Zafon does not disappoint in his spine-chilling YA thriller, The Prince of Mist. Go read it - you'll love it!
It grabbed me from the first line of the first page and it did. not. let. go. I read it in practically one sitting, and wanted more when I turned the last page.
Max Carver is an easy-going, intelligent, 13 year old boy, whose father moves the family out of the city and away from the war, to a house on the beach. The first thing Max notices is the clock at the train station - it keeps perfect time, except that time is going backwards. He shrugs it off as a fluke. Soon he will realize, there are no such things as flukes and minor coincidences. Max and his older sister, Alicia, quickly become friends with Roland, a local boy who lives with his grandfather, Victor Kray, the lighthouse keeper.
Max learns that the house they moved into has a past, and their moving in sets in motion a series of events which resurface old, but not forgotten, secrets. If the signs are to be believed, they are too dangerous to ignore. The legend of the Prince of Mist is a scary one, could he be real? Could he be here? What really happened to the family that used to live in this house? What will happen to Max's family if they stay? How long must one keep a promise? When is that debt paid?
Max quickly learns:
NOTHING IS AS POWERFUL AS A PROMISE.
I have chills just writing that sentence!
I am already a huge fan of Carlos Ruiz Zafon's The Shadow of the Wind and The Angel's Game, so when I learned that his YA novels were going to be published in the US in English and translated by Lucia Graves, I could not wait to get my hands on a copy! I begged for ARCs of this book, so it should not have come as a surprise when two copies landed on my desk on the same day. Thank you to both Clinton Book Shop and Angela at Dark Faerie Tales! You made my week!
It's not commonly known that Zafon wrote his YA novels before he penned his world wide bestseller The Shadow of the Wind.The Prince of Mist is hopefully the first of many more of his YA novels to be translated to English and available in the US. He makes me want to learn Spanish, just so I don't have to wait for the translations!
The Prince of Mist may have felt like an earlier, less polished, work to some, but I think that this is only because we adult readers are used to such complex characters, plot and settings from Zafon. This YA might fall short for some of Zafon's fans, but not me!
This was a well crafted ghost story worthy of any flashlight! Then again, you may want to keep the lights on. It's suspenseful, exciting, and scary. I loved every minute of it!
About the Author: Carlos Ruiz Zafón is the author of six novels, including the international phenomenon The Shadow of the Wind. His work has been published in more than forty different languages, and honored with numerous international awards, including the Edebé Award, Spain's most prestigious prize for young adult fiction. He divides his time between Barcelona, Spain, and Los Angeles, California.
About the Book The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 224 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (May 4, 2010)