By Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, $17.99, 214 pages
The Prince of Mist, by Carlos Ruiz Zafron, is the extraordinary story of a watchmaker and his family who, during wartime, decide to move out of the city to a quiet, small town on a coastal beach. The whole family quickly discovers their new home’s horrifying secrets and is haunted by evil spirits with a purpose. After the spirit activities nearly kill the youngest sibling, Alicia and Max are left to solve the ghostly mystery that plagues their home. The Prince of Mist is analogous to other familiar tales such as the haunted house of Amityville Horror, the chilling clown in It, the magical world in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and the frightening pirate ship in The Pirates of the Caribbean. The characters are well defined and relevant, making this story flow easily as it welds to a horrifying climax. Zafron spins this superbly inspired yarn magnificently, and that will surely keep the pages turning for all readers. Zafron is the bestselling international author of The Shadow of the Wind and has won other prestigious awards for his writings.