A while back, I started reviewing as a volunteer for School Library Journal and Library Journal. My contract with them is such that I can share the reviews I’ve published with them six months after they appear in the journal. The first review I wrote for School Library Journal was for Flicker and Mist by Mary Thompson. If your library catalog includes published reviews for materials as does the Arlington Public Library, you can see my name alongside reviews I’ve written for a handful of books so far. Check out what I had to say about Flicker and Mist below!
Gr 9 Up—Thompson serves up important questions in this dystopian fantasy about an unusual love triangle and a heroine pushed to the edge. In New Heart City, which values those without magical abilities over those with them, Myra must deny an inherited part of herself in order to stay safe. After the Flickerkin, who can become invisible at will, are blamed for planting an explosive device at a race, New Heart’s leaders begin jailing and threatening the execution of anyone with Flickerkin blood. With her mother in prison and her father in a precarious political position, the teen must rely on herself and her friends to survive. The novel starts with a heavy dose of exposition typical of this genre, and although it moves at a slower pace than action-filled works such as Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games and its successors, this title invites readers to ponder big political and social questions, many of which are easily applicable to contemporary life. Myra comes across as a somewhat passive character until the climax approaches and she and her friends take things into their own hands. This change speeds up the pace and brings the narrative to an adrenaline-filled close. VERDICT For those who can’t get enough dystopian fiction, this work offers another look at governing-gone-wrong, with central themes of equality and racism.