Fog & Fireflies

We rated this book:


Fog & Fireflies is exactly the sort of book I would have loved to find as a teenager. It’s set in a magical world that combines darkness and whimsy, old gods and mundane dangers, mythical backdrops and grounded descriptions. Even now that I have outgrown my teenage years, I still found wonder and joy in it, and I do not doubt that it will bring wonder and joy to many actual teens.

Ogma is a teenage girl (of uncertain age; we only know that she is not yet old enough to be considered an adult) who lives in a village hemmed in by deadly fog. The fog is deadliest to adults, leaving the children of the village to keep watch on the border walls. They must learn at an early age that they cannot always trust their eyes and ears, and that they are responsible for the safety of everyone around them. It is a difficult way to live, but they have no other choice, and they still find ways to be children, with games and fondness and shadow puppets.

But an attack on the village changes everything. At once Ogma faces danger and responsibility she had not imagined before, along with a wider, more dangerous world than she had ever dreamed of.

The story doesn’t follow a traditional hero’s journey arc, but I think that’s greatly to its benefit. Lehnen has more space this way to build up the world as the characters know it, which is vastly different from our world. It also makes for a greater shift in scope when Ogma is forced to leave the familiar for the unknown, for both she and the readers learn how much more strange and awesome (in the old sense of the word) the world really is.

The one thing keeping me from giving this five stars is the ending. The twist simultaneously felt fascinating and powerful, but also sudden, without enough explanation to make it make sense the more I thought about it. I wish there had been a little more depth to that part of the story, a little more explanation, especially as the rest of the world Lehnen has crafted feels so rich and vibrant.

I hope to read more of Lehnen’s work someday, whether or not any of his other books are set in this particular world. There are no doubt a great many more stories to explore in it, but there are also many other worlds to create, and I have no doubt Lehnen has imagination enough to populate galaxies.

Reviewed By:

Author T.H. Lehnen
Star Count 4/5
Format eBook
Page Count 375 pages
Publisher Aspen & Thorn Press
Publish Date 11-Apr-2024
ISBN 9798989861019 Buy this Book
Issue March 2024
Category Science Fiction & Fantasy