Thursday, April 12, 2012

Book Review: The Prince of Mist, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

The Prince of Mist scored very high on the creepiness factor. There's plenty of danger and excitement for all.

Maximillian Carver has decided to move his family (a wife and three children) to a small coastal village, away from the war-torn city. Of course, the kids aren't excited about this. Max, the middle son, discovers a strange garden of statues behind the house. The garden is misty, and creepy, and wait...did that clown statue in the middle of the garden just move?

The house itself is creepy too. Max's little sister Isabelle (not sure of the name-can't remember and couldn't find it on-line) has a strange accident on the stairs, and Max wonders if it the house is haunted by Jacob, the previous owner's son, who drowned off the coast of the town.

This is only the beginning of Max, his sister Alicia, and their new friend Roland's adventures. Roland lives in the lighthouse with his adopted grandfather, who was the only survivor of a shipwreck off the coast. Roland's grandfather is very secretive about the shipwreck. Roland takes Max and Alicia diving down to the wreck to find treasure. They find much more than treasure.

The Prince of Mist is a very mysterious book, that slowly, creepily, reveals it's secrets. The "slowly" part is the only reservation I would have when recommending this book. You have to be patient. There's a creepy cat, and old movies featuring Jacob to add to the mystery. It is very artfully done and captivating. I think I even got some chills during some parts of the book. Part of the chill-factor was the audiobook -- the reader, Jonathan Davis, was superb. He has this quiet, creepiness to his voice that worked perfectly with the story.

The ending got my heart pounding, and caused me to drive around the block a few times (audiobook...) to finish.

The Prince of Mist would be great for middle school or high school kids. The characters act like kids, and the writing is beautiful, but accessible.

Published by Little, Brown, 2010
Audiobook obtained from the library
224 pages

Rating: 3/5

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  1. I've STILL not read Shadow Of The Wind by Zafron, I really must. I think this one sounds like a lot of fun too.

  2. I read this after I read Shadow of the Wind, so it was a bit of a disappointment for me, although it was very creepy. I agree -- you have to be patient with Prince of Mist.

    1. I've not read any of his other books. Someday I'd live to read Shadow of the Wind. Thanks!


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