My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The sea was a mathematician. The sea kept count. They were the island princesses, marked out for sacrifice.
When Christina gets sent to the mainland for junior high, she’s excited about living off the island, about going to a normal school, and about boarding at the Shevvington’s giant hotel on the cliff with the older, more mature, more sophisticated island girl, Anya. But things aren’t as they seem, and Anya seems to be losing her mind to the sea itself. Christina finds herself alone, frightened, and desperate to save Anya, and prevent herself from becoming the next victim.
Although I haven’t read “The Face on the Milk Carton,” I remember enjoying Cooney’s “Both Sides of Time” trilogy when I was growing up, so I was really interested to see what “Fog” had in store. It turned out to be a (non-bloody) Shining-esque psychological thriller that starts out slowly, but builds up to become quite the page-turner in the last few chapters. The reader can’t help but feel for Christina as she becomes increasingly isolated and more desperate.
This book was obviously written for a younger YA crowd; the narration lacks subtlety, much like the 13-year-old protagonist herself, and many of her reflections and thoughts are painfully obvious (“I’m afraid of them”). Christina herself is a character that I personally don’t feel a lot of love for — she seems to me a rather whiny, self-important, snobbish young girl — though I did appreciate her determination to save her friend Anya. In addition, one of the dominating messages of the book is that adults will always believe other adults, even over their own children, and therefore can’t be counted upon — a message that really rubs me the wrong way.
Overall: A thriller that’s simultaneously freaky and fluffy, but a great novel for those that want suspense and terror without a lot of blood and gore.
Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a review copy of this novel!