Saturday, December 25, 2010

Kid Konnection: The Prince of Mist

Every Saturday, I host a feature called Kid Konnection -- a regular weekend feature about anything related to children's books. Today, I'm going to share with you a book that I thought was just okay....

Summary: 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. But from the minute they cross the threshold of their new home, strange things begin to happen. In that mysterious house 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 strange 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--an adventure that will change their lives forever. -- Little, Brown

I have to be honest when I tell you that I have been procrastinating writing my review THE PRINCE OF MIST by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Since it's the last Kid Konnection of the year, I think it's the time for me to try to get my thoughts down about this book in writing! Basically, I didn't love this book and thought it was just okay. Overall, I guess I could say that I was disappointed.

Once again, maybe my expectations were just a little too high. I was a big fan of the author's and I thought THE SHADOW OF THE WIND was an amazing book -- I'm talking incredible! So when I discovered that Mr. Zafon had a young adult novel coming out that was written prior to THE SHADOW OF THE WIND, I was definitely anxious to read it. I thought if his writing was anywhere as good as it was in THE SHADOW OF THE WIND, then I'd be a happy reader. Ultimately, it wasn't the writing that let me down. I just had too many issues with the story and the believability of the characters.

I'm the first to admit that I wouldn't consider a ghost story to be my favorite type of story, but I did read this book on Halloween. I thought if there were ever a time to appreciate a ghost story, that would be the day. I don't want to make it sound like THE PRINCE OF MIST was an awful book because it wasn't. It just didn't appeal to me. Yes, I know I'm not the target audience for quite a few reasons, namely my age and my reading taste; but I believe that I'm probably not entirely off base with my issues.

Probably my biggest issue with THE PRINCE OF MIST was with a few of the characters. In fact, I actually  hard a hard time buying some of the actions of the characters. For example, while I definitely liked Max's character, I didn't think his actions were consistent with those of a child his age. Many times I thought he acted way older than his years, and other times I thought he was rather immature. Of course, readers could argue that that behavior is exactly how kids act!

I did appreciate Mr. Zafon's writing as well as certain aspects of the ghost story, but I wasn't blown away by THE PRINCE OF MIST like I had hoped. I do think fans of ghost stories as well as younger readers might enjoy this novel a bit more than I did.

Thanks to the publisher for providing an ARC at this year's BEA.

If you'd like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children's books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, please leave a comment as well as a link below with your name/blog name and the title of the book! Feel free to grab the little button too!


rhapsodyinbooks said...

I tried to read a Zafon book and just couldn't get into it. But I never tried The Shadow of the Wind - maybe I should!

Laura Fabiani said...

I have not read this author yet, but I do have The Shadow of the Wind on my bookshelf. It has such rave reviews, including yours that I am now most anxious to read it. Too bad this one disappointed.

Alyce said...

I was excited about this book when it came out, but after reading several reviews from people with similar opinions I have decided to put off reading it indefinitely.

bermudaonion said...

I think most of the reviews of this book that I've read agree with you, which is a disappointment, because I had high hopes for it.

Meghan said...

I wasn't a big fan of this either. I would say it was definitely a disappointment for me, which was a shame. I so liked his other books!

Meghan @ Medieval Bookworm