Andy's Reviews > The Prince of Mist

The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
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Jun 05, 11

Read in June, 2011

Note: Between a 3 and a 4.

With my new library card (the first I’ve had in over a decade), I decided to go exploring other work by some authors who I’ve enjoyed over the past couple years. One that came immediately to mind was Carlos Ruiz Zafón, whose “Shadow Of The Wind” was a big hit with me a while back. I knew that there was a followup, but searching around also showed me that he had a young adult series – and the first book was in stock. That same day, I actually saw an ad for book #2 in my stack of comics, so I figured I’d start with what I figured would be a fun, simple read of a new series. Somehow, I missed the fact that this series is long over, and this book was original published in spanish almost 20 years ago. Whoops.

The knowledge of it being Zafón’s first published work changes a lot of things about the clunkiness of the first part of the book. Zafón doesn’t take long for the foreboding, creepy feeling to enter into his story, he pushes it into main character Max’s psyche early and it comes off quite awkward as a reader. The family, with little development into who they are (other than Max’s dad, whose role is pretty minimal in the end), the Carver family moves to a Coastal village to avoid World War II. The house they move into is beautiful, but has a bizarre history, and that’s only the stuff that’s known.

While it starts off slow and forced, about midway through the book, you get a real sense of panic as a reader, as though you are actually watching a teenage horror/thriller flick and the book is much better from there on out. It gets more ridiculous sure, but since the writing isn’t as complex as his more modern work, it is a relief to have Zafón just putting everything out there in the plot, conjuring up images that are from every horror movie that scared you as a kid (complete with clowns, cats and graveyards), but that is when it gets really fun.

The reveals are pretty surprising, the “resolution” moreso, and by the end of the book, I felt much more satisfied and positive about it than when I started, despite all the darkness within. It’s not a great book, even by young adult thriller standards, but it is definitely entertaining, and it only takes a short time to read, so if you’re looking for some quick books to kill time this summer, go see if this is at your local library, it’s pretty good for that.
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