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In addition to being a YA author, Steve Finegan is a seeker of the extraordinary in the ordinary and an avid, eclectic, and voracious reader – with observations, which he occasionally shares on his blog Achieving Wow! Steve writes fantasy fiction in which unlikely young heroes battle isolation, rejection, and worse only to discover that what makes them so different from everyone else, and often miserable because of it, is an extraordinary gift or ability that they come to value and embrace.
Steve lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, son, golden retrievers Gary and Cooper, one very old Yorkshire terrier named Corkie, and a horse named Jordan, who seems to think he’s a dog.
on Sep. 03, 2012 :
WOW all those republishing dates!!! I'm going to have to read it again and see how much has changed.
It's been some time since I first read this book and reviewed it on Amazon. One thing I've learned is when you review a book immediately after reading it (when all the little things are still fresh in your mind) and again later (when it's more of an impression you're left with), the reviews can be wildly different.
That said, what I remember most about this book is the impressive display of originality/creativity. Mr. Finegan is one of only a few authors capable of introducing completely unique ideas and situations to his audience no matter how vast the quantity or variety of books they may have read. Even if he had nothing else to offer, his work would be inspiring!
Fortunately (for us), this is not the case. Finegan has much more to share. Something we unhappily grow accustomed to in low-price and/or free ebooks is a complete lack of editing. It keeps us from immersing ourselves in the stories, constantly distracting us at best and forcing us to decode at worst. Into the Mist is an oasis in that desert of tedium! I can't emphasize enough how refreshing it was to read this book. Mr. Finegan restored my failing faith in the literacy level of modern authors.
The only reason one star is missing is because I felt at times the characters were somewhat underdeveloped, inconsistent, or juvenile. Few stories are perfect, and these problems were really quite minor when compared to the work of other new authors in the genre. This is just one person's opinion, and I believe the moments of brilliance and the quality of the writing far outweighed these minor inconsistencies.
I'm looking forward to re-reading this book with high hopes I will have the pleasure of editing this review later to add the last star. :)
(reviewed long after purchase)
on June 23, 2012 :
I really liked this book. Gabe is the new kid in town, suffers from a type of epilepsy, is a loner artist who due to all of these reasons gets bullied at school and by his brother. He meets a tough, young girl who lives next door, goes to his school who believes in the witch in the woods. She is interested in Gabe's art and the connection she senses he has with the witch in the woods. Without going into more story detail I will say that the character buildup is great, the story line is unique and any kid who deals with health issues, loner issues, 'unique' issues, bullying can relate. On a personal note, the fact that his health issues and how they effect him and his family are tied into the fantasy aspect of this tale is great. I have a brother who has epilepsy and I will be lending him my eReader so he can read this book. I look forward to reading book two! Great for any young adult who enjoys urban fantasy.
Received this book from librarything.com Member giveaway.
(reviewed long after purchase)
on April 04, 2012 :
I got "Into the Mist: Silver Hand" by Steve Finegan from a member giveaway. "Into the Mist: Silver Hand" is about Gabe Wren a thirteen year old boy who loves to sketch and and draw. Gabe is an excellent artist with a lot of imagination. His favorite character to draw is "Corvus" a crow man. At the beginning of the book, Gabe has just moved to new town and is starting a new school. As if dealing with these things was hard enough, Gabe also has a secret. Gabe has a form of epilepsy called TLE. Which was caused by a head injury he received in an accident when he was six years old. Because of his epilepsy he sometimes has auras, where he sees, smells and hears things that are not there. Sometimes his TLE makes him lose his temper and he lashes out at people. When he was at his old school, Gabe got upset in front of his classmates and stated knocking things off the table. Gabe's older brother Sam calls him a "freak" and a "nut-job" because of the way Gabe acts when he has an aura or a mild seizure. To make matters worse, Gabe's mother is extremely overprotective to the point of treating him like a baby. Because of these difficulties, Gabe has never had a friend.
Until he meets his new next store neighbor Ellie Yvonne. When Ellie sees his drawings and finds out that Gabe has epilepsy, she is convinced that Gabe is someone special, someone bound for destiny. After making friends with Ellie during a trip to the Brynmor Woods strange things start happening to Gabe. His aura's intensify. Not only does Gabe draw Corvus, he draws the warrior Mabon, The sorcerer Merlyn. The Grayman and Arawn. The Grayman and Arwan are battling King Bran and Merlyn for control of Elfyth. Merlyn believes the young warrior Mabon is Elfyth's only hope to survive. To Gabe, the world in his drawings is real. Gabe feels as if he becomes the character Mabon when he has his aura's.
This book can truly be two stories in one. The story of Gabe in his world and the story of Mabon in Elfyth. During the course of the book, Gabe has many challenges in both the his "real" world and in the world of "Elyfth." He has to battle bullies at school in his "real" world. He has an an oath with Ellie to protect the Brymor Woods from being cut down because of a rec center being built. If the Brymor woods gets destroyed, Gabe and Ellie fear the Elfyth could be be destroyed also.
The book was sometimes hard to follow, but it is a very interesting read. The author goes into great detail about "Gabe's world" and the world of Elfyth. Gabe is great character that I truly care about. His struggles in life having TLE and how he reacts to them make him very realistic and engaging. The friendship between Ellie and Gabe. the way they interacted with each other was realistic also. I found both Gabe's world and the world of Elfyth full of suspense. The book ended on a cliffhanger and I can say I am excited to read the next book in the series "Into the Mist :Bringer of the Dawn."
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
Linda Weaver Clarke
on March 09, 2012 :
I thoroughly enjoyed this fantasy, which was so true to life as I read about Gabe and his problems. There were a lot of things I could relate to because I knew bullies at school and special needs kids that had problems. His parents reminded me of the “good cop” and “bad cop” scenario. His mother was extremely protective and the father was a good buffer for the mother. He would help her relax a bit and give the kid some space. I was glad that Gabe had a neighbor friend, Ellie, who believed in him and didn’t think he was wierd. I also loved the Welsh connection since my ancestors are Welsh.
Steve Finegan’s descriptions were so good that the imagery for me was vivid and I could see the graves, the crosses, the well, and all the characters in Gabe’s fantasy adventure. I was very much a part of the story. Was it his imagination or was it real? You be the judge!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)