Prince of Mist ****
by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Prince of Mist, by Carlos Euiz Zafon is a title I rented from the local library and listened to while driving via blue tooth and the app Overdrive. I listened to the English translation, the author is from Spain and it was originally written in Spanish. I don’t usually pick up horror titles, but Prince of Mist is about an undead magician set during World War 2 and that caught my attention. I was not disappointed!

Max and Alicia Carver’s family move from the city to a small coastal town to avoid the effects of the war. In the small town there were a couple points of local history that play into the siblings’ discovery of magical and their confrontation with the evil Dr. Kain also known as the Prince of Mist.

Max learns that something strange is afoot and uses two unreliable sources, damaged film and an old man who only tells some of what he knows, to try and learn what the Prince of Mist is, and how he, his family, and friends and avoid lurking danger.

Perhaps it was because I was driving and could not really reread parts, but it seems like the timeline of the history and then the story is a little off. At three or four points I questioned how the back story lined up with the “present day” action, but the fact that some sources of information Max is exposed to are unreliable mean it could have been an intentional plot device. There were multiple references to Dr. Kane’s freedom from time.

Around the middle of the book there is a scene in a room with a wardrobe and the suspense was great! It was a really high tension scene and well written/ translated/ recorded. The sound effects on the audio book were also a great touch. Not many audiobooks have extra production stuff like music and sound effects and I thought it was pretty cool.

Not like it was a deal breaker, but I think if the story had all been from Max’s point of view, limited to his thoughts then it would have created a more intense experience. There were some story elements that would have been harder to bring to the surface, but he was the main protagonist and some of the scenes he wasn’t a part of could have been handled through dialogue.

 

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