Author: Saundra Mitchell (website | twitter)
Pub. Date: February 4, 2014
Source: ARC via Around The World ARC Tours
Summary: When Willa Dixon’s brother dies on the family lobster boat, her father forbids Willa from stepping foot on the deck again. With her family suffering, she’ll do anything to help out—even visiting the Grey Man.
Everyone in her small Maine town 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, will she sacrifice herself?
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Mistwalker is the kind of book I feel was written for me. Deadliest Catch marathons are not uncommon in my house and there were SO many delicious references that only someone like me would get (ONTD and the Weasley family, anyone??).
Willa Dixon’s town lives and breathes fishing. The main source of income comes from the season’s catch and Willa’s father is struggling to make ends meet. Willa grew up on the boat – she feels just as comfortable on the water as she does on land, but her brother’s death turned the family upside down and she feels responsible. In an attempt to cut off a rival fisherman, the two sneaked off in the middle of the night to confront him on their boat, but only Willa came home. Since that night she’s been reeling from the guilt and the loss is taking its toll on the family.
Old superstitions are still alive and well for these villagers and legends like the Grey Man are taken as fact. Depending on who you speak to, the Grey Man is actually a Grey Lady and it’s not hard to find someone whose uncle/second cousin/great-grandmother once had a sighting. What they don’t know, however, is that Grey is actually a 17-year old boy and has been for quite some time. The Grey Lady once called to him and he followed. Now he’s part of the lighthouse, bound and tethered until the day he collects 1,000 souls (in a century there have only been four deaths on the water) or someone is willing to take his place.
A widely-known fact about me: I. LOVE. Dual narratives. Love them! Unfortunately many authors are unable to pull it off without sounded stilted or repetitive. Mitchell’s talent shines in Mistwalker and the alternating chapters between Grey and Willa are fantastic. I got a unique feel for both of them and the insight into their worlds was great. Willa’s anguish felt real and the look into life in a fishing family was very interesting – Mitchell certainly did her homework! Grey’s existence was just as real and he had his own set of hardships. The lighthouse provides him with anything he could ever want (he received a computer after wanting news on the outside world; contemporary books – yes, Twilight was among them – appeared after he exhausted the lighthouse library’s supply), yet it can’t – or won’t – give him the one thing he truly wants: freedom.
While I’m not sure Mistwalker will appeal to everyone, I can certainly say I enjoyed it. I read this book in a single sitting and it left me wanting more – in a good way! If you’re a fan of quick chapters, solid research without being dry or bogged down with technical details, and no romance, be sure to pick up a copy of Mistwalker. It surprised me in the best way and I’ll be sure to go through Mitchell’s backlist. Mark my words: Saundra Mitchell is an author to keep your eye on!