Jun 12, 12
Read from May 15 to 19, 2012
Into the Mist: Silver Hand is a brilliant novel that brings back a lot of memories for me. It reminds me of reading fantasy novels when I was young and the excitement and thrills that I get when turning through the pages. The book is basically two stories in one and Finegan does a marvellous job balancing and blending a modern day coming of age story with a traditional fantasy story set to a Celtic background.
The story is about Gabe, a 13 year old boy who is suffering from mild Temporal Lobe Epilepsy. His mother overprotects him because of this and as a result he doesn't get to do things boy of his age do and branded as a freak by some. Despite his condition, one thing that Gabe does well is his drawings of a heroic figure he calls Corvus. This talent is quickly spotted by Ellie, the girl next door at his new home.
Through their adventures together they discover that Gabe's epilepsy is not as simple as it seems. In fact when Gabe has his seizures or auras as his mum would call it, he would appear in an ancient wood as the Celtic legend Mabon. Ellie believes that Gabe is somehow linked to this Mabon and Gabe must do everything he can to save Mabon's world.
As I said before this novel is two stories blended together. In the modern world Gabe has to deal with alienation and embarrassment because of his condition. Through his actions as Mabon, Gabe gains the strength to face his fears and to stand up to the bullies which ends in an intense and dramatic confrontation. At the same time, Mabon's world, Elfyth is facing an invasion from the Grayman and his undead army. Gabe has to juggle between being himself, as well as Mabon as he faces challenges in both worlds.
Just as Rick Riordan has brought a new perspective to ADHD and dyslexia in his Olympians series, Finegan has turned TLE into something that is a gift in this book. Some of the world's most creative mind suffered from epilepsy and some argues that it was epilepsy that gave them the extra insight and flair in their works. In the book, Gabe went from being afraid to finally accepting it as part of who he is and he can't rely on drugs to make him feel better.
While staying true to Celtic mythology, the author does a pretty good job bringing it to live. However in this first book we are only getting glimpses of Elfyth but I'm sure we will see more of this world in the next book when Mabon faces the Grayman and his army.
Just as the book reaches its climax, the story ends. I don't dislike cliffhanger endings and I understand why it ended like it did but I still prefer if it didn't finish with so many loose ends.
Gabe and Ellie are fantastically well written characters and it was an extreme pleasure to read the exchanges between the two of them. Overall, I found Into the Mist: Silver Hand to be a marvellous read and I look forward to the second part Into the Mist: Bringer of the Dawn which comes out in 2013.