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 She is an amazing girl, a bit socially awkward, a bit withdrawn, but brave and outspoken when necessary.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