Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Review: Mist (Mist, #1) + Giveaway (INT)


Mist (Mist, #1)Author: Kathryn James
Series: Mist, #1
Release date: September 1st 2011
Publisher: Hodder Children's
Paperback, 335 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: The Book Depository


You wouldn’t think it possible, but when I was a little girl, I used to read even more than I do now, or just as much at the very least. (Now people are going, “Yeeah, right”, but I promise it’s true.) We moved around a lot in those years, and it was a difficult time for me. I was never very social to begin with, and having to make new friends and adjust to a new environment every couple of years didn’t help much in that department. So I read. And I read and I read and I read. I read Enid Blyton, and every other Middle Grade mystery I could find. And they made things better for me.

I still hide behind books all the time, but it’s been a while since I’d read a good Middle Grade mystery. (The Apothecary by Maile Meloy is the last that I can remember.) However, The Mist by Kathryn James was the perfect choice for me. I wish it had been around back when I was in constant search for a good MG read.

Behind the mist, there is a world full of giant musical harps, thorn-covered castles, wolves and unicorns that is equal parts scary and enchanting. The Elven and humans are at war, yes, but even hostile Elven can’t make their forest seem any less beautiful. There are no adults in it, not any more. Every grown Elven has been taken to the iron camps and only a handful of children are left. Their solution is to kidnap Nell’s sister and try to get her grandmother, the leader of Watchers, to open the camps.

”The watchers have from now until sundown to open the iron camps. And then set the Elven free.” He paused. “Or your sister will become ours forever.”


The first thing you’ll notice about Mist, even after a single chapter, is that it’s very well written, and not in a way that draws attention. Kathryn James in an expert in making her written word seem almost transparent, entirely unnoticeable, thus allowing the reader to slip directly into the story and really live through everything alongside Nell.

And trust me, you’ll want to take this journey with Nell. She is an amazing girl, a bit socially awkward, a bit withdrawn, but brave and outspoken when necessary. She is compassionate and open minded, resourceful and true to her word.

The romance between Nell and Evan is gorgeous and believable because it’s so age appropriate. I loved how timid they were around each other and how they were able to put aside the fact that they’re natural enemies and call each other friends. Their friendship and their puppy love never crossed any lines, but their feelings were somehow a part of every decision they made. They were both fierce individually, but toward each other they were tender and playful, even when they were seemingly on opposite sides.

Evan is such a tragic hero, a sad little boy whose parents and younger sisters were taken and he was left with no one but a half-crazy older brother. Kathryn James did an excellent job with him; he was distinctly otherworldly, and yet his emotions were very easy to understand. My heart ached for him and his kind.

I surprised myself by requesting the second book, Frost, for review the second I finished this one. I’m looking forward to spending more time with Nell and Evan.



And now for the giveaway: fill out the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win Mist and Frost. Both books go to one winner, internationally. I’ve made it as simple as possible to enter. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

30 comments:

  1. OHHH. First time to see this book. The cover is so pretty. Thanks for the great review and giveaway.

    -Dannielle

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  2. You had me with thorn-covered castles and unicorns :D I also like the sound from Nell and I love a good romance. I've heard of this book a long time ago, but I completely forgot about it. I might pick it up soon! :) Great review.

    Mel@thedailyprophecy.

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  3. Awesome/scary things in the mist?!? Castles and unicorns and Elves -- oh, my! Oh, yes! This sounds great.

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  4. Nell sounds so real, I like that she isn't perfect and too strong to be believable. I am always really surprised when I pick up a Middle Grade book and see how much I like it. There is something about the innocence of them, and how they are about the journey and not about some silly romance. Wonderful review, Maja! I want to read this so bad now. It's definitely making its way onto my TBR!

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  5. I'm a bit behind on my MG reads, but this sounds wonderful. The setting sounds familiar yet unique at the same time and I can't wait to learn more about these characters. Thanks for bringing this book to my attention. Definitely going to check this one out!

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  6. "Kathryn James in an expert in making her written word seem almost transparent, entirely unnoticeable, thus allowing the reader to slip directly into the story and really live through everything alongside Nell."

    Wow, that's some beautiful imagery Maja! And you say I have magic with words? *stares at you with raised eyebrow* I'm not a huge MG reader at all, but this story sounds fabulous and the cover is beyond stunning! Now I just want to read it and fall through those transparent words right into this world:)

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  7. Love the cover, and I like the sound of taking a journey with Nell, especially knowing about how well written Mist is.
    Happy reading,
    Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog

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  8. Good middle grade books are hard to find, right? I am always on the lookout for when my kids are just a bit older as are you I am sure. This sounds like a wonderful series that I will have to look into for Risa! Thanks for the lovely recommendation and for the Peanut Balls recipe. Yum!

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  9. Awesome review and it is so hard to find books that will draw my niece in who is a MG student. So I am going to send her your review!

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  10. I'm not big on the MG reading, but this sounds like something I really could get into and love! This really sounds more like ageless writing that MG readers could appreciate with the rest of us :) Must put this one on the wishlist.

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  11. Oh, no fair! In order to get any entries into the giveaway, you have to have a GFC or a Network Blog, and I have neither, and your review's made me want this book pretty bad all of a sudden. :[ Oh well I guess...

