Tales of the Mist | Short Book Review

Sunday 20 December 2020

Written by:
Laura Suárez
Illustrator: Laura Suárez
Genre: Comic, Graphic Novel
Published May 2020

*I received this book free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

I'm a huge fan of graphic novels, I get distracted a lot when I read pages just full of writing and have to take more breaks than i would with a Graphic novel, Tales of the Mist stood out to me due to its eery description and take on death, as a child I would have never known such tales like these and I'm thankful I didn't I was a very impressionable young girl and would get nightmares easily to this day I still do but I handle them a lot better than when I was a child. The book is set in a small village in spain in the 1930's things were pretty dire and people were just living as best as they could. Each tale is very short, I found that they cut you off at the point where you want to delve into them a little more but that was ok as I was swiftly moved onto the next creepy tale, I found myself immersed in the artwork drawn to how well brought the story to life, it feels like a classic tale with the black and white illustrations that captivate your attention. 

Death is something that is very clear throughout these tales, it tackles it with such an interesting take and from a personal point of view from the author, I felt that it was a wise move keeping the book in black and white as it made it feel creepier and added to the sense of dread and hurt at times. The gothic style artwork gives it a unique look, I mostly read modern graphic novels so it was refreshing to try something new like this book, it gave me Tim Burton Vibes which is a good thing. Laura Suárez has a way with words, she is able to say very little yet still leave you with a sense of dread.

Fear is a huge part of the tales and they strike me to my core personally, in Laura' prologue she talks about this and how hard it can be to write and instal fear, she has managed to make this book so personal yet relatable to me in different ways. There was one tale in particular I found myself crying about due to losses I have been through myself, this tale is called The Air, it struck me as someone who has lost babies and suffered badly with depression and reading that a departed persons air would go into the weakest person spoke to me, it's like you're being haunted constantly. The explanation for this tale helped me understand that we all deal with this kind of thing differently and it's true that the air of the dead did not bring me comfort but the living did, what a beautiful way of understanding someone's grief.

The look of sorrow and evil smiles you come across throughout the pages embody Laura' words, it's made me want to explore more folktales and their take on life and death even if that sounds morbid, when a book is able to install inspiration like this you know it was worth the read. Poverty and superstition plagued villages in that time period and suffering went on for a long time so these kind of things even though they're said to be folklore did tend to happen. 

The layout of each comic strip works perfectly, from looking at Laura's instagram using black and white is not the norm for her and she usually uses lots of colour, she made the right choice to shy away from it this time and make use of monochrome tones, her style of art is easy to fall in love with, she is very expressive with it. There are 4 stories altogether, some I liked more than others but they were equally all as interesting as one another, you can tell that a lot of love, care and attention went into creating it! If you're a big fan of folklore I encourage you to give this book a read, it's not very long but it's interesting and is enriched with history. 



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