Tuesday, June 11, 2013

INDIE BOOK REVIEW: 'Cries in the Mist' appeals to adults and teens

The young adult genre is hard to gauge.

The pendulum swings wildly – with some entries hitting the nail on the head and others missing wildly.

It’s doubly hard when you’re an adult reading a young adult novel. You have to make certain allowances and realize that this is written for a younger audience.

Since paranormal stories are also popular, the young adult genre is littered with titles.

One title that caught my eye – and held my attention – was ‘Cries in the Mist’ by Stacey Coverstone.

This is the first in a series of books based on Briony Martin, a naïve girl in her late teens that is having trouble finding her place in society.

In this book, set in 1955, Briony finds herself traveling to Cape Marble in an attempt to see the father who abandoned her and hasn’t seen her (or her brother) for years. Once she arrives on the island, Briony finds that her father has been killed.

The local law enforcement official initially tells Briony that her father was murdered and then retracts that statement. Even though she is somewhat sheltered, Briony realizes that there’s more to the story and she refuses to leave until she finds out exactly what happened to her father.

Briony’s story is a quick read – and it’s an interesting read. By setting it in 1955, there’s a certain haunted ambiance that wafts throughout the book.

There’s a romance with a local islander that is hinted at – but that’s not the focus of this story. The focus of this story is Briony herself and the journey she must embark on. It’s actually an emotional journey – and the answers she gets about her father’s disappearance and death actually leave her with more questions than anything else.

I did think the social issues at the heart of the story -- which I won't ruin for you -- feel a little heavy handed in this day and age, but they're not so obvious that the reader feels like they're being preached to.
There are a few typos in this, but they aren’t so bad that they yank you out of the narrative. The narrative is tight – almost too tight. I would have liked a little more exposition – just so you can get a better feel for Cape Marble and Briony’s new surroundings.

In the grand scheme of things, this is a young adult book that can appeal to a wide audience – and that’s hard to find sometimes.

'Cries in the Mist' is available for $1.99 on Kindle and  $5.39 in paperback.


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