Where I got it: ARC for review from Little, Brown and Co
Rating: 3.5 stars
Cover Rating: 3 stars (I don't know that I'd necessarily pick this book up.)
Genre: Young Adult
Publication Date: May 4, 2010
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Page Count: 200 p.
During wartime a father picks up his family to move out of the city and onto the sea coast. Once there, however, strange things start happening to some of them. A cat that shoots daggers with its eyes is adopted by the youngest child, the son notices the hands on the clock moving backwards, and the eldest daughter is simply in a slump. When the son, Max, meets a boy from town named Roland he gets a tour of the town and an invitation to go diving on some old boat wreckage. Max sensing his eldest sister's, Alicia, melancholy invites her along when he goes to visit Roland. When Roland tells of tales relating to the Prince of Mist, Max knows that it has something to do with the statue garden and the tapes he has found. He knows he needs help if he is going to figure out what is going on and stop it before it's too late.
I wish I could read this in it's original text, theoretically I can, and probably will. I feel like there were parts that just didn't translate well, because the story will be going along and then all of a sudden the writing seems a little off. Maybe that is how it was written but, until I read the original I can not be sure. Otherwise this was a very creepy, creepy novel. I made the mistake of reading this before going to bed. Big mistake. This story contains the spooky Prince of Mist, clowns(eek), statues that move only slightly, graveyards and underwater sunken ships. All these things make me stay up all night to finish the book hoping that once it's done I won't have nightmares. If you don't enjoy reading scary stories, and any of the above things creep you out, don't read this book. If you don't mind something a little spooky please pick this up it was a wonderful story. It's set in 1943 so it's got a nice historical fiction feel, without reading like your history book for school. The history lies within the characters actions and the way they use their words. Although some things seem out of place, I can't say for certain since I a.) didn't live in 1943 and b.) am not quite sure where this takes place, but it probably isn't New Hampshire. Also really enjoyable was the unconventional ending, I don't want to ruin it, but I appreciated it fully for not ending like you might expect. I certainly enjoy this novel and will pick up Carlos Ruiz Zafón's other young adult novels, should he write any more. I also look forward to reading this in it's original Spanish. If anyone here has read it in it's original and reviewed it please leave a link to your review below. As for the rest of you, go out and pick this book up it was well written and a pleasure to read.
"Max would never forget that faraway summer when, almost by chance, he discovered magic."
"Alicia woke shortly after sunrise to find two amber eyes staring intently at her from the window."