About the Book
Author: Morgan L. Busse
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
Release date: August 10, 2021
What’s lurking in the Mist is the least of their worries…
In a world where humanity lives in the sky to escape a deadly mist below, Cass’s only goal is survival. That is, until she finds a job on the airship Daedalus as a diver. Now she explores ruined cities, looking for treasure and people’s lost heirlooms until a young man hires her to find the impossible: a way to eradicate the Mist.
Theodore Winchester is a member of one of the Five Families that rule the skies. Following in his father’s footsteps, he searches for the source of the Mist and hopes to stop the purges used to control overpopulation. But what he finds are horrifying secrets and lethal ambition. If he continues his quest, it could mean his own death.
The Mist is rising and soon the world will be enveloped in its deadly embrace, turning what’s left of humanity into the undead.
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I enjoyed this entertaining fantasy for youth. Cass is a good heroine, going from being a homeless waif to becoming a vital part of an airship's mission. The plot is chilling as we see Cass battling zombie like creatures. They are the Turned, people who have been infected by the mist, their flesh rotting away over time. They are worthy foes for Cass and her co-divers.
The world Busse built is interesting with a combination of technology and lack of it. There are floating cities and airships, flying machines called zippers, pistols shooting incendiary bullets, and sufficient biological knowledge to cause a deadly plague yet wooden framed gliders for divers and gas lights for illumination.
There are a number of moral issues included in the book. The overarching one concerns controlling others so lords can live in comfort. I was glad to see a representation of God in this fantasy world, Elaeros. There is a hint of an afterlife when Cass wonders what happens when a person is Turned. Where does their soul go? Is it with Elaeros? (1822/3373)
This is a good novel for teen readers who like a fantasy world with clearly defined good and evil. There is a serious dose of zombie like suspense as well as some thoughtful reflection on mankind deliberately harming others to maintain an elevated lifestyle. Be aware that we are left hanging at the end of this novel, waiting for a sequel.
My rating: 4/5 stars.
About the Author
Morgan L. Busse is a writer by day and a mother by night. She is the author of the Follower of the Word series and the award-winning steampunk series, The Soul Chronicles. Her debut novel, Daughter of Light, was a Christy and Carol Award finalist. During her spare time she enjoys playing games, taking long walks, and dreaming about her next novel.
More from Morgan
I’m afraid to fly. At first, I tried to ignore it. Then the panic attacks came. And the one time I accidentally grabbed my neighbor’s arm during turbulence, which was really embarrassing. But it was when I was waiting for my flight at the airport and felt like I was going to burst into tears right there at the gate that I knew I needed help.
I didn’t want to stop flying. I love traveling! But the fear of plummeting to the ground scared me, so I talked to my doctor and was given medicine to help me calm down. The problem is it made me really groggy. But hey, at least I could fly again.
Then I started writing Secrets in the Mist. Half of this book is about flying and one third is hang gliding. You know, flying with just a kite on your back. To write realistically about hang gliding, I started studying the sport. I read all the articles I could find, watched a lot of YouTube videos, and in the end spent over 10 hours immersing myself in the sky.
As I first imagined, then wrote each scene in Secrets in the Mist, something started to happen. I started to lose my fear of flying. It wasn’t the first time I tried to read the science behind flight to help me lose my fear of flying, but this time, I was doing it in my head. I was feeling the air and wind, tilting my glider, catching the air drafts, and not just understanding how to fly in my mind, but also with my heart.
I realized a plane couldn’t fall out of the sky just like my character couldn’t fall out of the sky. That an experienced flyer understood what to do in storms and sudden gusts of wind. And should the plane actually lose its engines, the pilot would help it glide to the ground the same way my gliders eased their way to a landing.
Not only that, by creating the exhilarating feelings my character felt when she was gliding began to seep into my psyche. I felt her joy and freedom, her lack of fear, and even more, how she felt more connected to God when it was just her, the wind, and the sky. I saw the beauty of flying through my character’s eyes.
I can fly now. Without medication. I actually enjoy the takeoffs and the feeling of the plane gliding through the air. Will I try hang gliding someday? Probably not, I still hate heights. But I never dreamed that writing about flying would help me overcome my fear of it. This is the power of imagination, and the power of story.
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I received a complimentary digital copy of this book through Celebrate Lit. My comments are an independent and honest review. The rest of the copy of this post was provided by Celebrate Lit.
(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)