Review #42: Children of the Fog by Cheryl Kaye Tardif

From Good Reads:

Sadie O’Connell is a bestselling author and a proud mother. But her life is about to spiral out of control. After her six-year-old son Sam is kidnapped by a serial abductor, she nearly goes insane. But it isn’t just the fear and grief that is ripping her apart. It’s the guilt. Sadie is the only person who knows what the kidnapper looks like. And she can’t tell a soul. For if she does, her son will be sent back to her in “little bloody pieces”.

When Sadie’s unfaithful husband stumbles across her drawing of the kidnapper, he sets into play a series of horrific events that sends her hurtling over the edge. Sadie’s descent into alcoholism leads to strange apparitions and a face-to-face encounter with the monster who abducted her son–a man known only as…The Fog.

I found this book to be quite odd. The plotline is definitely an interesting one, and I was expecting this to be along the lines of literary fiction. However, the characters were poorly developed throughout although I was enjoying the story until the unnecessary supernatural twist half way through the book, which totally threw me off. It took quite a bit of motivation to keep reading. This book desperately needed to be told from a first person’s perspective. We only ever see Sadie’s side of the story and frequently she speaks out loud so we know her internal dialogue — so why wasn’t this written from Sadie’s perspective? As a result of this odd choice, Sadie is underdeveloped and quite frankly, pretty annoying at times.

I wish Sadie’s “descent into alcoholism” had been explored with more nuance and depth, but it’s as cliche as we can expect and also apparently leads to these supernatural interactions. I also wondered throughout what inherent quality did Sadie have that allowed her to channel the supernatural? I doubt this popped up out of nowhere, and to have alcohol as an explanation just doesn’t cut it. The dialogue is mostly hackneyed as well.

So in writing this, I guess I disliked the book more than I thought! It’s not the worst thing I’ve read this year, but it certainly isn’t the best.