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    1. You can follow by email if you want, and just enter your email so I'll know. :)

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  12. So I added this initially just because the cover is so purty! I'm so glad I can keep it on my list, though, because this sounds great! I love that the romance is tentative and age-appropriate. :)

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  13. I have seen this book around - it's hard not to notice with that lovely cover - but I didn't know what it was about until now. It sounds quite magical! Although I rarely pick up middle grade books these days, you definitely make me want to give this a go. Another brilliant review!

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  14. I love the cover of this one and have grown up reading Enid Blyton like you, so I think I'd wind up loving this. I recently read a fabulous MG Novel, A Face Like Glass, so I'm curious to get back into that genre and this seems to be the perfect segueway! :) Amazing review, Maja! :D

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  15. This sounds so cute and I do love the cover. I'm always open to Middle Grade as long as it's a good book, I don't mind. I like the sound of Nell and Evan's cute little romance. And all this talk of musical harps, castle has me entranced.

    I loved this review, Maja and I really want to get my hands on a copy of this book now.

    I have to agree with you, I read a lot as a child as an only child and way to escape the real world. It's become a definite part of my life, unfortunately I think I read more as a child because I had more time! :P

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  16. Wow, sounds like a great middle school read. Thank you!

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  17. This sounds amazing! I do read quite a bit of MG, my goal is one a week right now, and this sounds like a book my daughter would enjoy as well. I don't think I even heard of it before. Or I don't recognize the cover anyway.
    Thanks for the giveaway too!

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  18. Middle grade and I don't always get along but you've tempted me. Maybe a miracle will occur and I'll win. :-)

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  19. Fab review, Maja! I received this for my birthday two years ago, and I remember really enjoying it. I agree, the romance is so super sweet and cute and I love how realistic it is as well. Evan is such a sweetheart! I'm pretty sure I was hung up over him for at least a couple of weeks after reading this. ;) Lovely review, Maja. :)

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  20. Oooohh PERFECT timing! I only found out about these two books THIS MORNING and now I get to read your review & have the chance to win a copy! I love the sound of romance between these two characters :) I don't usually read MG books (*sigh* I stopped when after I read Twilight) but I really like the sound of this<3 *fingers crossed I win!* Lovely review, Maja & thank you so much for the giveaway! :)

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  21. I'm not a big middle grade reader but this sounds delightful. Of course the romance is what captures my attention. Puppy love and age appropriate sound very sweet. Lovely review, Maja. And really, you read more?!! How is that even possible?

    Thanks for the international giveaway. :)

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  22. Wow I can't believe you used to read as much as you do now!! :) I loved reading and have read a lot of MG books but not the amount I'm reading these days. :) Still I'm happy that you enjoyed this book. Also thanks for the giveaway :)

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  23. Am glad I discovered your blog. Am just starting with my own book review blog, and have been looking at so many. Your blog is very clean and organized, easy to look for the reviews you want to have an idea on. Like you I read a lot when I was younger, Enid Blyton, Bobbsey Twins, Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys.....uhm, don't know if you guys still know these authors. This was way back in the 80's, lol. By the time I was 12 or 13 I was already reading The Godfather by Mario Puzo, we are a family of readers, so they influenced my reading choices then. This is long enough...thanks for the review and the giveaway.

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  24. Ooh, I must meet Nell! "She is an amazing girl, a bit socially awkward, a bit withdrawn, but brave and outspoken when necessary. She is compassionate and open minded, resourceful and true to her word." <-- that is like my perfect heroine description!

    I would have loved to read a book like this when I was younger. Like you, I moved around a lot as a kid and retreated into books, and when I can find a middle grade or younger skewing YA book that captures my heart, it takes me right back to those days.

    Amazing review and endorsement from you. Mist is definitely on my TBR pile now! Thanks, Maja! :-)

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  25. Oh cool I'm so like you! I read just as much if not more when I was a kid--I had more free time for one, and living in an uber small town there just wasn't very much else to do! Plus, the library is free!

    MG novels--I would have never guessed it was it looked like a YA cover--can be real gems! I so love the way you describe her writing too it's like you're not reading but living a story, you know! And the characters sound very well developed which is pretty much the only way I would enjoy an MG novel. It's why I loved HP so much. I hadn't heard of this book before but it's going on my list, now! Sounds like it would be great for a change of pace!

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  26. I think I read all of Enid Blyton's books when I was young :) I haven't heard much about this one so thanks for introducing me to it, Maja. I like finding out about good MG novels - yay, this one is both a mystery and a fantasy - so that I can get them for my brother and cousin (and occasionally read them myself). Like Giselle, I wouldn't have suspected that this was a MG; the cover looks more like a YA cover to me!

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  27. This book definitely has potential! I'm glad you enjoyed it! Also, that is one gorgeous cover! :)

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  28. I've been in love with the covers for these books for some time, but I honestly didn't realize they were MG fantasy! That makes them even more appealing to me. Like you, I read as much as a kid as I do now...I positively lived behind a book and can recount hours spend at book stores and the library. I love when I find one of those books that makes me think 'I wish I'd had this as a kid', because I love them just as much now. Thanks, Maja!

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  29. This sounds fabulous!! So glad I saw your review, because I'm always keeping an eye out for good MG books for my 11yo niece but don't follow many blogs that do MG reviews. This sounds like something I also would have loved growing up!! I was pretty much just like you - my dad was in the Air Force (US) and we moved every 4 years from Virginia to South Carolina to Germany to North Carolina! I also used reading as comfort, to hide behind, to learn, etc. Anyway, this book sounds wonderful, and I'm so glad I was looking in your archives tonight!

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