"There’s nothing like a foggy island to capture the imagination. Morgan’s ambitious debut novel, the first book in the Five Stones Trilogy, has a mildly British feel to it, with vague nods to Swallows and Amazons and Harry Potter … the story is infused with philosophy about the circular nature of life and loss, as well as personal power, offering just enough intrigue to pique interest for the next book in the series. A complex adventure to curl up with on a rainy summer afternoon."
– Kirkus Reviews
"In this assured fantasy, the first of a planned trilogy for 10- to 16-year-olds, three brothers and two orphaned sisters are a short distance off the Maine coast when their boat is engulfed by thick mist. ..Young teenagers who enjoy disappearing into complex created worlds will relish the byzantine structure of the societies on Ayda and the ways the five children discover how they each seem to fit in one or the other. .. Even as Ms. Morgan puts her characters through trials and ordeals, including some harrowing battle scenes, she keeps them believably youthful, and recognizably themselves, in this emotionally resonant adventure."
– The Wall Street Journal
"An exciting blend of fantasy and adventure . . . Morgan excels at world-building; Ayda and each of the countries are unique and have their own characteristics. Filled with the type of danger and magic that will please fans of Brandon Mull's "Beyonders" series (Aladdin) and C. S. Lewis's "The Chronicles of Narnia," Morgan's novel is a good fantasy adventure for general purchase."
–School Library Journal
"The reader is compulsively moved forward by just the right touch of intrigue and uncertainty about exactly what is going to happen. The first in a trilogy, this leaves plenty of room for the next part of this evolving tale."
"... they are given a chance to become characters the reader can care for, caught up in a sweeping story given depth by the philosophy underlying the fantasy."
—Charlotte's Library blog
For the full review, visit here
"The Fog of Forgetting was a magical story, filled with adventure, friendship and mystery! A great start to a new trilogy, those in need of a fun, new series to fill the void of their favorite old adventure,The Fog of Forgetting should be your next read."
—Books & Cleverness blog
For the full review, visit here
"Part fairy-tale, part psychological mystery, full of political intrigue and a masterful bildungsroman, this a book to be read and savored by everyone. Deeply philosophical about the nature of loss and sibling relationships and loyalty and courage, The Fog of Forgetting will remind one of the joys of a summer in Maine while also provoking thought and reflection regarding the nature of existence. It is a perfect book to be read and discussed together by both young and older readers."
—Bill Lundgren, Longfellow Books, Portland, ME
The Fog of Forgetting is thick with mystery, adventure, and fantasy . . . Adventure awaits the reader with plotted action and inevitable risk at every turn of the page.
––Melissa Guerrette, Nerdy Book Club
Entire blog post here.
Maine reality inspires fantasy novel
Portland author Genevieve Morgan takes readers of many ages on an adventure with substance in ‘The Fog of Forgetting.’
BY BOB KEYES STAFF WRITER, PORTLAND PRESS HERALD/MAINE SUNDAY TELEGRAM
Genevieve Morgan begins an interview not with an apology, but a statement of fact:
“There are no vampires in my book.”
The Portland writer is speaking of her young-adult fantasy, “The Fog of Forgetting.” Islandport Press in Yarmouth releases the book July 17, and Morgan celebrates with a hometown party and book-signing from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. July 28 at Urban Farm Fermentory, 200 Anderson St.
Released under her writing name, G.A. Morgan, “The Fog of Forgetting” is an adventure fantasy set in Maine and based on Morgan’s summer experiences as a kid on Mount Desert Island. It has a fast-moving plot, a reluctant hero and what Islandport children’s editor Melissa Kim called “an inner adventure” that draws on past civilizations and global cultures.
“It’s not a cliché, young-adult book,” said Kim, who vetted the book with her 9-year-old son, a voracious reader. He liked it.
“A lot of books fall into a standard, fill-in-the-blanks kind of plot. I liked ‘Fog’ because I thought it was not formulaic,” Kim said. “It has a lot of characters that readers can identify with, and it’s not fluffy. It has a lot of substance to it.”
On a summer day, five kids go for a boat ride, get lost in the fog and end up on the mysterious island of Ayda, far from the Maine coast. They find themselves in a centuries-old battle among four ancient realms and must learn to harness the forces of earth, fire, water and air to find their way home.
“The Fog of Forgetting” is the first in a trilogy, Morgan said.
“I started telling this story to my kids when they were little,” she said. “It just grew and grew in my imagination.”
Her boys are 17 and 14 now, and both attend Portland High School. They’re not in the book, but it’s easy to detect their influence in Morgan’s characters and plot development, which centers on siblings and their summer adventures in Maine.
Morgan left a lot of herself in this book, too.
She grew up in Manhattan and spent summers in Maine. Her mother was raised on a York County farm, and her parents bought a house on Mount Desert. She has spent every summer of her life on Mount Desert and has lived in Maine since 1998. Now 47, she graduated from Bowdoin College in 1989.
While “The Fog of Forgetting” marks Morgan’s debut as a novelist, the book is not her first. She has written nonfiction under her full name, including a book for teens called “Undecided: A Guide to Navigating Life after High School,” released this spring by Zesk Books.
Before moving to Portland, she was managing editor of Chronicle Books, and she has written for editorial and commercial clients, including Hay House Publishers, Bon Appétit and Maine magazines.
What she remembers most about coming to Maine as a kid is the lack of fear. Manhattan in the 1970s was a scary place. Maine was not. Whether on her grandmother’s farm in York County or the family house up the coast, Morgan found a connection to nature, a sense of magic and a different level of excitement than what she was accustomed to in New York.
“Maine was so different from my everyday experience,” she said. “I learned to shed the fear of the city when I came to Maine.”
In many ways, this book represents that freedom. It is full of imagination and adventure. It is fantasy, but based on Morgan’s reality.
For Islandport, “The Fog of Forgetting” represents a leap. The press has published a few titles that qualify as young-adult fiction. But this is Islandport’s first book in the adventure/fantasy realm and its first national marketing effort with a young-adult title.
Generally, the publisher has concentrated on books rooted in the essence of New England.
“It’s the first time we are looking more broadly, moving beyond our previous titles that have a more regional focus,” Kim said. “I’d like our children’s/YA titles to be seen as more than just New England-based, and this is a big step in that direction.”
Barnes & Noble has placed a large advance order for “The Fog of Forgetting,” suggesting that Islandport will reach a wide audience with this book.
Writer Annie Barrows, for whom Morgan worked while at Chronicle, said the young adult label is misleading. She thinks Morgan’s debut novel is appropriate for readers of any age.
“I think it’s disingenuous to call it young adult. We all love Harry Potter. Everybody is reading young adult fiction. Everybody,” said Barrows, who is best known for the “Ivy and Bean” series of children’s books. “I think young adult has come to almost be a term for a book that has young characters.”