Friday, February 20, 2015

Review of Through the Fog, by Michael C. Grumley

Through the Fog is the story of Evan Nash, an eighteen-year-old senior in high school whose life changed after a bike accident two weeks after his eighteenth birthday. The visions rob him of sleep and keep him awake every night, but that's nothing compared to what they do to his body while he's having one of them. 

Psychiatrist Shannon Mayer lost her daughter eighteen months ago when the seven-year-old disappeared from outside of her school. Shannon's husband, Dennis, was supposed to pick the little girl up from school, but he was called away to an emergency and she waited for forty-five minutes before disappearing. It's been eighteen months Ellie still hasn't been found.

When Dr. Mayer realizes that Evan's visions aren't subliminal and that he is actually seeing things, she uses him -- at his insistence -- to help her uncover the truth about her daughter.

Ugh. What a difficult book to review! I'll begin by saying that it's worth what I paid for it; And I got this book for free. At the same time, I enjoyed this short, fast-paced little book enough to finish it in a two-hour time span without putting it down except to eat.  The real problem with this book is its Kindle list price of $3.99. I couldn't justify paying that much for 170 poorly written pages.

I'm torn on this one, because it read fast and I enjoyed the book in and of itself. The quick pacing made it easy to read, and the story interested me enough to keep me reading. On the other hand, the characters were weak, the research poor, and the writing amateur. 

I might be wrong, but I get the feeling that this author could have done a lot better than what he did with this story. Too many loose ends leave me feeling unfulfilled upon finishing the book, and it had so much potential. The author needed to choose a single main character (the title character would have been a good pick) and stuck with that, then worked at expanding on the ideas in the story and on his characters.

Because of the price of this book (which is, frankly, much too high for such a short novel), I cannot in good conscious recommend it. Therefore...

I do not recommend Through the Fog (Evan After) to my readers.

As always, I want to point out what parents might want to think about when considering giving this book to their teenage children. I think that for the most part, this book is suitable for teenagers as young as fourteen, and I have no complaints as a mother. The only things you might want to look out for is listed below.
  • It contains some minor violence. It's not a lot, but there's just enough violence in this book that it might make some parents uncomfortable. I won't spoil the story for you, but I will say that the violence involves a gun.
  • It contains mature themes. While this book isn't what I would call a "mature" book, it does contain mature themes, including kidnapping and serious illness, that may not be suitable for more sensitive readers.
I have no interest at all in buying the second book in this series.

What are your thoughts on Through the Fog? Are you planning to read the sequel when it is available? Do you recommend this book to others? 

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