Mistwalker by Saundra Mitchell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
My guess is that this is supposed to be "horror lite" and that the publisher has decided that despite the age of the characters (juniors in high school) readers age 12 and up will enjoy it. I'm not sure that the lower end of the range is going to read this, but who knows?
Willa is a Down Easter whose family has been in Broken Tooth for centuries. Recently things haven't gone so well, and Willa's responsible: during an act of revenge against someone trying to poach her family's lobster drops, instigated by Willa, her brother Levi gets shot and dies. She's torn up about it all, trying to help raise money for bills and barely making it through her junior year. Willa's also having strange thoughts about Jackson's Rock, a barren rock with a lighthouse on it and the supposed home of the Grey Lady (or is it a Grey Man?). The Grey Man, we learn, haunts the Rock with one purpose: to either convince someone to take his place or to collect 100 souls. In a century, he's managed to get four souls... and now he's focusing on Willa.
The haunting part feels a bit tame, as though some punches were pulled in the writing. It was also a little odd to have the phrase "Down East Weasley's" dropped in without explanation, but "Tardis" got one. As always, I wonder if it's because I'm older than the target reader or if it's a real problem.
ARC provided by publisher.