The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. The first three novels he wrote were YA novels (before Shadow of the Wind and The Angel's Game) and this was the first one of those. It's finally in translation and is a very creepy tale.
Max and his family move to a seaside town into a house abandoned by its previous owners after a tragedy. He soon meets an older boy, Roland, who shows him around town and lives at the lighthouse with his adopted grandfather. Max introduces Roland to his older sister Alicia and the three of them begin spending a lot of time together. When an accident befalls their younger sister, Irina, they are forced to unearth the past of the previous residents and Roland's connection to it.
Though I've avoided reviews of this one for the most part, I know that there were some complaints about lack of depth compared to Zafón's previously released novels. First, I'm not sure if the readers realized that this was targeted at a younger audience. Second, it's a ghost story. It's vague on purpose and it's simple on purpose. The fact that this was Zafón's first novel is quite amazing. The language and pacing are perfect and this story scared the pants off of me. I had a very vivid picture of the action in my mind and it was quite terrifying. I wouldn't be surprised if we see a film version of this novel in the near future. And credit must also be given to Lucia Graves, the translator, because she really did an excellent job. I can't wait for Zafón's other two YA novels to be translated and for future works to be released. He remains one of my favorite authors.
Did I mention the evil clown?
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