Thursday, 27 March 2014

Book Review: Mistwalker by Saundra Mitchell

When Willa Dixon’s brother dies on the family lobster boat, her father forbids Willa from stepping foot on the deck again. With her family suffering, she’ll do anything to help out—even visiting the Grey Man.

Everyone in her small Maine town knows of this legendary spirit who haunts the lighthouse, controlling the fog and the fate of any vessel within his reach. But what Willa finds in the lighthouse isn’t a spirit at all, but a young man trapped inside until he collects one thousand souls.

Desperate to escape his cursed existence, Grey tries to seduce Willa to take his place. With her life on land in shambles, will she sacrifice herself?

"I'm a wrath that haunts the light house.  A son with no parents.  A lover with no heart."

Sometimes a book comes along that is just made for you, a book that you understand because it gets you and you get it. Mistwalker was that book for me. It is about a girl who loves her family and loves the sea. I could very easily be that girl.

I love the ocean. It is as much a part of me as my blood and bones are. I grew up on the water, I played in it, earned my money on it and taught others how to harness it. I understand its beauty and am fearful of its strength. It is not hard for me to relate to this book and it was not hard for me to fall in love with it.

I really liked this book. It wasn’t just that I related to it, it was the way it was written, the subtleness of its messages, the honest characters. It was a combination of many good things strung together to create something really great.

The story itself was brilliant and was something I was not expecting. The blurb and the cover suggested that this book was going to feature a windswept romances bursting full of angst and passion. But the reality was a different story. There is no romance here, no star crossed lovers. It is a story about a girl trying to atone for her mistakes and a man looking to escape from his. I had built myself up for the big romance (I was in one of those moods) but was not disappointed when it didn’t appear. I liked that it was absent and that this books wasn’t full of teenage drama.

The writing was great. Saundra Mitchell writes beautifully her writing it descriptive and poetic. The atmosphere she creates is eerie and interesting. She handed the supernatural element outstandingly well and it all fit in with the rest of the plot perfectly. Getting lost in this book was extremely easy.

The characters were well rounded and likeable. Willa is not a bubbly, friendly teen. She can come across a little cold but it is clear she cares greatly about many things. She made a stupid mistake that had tragic consequences but she doesn’t wallow in self-pity. She would do anything for her family and friends but it no dependant on them. One of the things I really loved about her was that she didn’t need a boy in her life. She wasn’t all smitten and obsessive over a guy which made a nice change.

Grey is completely the opposite of Willa. His personality is bigger, he is charming and funny but does have a temper on him and is prone to boats of self-pity. Like Willa he has made a mistake and has been paying for it for many years. He isn’t perfect (neither of them is) and despite his best effort Willa is never really taken with him.

Mistwalker is special to me for many reasons and I think I was always destined to love it. This book will not have the same effect on everyone but it is still a beautiful story that is beautifully written.

4 stars

Find out more:

Published February 4th 2014 by Harcourt Children's Books, ebook ARC, 322 pages

A Free copy of this book was provided in exchange for an honest review.

Review by Kate Phillips 

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