|TITLE: Mist SERIES: Mist #1|
AUTHOR: Kathryn James PUB DATE: 9/1/11
PUB: Hodder Childrens Books FORMAT: pb, 327 pgs
SOURCE: from author in exchange for honest review
A chilling fairy-tale thriller for 10+ girls. Midnight: a mist-haunted wood with a bad reputation. A sweet sixteen party, and 13 year old Nell is trying to keep her sister, spoilt birthday-girl Gwen, out of trouble. No chance. Trouble finds Gwen and drags her through the mist. Only Nell guesses who’s behind the kidnap - the boy she hoped was her friend, the cute but mysterious Evan River. All those fairy stories Nell’s grandmother told her about girls being stolen by fairy folk are true. The Elven are beautiful as starlight, fierce as wolves, and cold as ice. And they want their world back. The fight has been raging for centuries. Nell’s grandmother should know, she’s a Watcher, the ones responsible for imprisoning the Elven in isolated iron-bound camps in Siberia. Only Evan, his fanatical older brother Fen, and a handful of Elven children are still free. Fen, hellbent on revenge, keeps Gwen in their wolf-guarded stronghold deep in the mist. The price for her safe return? The release of all the Elven – but the Watchers will never agree. Only Nell can save Gwen. Time is twisted through the mist: if Nell stops longer than a night and day, a hundred years will hit her as soon as she returns and she’ll be old and withered before she’s even lived. The clock is ticking.
THREE WORDS: Hauntingly Beautiful & Spellbinding
MY REVIEW: Kathryn James’ Mist has enchanted and captivated me completely. If this book were an Elven hoping to lure me into its magical otherworld, well, I’d blissfully follow it into the mist, with dancing feet and all ;)
Thirteen year old Nell has always felt a bit different, like an outsider, even in her own family. She isn’t close with her father, her mother is always busy at work and her soon to be sixteen year old sister, Gwen, is too busy being the Queen Bee of school, surrounded by her adoring friends, to care about her awkward little sister. Nell is friendless, until she meets mysterious, pale Evan River; the boy nobody seems to notice or remember and who lives beyond the mist in the woods. Nell grew up listening to her Nan’s stories about young girls being abducted by the fairyfolk, but she thought they were just old wives tales…that is until Gwen disappears during her sweet sixteen party in the woods, attacked by a white wolf and taken by a tall, pale boy into the mist. Nell then knows that the old stories are true and she too must travel beyond the mist to rescue her sister, but time is running out.
With a truly fantastical and enthralling story, a wonderfully compelling main character and stellar writing, Mist definitely delivers and does not disappoint. James weaves an exciting story full of mystery, intrigue, romance, heartache, poignant real life situations and razor sharp humor.
There’s a fabulous fairytale like quality to Mist, but the fairytale Kathryn James tells is delightfully dark and eerie in the most stunning and startling ways. I really loved the chilling and haunting setting and tone James has created. James begins the book with a short tale- The Curse of the Lost Girls- and I was simply hooked after this first page! James’ world of the Elven is breathtaking, vivid and full of the unexpected. She has created such a layered and well-developed setting that a part of me desperately wants to find my own mist in the woods to follow, just in case this Elven world is really real…*whispers* and I totally believe it is!
One of the things that I loved most about this book is the main character Nell. Nell is so endearing and impossible not to love. There’s a very natural awkwardness to her when the book begins that I think many readers can relate to; she’s a superbly crafted character. She’s has a fantastic acerbic wit, she’s very clever and in many ways she’s quite mature for her age, yet she still feels like a thirteen year old girl. She makes for a believable heroine because she’s brave, but she’s not afraid to show her fear. I love the fact that she goes on this journey, this dangerous mission to save her sister, not knowing if she’ll succeed or if she’ll even survive and fully believing her sister wouldn’t do the same for her, but she does it anyway because she knows she’s the only one who will, she simply knows she must. Nell also grows a great deal throughout the book; her character goes from a shy, awkward girl to a young woman, who is sure of herself and confident in her abilities.
Evan Rivers is a charming and mysterious character that readers will have no problems becoming attached to. The more Nell interacted with him, the more I wanted to get to know him…and the more I loved and wanted to see the two of them together. Nell and Evan have such an effortless and bright spark between them.
Kathyrn James also does an excellent job of exploring the very fragile and treacherous world of teenage girls. If you've ever been a teenage girl or around teenage girls, then you know how mean, hurtful and confusing girls can be, especially those in cliques or social groups, and James writes about this with very thought-provoking honesty. With Gwen, James has created a very spoiled, vain, shallow Queen Bee teenage girl character, but she’s anything but cliché and turns out to be quite surprising, which I loved.
Nell’s journey is a thrilling and heart pounding one; I felt like I was on this journey with her and not just reading about it. Through Nell, James took me to some unexpected, amazing and fantastical places and I loved every minute of it.
MY FINAL THOUGHTS: Kathryn James’ Mist shines with imagination, excitement and dark beauty. This is a fantastic and must read MG book for any fantasy lovers, especially those who love fairytales with a wicked twist. I loved this book and cannot wait to read the sequel!
Be sure to check out my interview with the lovely Kathryn James and stop by the March MG Madness page to enter the big giveaway for a chance to win a box of MG books, including a signed copy of Mist.