Book Review: Charmed – Mist and Stone by Diana G. Gallagher

109773Title: Charmed – Mist and Stone
Author: Diana G. Gallagher
Genre: Charmed, Witches, Young Adult, Supernatural
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Children’s Books
Publication Date: July 7th 2003
Rating: 4 stars
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Paige Matthews is accustomed to the requirements of her job as a social worker, and she’s willing to endure substandard pay, long hours, and emotional drain. After all, she wants to make a difference — sometimes in a non-Charmed capacity. But she is unprepared for the anger and rage she encounters in Todd Corman, a young boy who has been bounced from caregiver to caregiver for so long that he doesn’t trust authority. Still, Paige is sympathetic and determined to break through.

But when Phoebe stops by the agency for a quick hello, she is rocked by a vision that involves Todd. Strangely, the vision is shrouded in fog. After some investigation, Leo explains that this particular mist has nothing to do with the weather, but rather suggests that Todd’s fate may not be set in stone. Todd has been targeted, and if the Charmed Ones are going to reverse destiny, they’re going to have to race against the clock!

Paige deals with young delinquents on a daily basis, and she can sympathize with most of them. A rocky childhood, wrong friends, parents who couldn’t care less…You can’t blame most of these children for the way they are acting. Usually, when you show them that you genuinely care about them, they open up to you and share their fears and anxieties. They start to trust you. And that’s when social assistants like Paige feel like they’ve gotten a breakthrough. But with Todd, there are no such breakthroughs. He remains unmoved when Paige tries to talk him into trusting her, he reacts indifferently to his environment, he’s reckless, violent and unable to show any emotion other than anger. Of all the children she’s ever worked with, Paige finds him the most difficult one to relate to, and to make him trust her. But it’s not like Paige to give up, not even on children like Todd. She gets him the best help she can, and the only alternative to a youth wasted in juvenile prison – a help center for young but troubled children, like Todd.

Little does Paige know that the things going on at the center aren’t exactly conform to the rules. Fortunately, Phoebe gets a vision involving Todd, and…Leo. In her vision, which is mostly covered in mist, Phoebe can see a man standing next to Todd, a man who is trying to kill Leo. The Charmed Ones only have to add two and two together to realize the man is up to no good, and that him being with Todd is no coincedence. Paige goes to the investigate, but that may not have been the smartest move ever. The danger they are all in is far greater than they anticipated, and Todd is right in the middle of it…

The good thing about Mist and Stone is that it has a decent background story. I’ve always wanted to read more about Paige and her job as a social assitant, because it’s a topic rarely touched upon in the TV series and certainly she must have had her share of troubles at work as well. I also liked Todd, even if his personality is everything but encouraging, and the story of someone trying to make children evil enough so they’d be accepted by the dark side. It seems like a good idea to take children like Todd to do the job, but that’s without taking into account that people, no matter how badly they were treated by society and no matter what horrors they went through, aren’t going to turn up bad per sé. Todd is no exception. Although being bad, violent and mean may come natural to him, that’s really not the person he wants to be.

The major problem I had with this book, is the introduction of the “mist and stone” concept. Since when do Phoebes visions have mist surrounding them, indicating the events can still change, and then the mist lessens as the events come more and more closer to actually happenin? If that concept was ever introduced in the series, then I obviously missed the memo. It also seems odd to introduce it now all of the sudden in this book, when in other books they never talk about it again. Of course the books are stand-alone and all, but it just doesn’t seem right to add a major change to Phoebe’s powers and then to only use it once, like some deus ex-machina thing. I’m obviously not a fan. And to put it as the title of the book seems just silly as well. This book could have easily been written without the change to Phoebe’s visions, and with just the story of Todd and his fight against the dark side as central focus point. It would have been just as interesting, if not even more.

Mist and Stone is the eight book in the Charmed series, not counting the Charmed Classics, which involve Prue, Piper and Phoebe, rather than Piper, Phoebe and Paige. It’s action-packed and plot-driven, not focusing too much on the sisterly troubles between the Charmed Ones or the other members of their family, and instead focusing on the events involving Todd. Although the sister’s personalities are a bit generic – it’s obvious that the attention is on the action, not the emotions behind it – this book is very enjoyable, and has a premises that lies closely to the TV series, and it’s too far-stretched. Excellent reading material for all Charmed fans!

Comments

  1. Moirae the fates book reviews says:

    I agree with you about the mist in the visions being odd. I never remember that from the show.
    Good review I enjoyed it.

    moiraethefates(AT)gmail(DOT)com

  2. THis was my favorite!! Thank you for sharing!

  3. paige is one of my faves, and this book is very wonderful as it tells a lot about her.

  4. Definately in my TBR pile 🙂

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