Fog & Fireflies—Unraveling the Divide Between Growing Older and Growing Up

Published 29 Mar 2024
by Anca Antoci

Title: Fog & Fireflies
Author: T.H. Lehnen
Released: 11.04.2024
Buy from Amazon
4.02 (read)
Our review:
4.00 (read)

Today, I have the pleasure of reviewing another NetGalley gem called “Fog & Fireflies” by T.H. Lehnen. A novel for readers who enjoy rich worldbuilding in the style of Hayao Miyazaki, a unique cast of creatures and characters that harkens back to L. Frank Baum and Arthur Rackham, and the bonds of found family akin to the work of Maggie Stiefvater and Makoto Shinkai.

Book Description from the back cover

With refreshing echoes of golden age fantasy, Fog & Fireflies is a novel that brings together an imaginative world and fantastical cast of characters to explore the difference between growing older and growing up.

"Why do we grow more scared as we get older?"

Hundreds of seasons ago, a wizard's war scarred the earth, leaving a malevolent fog blanketing the land, and carrying the settlements within it like ships adrift at sea. The phantoms the fog creates are deadly to adults, so children must guard the walls now, and care for each other.

Ogma watches the fog from the walls of her windmill town. What felt like a game as a child becomes more of a creeping dread with each season she gets older.

"Because we know better."

Ogma's town is attacked—alien caravanners who roam the fog in inhuman forms have come to kidnap the children, and Ogma is lost in the fog. She must find hope, find courage in herself, and find her friends.

My Review

In “Fog & Fireflies,” T.H. Lehnen crafts a mesmerizing world teeming with intricate detail and rich history. The fog-bound settlements and enigmatic inhabitants create an immersive and captivating setting.

At the heart of the narrative lies a well-balanced blend of action and character dynamics. Ogma and her companions form a compelling ensemble, with Ogma herself standing out as a formidable yet relatable protagonist. It’s refreshing to encounter a strong female character who isn’t hesitant to acknowledge her vulnerabilities and lean on her allies—a rarity in the realm of Young Adult fiction.

“Fog & Fireflies” ticks off all the boxes for a captivating fantasy read. With its engaging characters, intricate world-building, elements of magic, and pulse-pounding adventures, it keeps readers hooked from start to finish. Lehnen’s prose beautifully captures the essence of magic and wonder, leaving readers longing for more.

While the narrative unfolds seamlessly, some readers might find the lengthy chapters a tad challenging to navigate. The long chapters make it hard to pause the book, causing confusion in the story.

Nevertheless, the diverse array of creatures and cultures depicted within the story adds depth and intrigue. Lehnen skillfully captures cultural nuances and interpersonal dynamics, specifically during Ogma’s time with the caravanners.

Ultimately, “Fog & Fireflies” is a testament to the resilience and courage of its youthful protagonists. Set against a backdrop of mist-shrouded landscapes, menacing monsters, and unexpected heroes, it offers readers a fantastical escape into a world brimming with wonder and possibility.

Our final verdict: