Monday, 23 April 2012

Into The Mist: Silver Hand by Steve Finegan (a review) and general thoughts on YA books

I'm starting off this post with a review of a quite excellent Young Adult novel -
Into The Mist: Silver Hand by Steve Finegan

A rivetting read that bodes well for the series.
Gage, a young boy with a form of epilepsy, moves to a new town with his family where he meets his new neighbour Ellie, who seems to be guided by the spirit of the Brynmoor Witch, a woman who lived in the area in years past.
The Brynmoor Witch had a cottage in the woods, an area local townspeople generally won't go near (the exceptions being Ellie and local bully boy/ badboy Alex). Ellie seems to recognise that Gage is different and when she takes him up to the woods an epileptic episode seems to take him to another place.
Throughout the rest of the story we are transported between the two worlds, both perilous in their own way.
In this world Gage has to cope with his medical condition, his family and starting a new school, complete with bullies. In the other world, Elfryth, Gage takes on the persona of Mabon Silverhand, a character from Welsh Myth, who is all that stands in the way of Arawn and his allies taking over the land. In Elfryth we meet several characters from the myths (Merlyn, King Bran etc)and also Corvus, the crowman who Gage has been drawing as a comic book in his sketchpad.
The stories of Gage and Mabon are both intertwined and both told well. You get a slightly different style and tone of storytelling for each character which I found to be very effective. The story builds to a climax that ends with a cliffhanger that left me stunned and aching to get my hands on the next book in the series.
A really, really good book - just don't let the YA tag put you off - I'm 45 and I loved this book.


Over the past year or so I have read several Young Adult books and as a general rule they have been of a very good standard. I guess this is because books for young people aren't as deep and heavy going as some books aimed at the older reader. With younger people I guess you have to hit the ground running and keep going till you pass the finishing line on the last page.
Well, you know what? Sometimes I just want to jump into the story and enjoy it without having to remember dynastys, timelines, characters who haven't been in the story for the last 5 books etc.
Don't get me wrong, I like the heavygoing stuff as well but sometimes.................

Anyway, I guess what I'm trying to say is give YA authors a chance - you just might find you've been missing out on something.

1 comment:

  1. I try to give a balance of each in my YA books.

    Sometimes you need to let the readers relax before the next big moment strikes. :)