AUTHOR: Saundra Mitchell
HARDCOVER > 308 pages
RELEASED: February 4th 2014
PUBLISHER: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
GENRE: YA > Fantasy > Paranormal
Willa Dixon’s life is planned out: after high school graduation, she’ll spend the rest of her days fishing for lobster in the mercurial Atlantic waters. After all, she’s a lobsterman’s daughter in Broken Tooth, Maine—fishing has been the family business for centuries, and she’s looking forward to being the next generation of Dixon’s on the sea.
But Willa’s plans are shattered one foggy night. When her brother dies on the family lobster boat, her father forbids Willa from setting foot on the deck again. With her family suffering, she’ll do anything to help out—even visit the Grey Man.
Everyone in Broken Tooth 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 and her future uncertain, will she succumb?
The very first time I saw the cover for Mistwalker was late last year. I can’t remember every detail of my thoughts towards the plotline for this book, but I do remember falling in love with the cover. The dark colors that contrasted with the light coming from the lighthouse and the waves of the water creating movement along with the cover models gorgeous red hair just had me wanting to get my hands on this book ASAP. When I learned that my wishes would come true, you can say I was more than happy.
In the end, I’m afraid, it’s a curse to get everything you want. (p18)
After living through the excitement and finally diving into the story, I started to feel…bored. I always, always give a book a chance and will finish even if it feels like I’ll never be able to, but for the first time I started contemplating DNFing this book. Even when the descriptions were practically vivid from the start and the MC was likeable, the storyline felt nothing but short of my expectations. I always read at night, that has always seemed the best time to read, but I actually couldn’t read more than a chapter per night because I found my eyes getting tired from the lack of anything to pull me through.
I can say with absolute authority that one doesn’t notice a cloak of fog if one is too entirely entranced with the creature wearing it. It’s the thing beneath, the thing you cannot imagine, that captures you. (p29).
By the time some type of action for this story started pulling me through, I found myself feeling slightly wary because I wasn’t sure if this was a spur of the moment type of thing or if things would start looking up for this story. The long awaited meeting between the MC and Grey Man finally occurred and it looked like the story was finally creating a plot that was interesting enough to continue the book.
He broke. I saw it in his eyes. In the trembling of his hands. It was like he’d been sleeping two sleeps, one of curses and one of fantasies. I’d just shattered the only beautiful one for him. (p250)
There was also a moment where something totally surprising occurred in Mistwalker and it left me wanting to find a book buddy I could do this gif with.
The clean, black-capped shape of the lighthouse loomed in the distance. Automatically, I turned to it. Like it was my new north star—like it was my last chance. (278)
With this surprising occurrence I thought the ending would be something to celebrate with fireworks, but instead it left this image in my head that wasn’t all that exciting.
I already knew the ending, so it was hard to get excited about the journey. (51)
I was my own captain, and I had to think about the stars and the seas and my path through them. (308)
Overall, Mistwalker by Saundra Mitchell had beautifully written descriptions throughout its pages, but lacked a plot that could have me wanting to read more. The MC of this story and her best friend, Willa and Bailey, were strong-willed and had me cheering for them all the way, but there were moments where Willa’s stubbornness had me face palming from frustration. Grey was interesting, but I never really felt like I could cheer for the happiness he wished for. What he desired seemed so selfish and what Willa desired (at the end) was selfless. This realization gave me insight to why these characters clashed every now and then throughout the story. The goals they had made them differ too much from each other to the point where they couldn’t agree almost at all. Willa’s self-sacrifice for her family at the end left me anxiously wanting to know if that would lead her to her own downfall or to her rising as a character. The decisions she made at the end were also easy enough to understand and in and of itself was a sort of happy ending, but it left me wishing for another ending. Even if Mistwalker didn’t do it for me as I had hoped for, I still look forward to reading other Saundra Mitchell books and books under other pseudonyms. This story is good for readers who admire vivid descriptions, but if you’re looking for a good plotline, this book might not be for you.