MONSTERS IN THE MIST

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Writing in a distinctly metaphorical vein, Brandt tells a tale that is chilling on more than one level. Accepting an invitation she claims she received, 13-year-old Glennon McCue’s mother has brought him and his emotionally fragile sister, Leeunah, to stay with their Uncle Job, a lighthouse keeper, on remote Isle Philippeaux while their father is away for a fall semester fellowship. Readers will quickly cotton to the fact that all is not right—either on the island or in the McCue family—as, along with fogs, oddly localized gales, feelings of formless dread, frequent encounters with staring rats, and like atmospheric portents, both Glennon and Lee exhibit clear signs of PTSD. Brandt piles on further clues to what’s going on: On the one hand, there are sightings of gruesomely disfigured specters and the ominous news that the island is completely cut off from the mainland, and on the other, there are Glennon’s memories of years of his mercurial father’s patronizing put-downs and sudden rages. In the wildly stormy climax, Glennon confronts multiple terrors as, to prevent him escaping with his family, the malign island attempts to sabotage his newfound determination through psychological means. The main cast defaults to White.

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