Mist by Kathryn James
publisher: Hodder Childrens Books
release date: September 1st, 2011
paperback, 310 pages
intended audience: Young adult
series: Mist, book 1
source: from publisher for honest review
description: (from the back of the book---the Goodreads description gives way too much away!)
There's something in the mist-
as beautiful as starlight,
as fierce as wolves,
as heartless as ice.
Midnight in the woods, Nell searches for her sister, who has disappeared in to the mist. She's always thought the stories were old wives' tales.
"Have you heard of the lost girls? They go into the woods and never come back..."
Nell knows she is way out of her depth, but she can't help being drawn to the mist and to the mysterious Evan with his pale skin and charcoal eyes. Does he hold the key to saving her sister?
Review: A fairy tale told to Nell and her sister, Gwen, all of their lives has turned out to be not only creepy tale, but a true and serious warning. Straying into the mist leads you into the perilous world of the elves, and you might never come back. This is a wonderful blend of a coming-of-age story and a chilling fantasy. Nell is an awkward young girl, constantly warding off the condescending coldness from her popular sister's cronies. She wants to be brave, and even has a imaginary alter ego, Helene, that does what Nell wishes she could do and sports the confidence that Nell sometimes lacks. One of the greatest thing about Mist is seeing Nell come into her own and actually find the strength to bring out here inner "Helene".
The characters are all complex and the line between good and bad so expertly blurred. Even Fen, the villian of the story, was multifaceted; on one hand his actions are irrational and insane, on the other you can empathize and understand what pushed him over the edge. And Gwen, who seems selfish and caught up in her own popularity, shows us little sweet glimpes of her sisterly love for Nell. Many others are full of surprising moments, Nell's Dad, her grandma, Evan, Star---they all had so many sides and secrets, and it made them all the more real.
I loved the storytelling in this, it was very well-written, adventurous, engaging. On some level, it seemed right in between a middle grade and a young adult novel. That's in no way a negative comment, but I've read a lot of both and it's hard to explain, but the dialogue and descriptive styles are distinctly different. I love them both, so it didn't detract from my enjoyment of this at all!
Mist was full of fantasy, secret societies, magic. It had a strong theme of bravery and family (and how complicated each can be!) , with a cast of great characters that really make the reader care about their fates. I'm glad to hear that this is a series...there are definitely more adventures I want to go on with Nell, Evan, and company!
Visit Kathryn James' site here.
Purchase Mist at: BookDepository • Amazon UK
(not currently available in US stores)
Kathryn James reading an excerpt: