Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Prince of Mist

Title: The Prince of Mist
Author: Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Genre: YA horror
Published: 2010

Recommendation: Good read primarily for those who enjoy YA novels.
Rating: 7.5/10

Summary: It's 1943 and Max's family decides to relocate out of Madrid into a small town where his father buys a house that stood empty for years. Very soon some very strange things start to happen...

Reactions: My first reaction on receiving this book was surprise in how short it is. Unlike The Shadow of the Wind, it's a shorter novel of about 200 pages in a large-ish print. Upon reading the introduction, I found out that this is the first novel Carlos Ruiz Zafon wrote for young adult target audience. This was surprising only because I bought the book on the strength of the author's name alone without learning much about it beforehand.

The young adult target readership is noticeable in the writing style of the book. While Zafon attempts to create an atmosphere surrounding the events of the novel, the language is much simpler and there's less depth to the descriptions. But the language flows quite well and I don't know whether to thank Carlos Ruiz Zafon or the translator Lucia Graves, but the book reads very well.

The plot of the novel is somewhat simple. The action takes place within a few days of the family's arrival to the town and quickly progresses to the end. In parts, I felt the plot and the actions of a few characters weren't quite rational or justified, but overall the plot read well. Do expect it to be much simpler than any previous plots. The character development wasn't a large part of the book either, which was slightly disappointing. Throughout the book the main character Max makes several allusions to not understand anything about his sister, but at the same time his actions show that he understands her just fine.

To sum it up, The Prince of Mist is a pretty entertaining read directed at YA audience. I would only recommend it to those who like YA novels or readers like me, who cannot pass by a book written by Carlos Ruiz Zafon.

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