presence of the prince of mist.

Rocks My Socks: The novel has a strong and eloquent narrative voice that I really enjoyed. It also takes its time introducing the characters in the beginning so that by the time their lives were in danger I really cared about them, which is an important factor that I think a lot of horror misses.  The atmosphere of the novel is wonderful--suspenseful, without being over-the-top.  It reminded me of a Hitchcock film.  The novel was haunting without being too disturbing.  There were a couple scenes where I wished I had more company around me than my cat (especially considering the role of cats in the novel) but these scenes were helped out by the fact that thanks to Dr. Who I have already had a strong fear of statuary coming into the book (don't blink!)

Rocks In My Socks: The climax of the novel slipped a bit too far into the realm of romantic melodrama for my tastes.  In addition to not being my cup of tea, I felt that it was a change in tone from the rest of the novel which left it feeling a bit lop-sided.  The main character is very strongly and clearly max for most of the novel and he's the one I cared most about, but in the climax he really only played a supporting role.

Every Book its Reader: 7th and up.  I'd give it to anyone looking for a good, quick read full of suspense.

The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Support your local independent bookstore and buy it through indiebound or check it out from your local library  

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