Divers lead hazardous lives combing the abandoned cities of the Mist, where monsters shamble and poison infects the air. It is still safer than dodging Purges and scavengers, so Cass is happy—for a time. In Secrets in the Mist, Morgan L. Busse mixes elements of sci-fi, horror, and Victorian literature. Treasure hunts and zombies sail smoothly in the skies of this post-apocalyptic world, raising natural questions about why such horrors and miseries exist. Still, bleakness does not dominate the story. The grim painting of a wrecked world is relieved by brighter colors, the good things and good people that still remain. The story’s plot also intrigues, dishing up surprises and mysteries. Secrets in the Mist is an enjoyable, well-crafted tale light enough for most audiences.
Best for: Teens and any fans of steampunk or dystopian novels.
Discern: Some violence; zombies appear and are occasionally fought with fire, though with little graphic detail; someone is infected with poisonous spores; several men attack a young woman; the story’s only portrayed church is associated with an oppressive upper class.