heavy, and beautiful work of art & writing. I think that what caught me the most off-guard was how fascinating and well executed the mystery aspect of this is, as well as how dark and thoughtful the story and
The premise is that Pig, our MC, lives in Sunrise Valley, the (supposedly) last vestige of life that has managed to thwart the black Fog: a mysterious and ominous sort of smog that comes in waves and kills all that it touches.
Pig's father was the architect of the Dam: an enormous structure that protects the valley from the onslaught of the fog, dispelling it with a windmill and keeping it at bay.
But Pig's father lost his mind after the death of Pig's mother, and after teaching his son the secrets of operating the Dam and protecting the townsfolk from the fog, he takes his own life by walking out to the other side of the Dam.
Obviously, our story picks up as the Fog changes in nature and begins to present a new kind of threat. And what's more, our cast of characters is thrown from the town out into a perilous wasteland where they begin to see the Fog as more than they had every understood it to be.
Let's talk art style. The comp that keeps coming to mind is The Secret of Kells, the award winning animated movie. It's cinematic, and moody, and mysterious, and a little scary. Things fade into darkness and melt away; the fog and the wasteland beyond the valley are dark and dreary and foreboding, but our characters and the valley are bright and full of brilliant light. It's beautifully rendered.
As an educator user of Netgalley, I'm always asked whether I would adopt this text for my classroom or curriculum--I absolutely would. I think that at the middle grade or high school level, this would be a fantastic text to discuss the way the story and the art style work in tandem. I can imagine, just off the top of my head, lessons on illustrating natural disasters; character design; world building illustration; maybe even something where students would bring in a short text or poem and illustrate it to convey the mood of the written piece through use of color. The classroom discussions would be amazing, because this can be read at a variety of different levels: some students may focus more on Pig's relationship with his classmates, or his relationship with his father, or the myth facets with the Fog and the general plotline. It would be a fantastic text to read, and I would definitely recommend it to my students.