03 December, 2017

REVIEW: THE PRINCE OF MIST by Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Title: The Prince of Mist
Author: Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Series: Niebla #1
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Publisher: Little, Brown Books
Release: (First publish 1986)
Source: Hardcover
Pages: 218

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BLURB: A mysterious house harbors an unimaginable secret. . . .

It’s wartime, and the Carver family decides to leave the capital where they live and move to a small coastal village where they’ve recently bought a home. But from the minute they cross the threshold, strange things begin to happen. In that mysterious house there still lurks the spirit of Jacob, the previous owners’ son, who died by drowning.

With the help of their new friend Roland, Max and Alicia Carver begin to explore the suspicious circumstances of that death and discover the existence of a mysterious being called The Prince of Mist—a diabolical character who has returned from the shadows to collect on a debt from the past. Soon the three friends find themselves caught up in an adventure of sunken ships and an enchanted stone garden, which will change their lives forever.

EXPECTATIONS: Even though Zafón is a very well known author (he wrote the famous The Shadow of the Wind) I didn't have super high expectations since this book is usually recommended by middle and high school teachers... I though "oh maybe I'm too old for it, we'll see." Anyway, I did enjoy it very much!

THE WORLD: It is set in year 1943 right during WWII and the location is not very clear... it's a coastal town bordering the Atlantic... maybe in UK? Spain?

CHARACTERS: The main character is Max Carver, a 13 year old boy who moves to this coastal town with his family to escape the war. Max discovers that their new family house was owned by a doctor Richard Fleischmann and his wife, whose son drowned many years before. Behind the house there is a strange walled garden and it's filled with creepy circus statues. And by that I mean there are statues of circus performers and acts (the clown, lion tamer, juggler, etc) but they're all creepy and not very child-friendly. There is also a shipwreck just off the coast, and a strange old man who runs the town lighthouse. Max also notices several weird things in the town, for example, the town clock runs backwards and he hears whispers in the house. Soon after they move, Max and his 15 year old sister, Alicia, meet a new boy named Roland, whose parents died in a tragic accident when he was little and had to be raised by his grandpa, Victor Kray, the old man who runs the lighthouse. And from then on everything goes down in a spiral because an evil being has returned... "The Prince of Mist", who nobody knows about in depth... nobody knows what he is or where he comes from but they know not to come across him unless they want trouble.

ROMANCE: Hmm there is a case of insta-love but it isn't the main point in the plot and it's not talked about that much so I can't say I cared.

GOOD: Overall I liked the easiness the story has to advance and it's very easy to read. Also, the creepy/mystery plot got me good. Love some creepy paranormal villains! I wish the villain got more background but I liked his character and I also liked the ending of the book. It wasn't the typical ending.

BAD: It has 280 pages (more or less) but it feels more like a short story than a novel. There are a few loose ends and the mystery of "The Prince of Mist" is actually never solved... not entirely at least. But don't panic! There are 2 more books not related to this story but related to the character of "The Prince of Mist."

Another bad thing; one point of the plot was really predictable and I knew it ages before it was tackled in the story... I just hope he didn't intend for it to be a "bomb" because... well, even 12 year olds would have know that.

OVERALL: I give it 4.5-5 stars. I'm sure I would've loved this book when I was 12-15 years old and it's a much better book than other mandatory ones I had to read in high school.


What do you think about THE PRINCE OF MIST?


 

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