Prince of the Mist

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As soon as the creepiness is explained, I was fine, so it really was just a few early scenes, but I'm an anticipation person and the unknown creeps me out. Anyway, it's a translated book, and that occasionally shows with awkward turns of phrase.

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But there are also some really lovely phrases that impressed me so much that I had to grab a pen. Really beautiful writing at times. I liked that this combined a nonspecific location with historical fiction and the paranormal element. There's a lot going here. And I'll put it on my maybe booktalk list for next time I hit the middle schools.

My life is so hard. View all 13 comments. This was my first Ruiz book and it was fantastic! It almost had an Alfred Hitchcock feel to it. Just really good! Um… so no one thought to ring the police or tell any grown-ups what just happened? Um… High Points. Beach houses. Cats in wardrobes. Genuinely creepy. Beautiful writing, seriously 3. Beautiful writing, seriously this book was cinematic. I took down so many quotes from this book, it was gorgeous. The sea. Family mysteries. Old film projections. Creepy history. The prince of mist. Low Points.

The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafón - review

OK Max, you had the right idea in this book. Lots of them. But ignoring that, I really liked you. I liked that you loved films and that you were a great little brother and that you were a bit disgruntled with being third wheel. I also liked that you got out of breath when you rode your bike up the hill. Because that is me. So if we were to be friends, and I hope we will be, we could just maybe go for a leisurely walk. Theme Tune. Death of a Clown by The Kinks.

Not really anything to do with this book but, well, I really hate clowns. Also, I had no idea what other song I could use for this book. Also x2 I love The Kinks.

Scaredy Cat Level. Off the chart.


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Coming from a city and avoiding the Manchester Ship Canal like the plague, my fear was manageable. I could quite happily avoid seeing them. That was until I went to university. You may or may not know that I went studied in Bangor, North Wales. Yes… that Aled Jones. And it can boast some fantastic honorary fellows such as Richard Attenborough, Rhys Ifans, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Philip Pullman been in the same room as him twice and yes, fangirled myself out and… and Carol Vorderman. It is also known for fantastic degrees in psychology and marine biology due to its location and the close proximity it has to the Menai Straits.

So they like to dive, in lovely exotic places like Egypt and just off Puffin Island. And they like to take pictures. Of huge ships… underwater. And my Facebook feed is inundated with them when they come back from a dive. Or clowns. I mean… you have eyes right? Recommended For. People who love beautiful, atmospheric writing.

The Prince Of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafon | Waterstones

People who are quite happy to paddle in the sea as opposed to diving amongst ship wrecks on their jollies. This book was sent to me as part of a book tour with the brilliant and lovely UK Book Tours. You can read this review and lots of other exciting things on my blog here. View all 8 comments.

Yes there was magic and adventure, but it also had one of the scariest and horrific sounding ghost that truly frighten me. Reading this sent shivers up my spine, put goose pimples on my arms, and it had me screeching like a little girl. But as Max and his family arrive at their new town and home, he notices some peculiar things are starting to happen. Clocks that seem to move backward, that feeling of someone breathing on your face, voices only children can hear, and circus statues that change shape and positions. The house itself has a devastating history, and Max being a curious young boy starts snooping around.

It almost felt like he had woken or disturbed something. As time goes by the pace does build as the Carver children and their new friend Roland struggle to defend themselves against payback from this dark sinister entity. At the beginning of the book Mr Zafon said it was aimed at young reader, but would also appeal to all ages. Well I think he has achieved it. I personally thought it was wonderful, and I would recommend it to ages from 12 years old onwards.

It was originally intended for teenagers, but this edition is clearly being marketed towards the author's adult fans; it has the same cover design as his adult titles, and a preface explains that it is designed to be enjoyed by readers of any age. I didn't go into this with high expectations, and I expected it to be kind of immature, but I still found it very disappointing. The story begins promisingly. A young boy, Max, moves with his family from the city to a seaside town.


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He quickly learns that the previous owners of his new home were dogged by tragedy, and on top of that, he finds a sinister walled garden full of statues in its grounds. He's particularly spooked by a clown statue, and during his exploration of the garden, he notices that this figure appears to have moved slightly since his arrival, changing its pose to a beckoning gesture.

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Great detail - would have scared me as a child. He then befriends a local boy called Roland, who takes him diving around the wreck of a sunken ship; and from Roland's grandfather, the only survivor of the shipwreck, Max learns the story of the nefarious Cain, the Prince of Mist. The stage is set for a chilling tale about a ghost ship, a powerful villain, mysterious disappearances and so on - technically, this should make a fantastic spooky story.

However, the book soon begins to get quite silly and more and more plot holes and unanswered questions pop up, until it all becomes totally unbelievable and rather boring. For instance Who or what is Cain and how has he attained his power? How do he and his troupe turn themselves into statues and why is this the only way for them to survive the sinking of their ship? Is Cain's cat meant to be a manifestation of him, and if so, how can he also be the statue, and if not, how did it alone survive the disaster intact?

If 'Jacob' was old enough to be filming with a video camera alone prior to his change of identity, how on earth can he not remember anything before his parents' death? I KNOW you can't expect a young adult book to explain everything exhaustively, but when I think of the detail and care so obviously put into the better examples of children's literature I can call to mind, that isn't really an excuse for the plot to be SO underdeveloped. The other thing that really grated was the indeterminate sense of time and place, which was confusing as I couldn't see any reason why the story shouldn't be definitively set in a real country , at least.

I don't know if details have been changed here to make the story more easy to relate to for English-language readers; if so, this was a mistake. Finally, there's also the fact that the adult characters are constantly referred to by their full names - don't ask me why, but this is one of my biggest pet hates when reading. I'm still interested in the author's work and will probably read any further adult novels translated into English, mainly on the strength of The Angel's Game.

This has been sitting on my shelf for a very long time. It was bought during a period when I was overwhelmed with "The Shadow of the Wind" and wanted to read all of Zafron's work. This is his debut novel and the writing shows that ,but it is still a good read for middle grade and it is not a surprise that it was initially published as a YA novel.

The story is horror based and reminded me of IT. We have a group of kids trying to kill an ancient evil which is thirsting for revenge. Nice little story, although I wonder if it has enough excitement to satisfy young'uns raised on the Harry Potter series.


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This was Ruiz-Zafon's first novel, originally published in , so don't expect the depth and genius of The Shadow of the Wind. Still, there are a lot of elements I think will appeal to kids: the weird cat, the sunken ship, the old film reels, the clown somewhat reminiscent of Stephen King's Pennywise.

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