154 of 164 people found the following review helpful
on April 4, 2011
One of the wonderful things about my Kindle is that it has allowed me to discover some really good writers, like Cheryl Kaye Tardif, who I'm pretty sure I would never have discovered while browsing through my local Borders and B&N stores down here in Florida. What a shame that would have been because I just love Children of the Fog! This is one of those creepy mysteries with a paranormal element, that beacons back to the style found in early Twilight Zone episodes. Ms Tardif knows how to tell a good, fast moving story, with interesting characters, witty dialog and that eerie twist that leaves you wanting to keep the pages turning, long after bedtime.
Great book, great writer.....great things to come!
99 of 105 people found the following review helpful
Writing mystery thrillers is risky for novelists: how do you take the reader to the edge of belief/disbelief and still keep the momentum of the story intact? Cheryl Kaye Tardiff has the technique down pat - she establishes characters who are completely human, both 'good characters' and 'bad characters', stays startlingly away from tropes and droids, and gives us people pushed to the extremes of behavior all the while allowing the reader to understand motivation and the fragility of human nature. It is a gift: too often suspense thrillers are written with the demons and victims so stamped in place that the results become predictable. But not here.
Tardiff makes her protagonist a woman successful in career as well as mothering, but she wisely pastes a history of alcoholism on the otherwise exemplary Sadie that leaves open windows to responding like an addict - a very humanistic flaw that makes us believe in her coming actions. Her young son Sam is kidnapped by a serial abductor but the kidnapping is only the surface of the evil that is threatened: Sadie can identify the kidnapper but seeking help from authorities will only result in the dismemberment of Sam. It is this point of tenuous grasp on sanity that is complicated by her wandering husband's act of threatening proportions and Sadie's own fragility of coping that derives this novel to a terrifying journey of an ending.
There are many aspects of Tardiff's story that will register with the reader - kidnapping of a child, an adulterous spouse, a struggle with the ongoing disease of alcoholism, the decisions we make under stress, the fear of the unknown becoming a torturous known - and with Tardiff's gifts for defining characters completely, all of these crises are handled with intelligence and skill. This is the work of an author who understands this genre. What she creates between the covers of this well designed book is a type of sorcery - and that is a compliment! Grady Harp, July 11
83 of 89 people found the following review helpful
on July 8, 2011
Cheryl Kaye Tardif drew me into her novel, Children of the Fog, from the epilogue and kept my attention until the last page.
Sadie is the loving mother of Sam. When she catches the kidnapper who has been making headlines in the paper in her son's bedroom, she is faced with a decision to watch the man murder her son before her own eyes or let him take Sam. Sadie lets Sam go. Now every decision that she makes from that point on is to protect her son with the goal of getting him back safely, but it all seems to be putting Sam in further danger.
Other complications including Sadie's failing marriage, a decomposing friendship and Sadie's own alcoholism. All of this proves to be too much for Sadie and she spirals into a sea of depression and she is no longer able to trust herself when she starts to see unexplained thing.
I was already thrilled with the story line in the middle of the novel, but Tardif was not done delivering more suspense with cleverly inserted lessons life. Every turn of the page exceeded my expectations and led me to a ending that came as a complete surprise.
I would recommend Children of the Fog by Cheryl Kaye Tardif to anyone. Really. This is not only for suspense lovers. If you read The Lovely Bones and liked it, you can not pass this one up.
111 of 128 people found the following review helpful
on March 18, 2012
Reasons why I hate protagonist:
Husband doesn't want kids so she goes off the pill.
Husband cheats on her twice before she gets pregnant with son but she keeps trying to get pregnant.
She debates about whether she'll divorce husband because kidnapped son may come back but has no problem deciding to leave the home son may come back to.
She decides to kill herself and almost instantly seems to feel better and makes new friends. This lasts for weeks and she still goes as far as pulling the trigger.
She forgives her friend for cheating with her husband and apparently witnessing the event that caused the son to not speak for 3 years but never telling her.
She is working on forgiving her husband for cheating on her and apparently for so traumatizing their son that he doesn't speak for 3 years.
Holes in the story:
There is little or no clue for 90% of book that there maybe any paranormal/supernatural plot development.
She drives off in a random direction and somehow ends up in Godforsaken Nowhere living right across the river from kidnapper.
She pulls the trigger, nothing happens, the kids get her to follow them into the forest and somehow the gun is back in its box under the bed when the kidnapper has her tied up in her room. I guess we just didn't hear about her stopping and putting it away before going on her little adventure with the kids. Convenient.
59 of 71 people found the following review helpful
on July 16, 2012
First off kudos to anyone that has the guts and vision to write, finish and publish a book. I could never do it...
I could never quite connect with the characters. They all seemed a bit shallow and underdeveloped, caricatures of themselves. Sadie is the meek, conforming wife. Philip the cheating lawyer husband. Leah the adventurous cougar friend. The entire story is just basically implausible and you can see the "twists" about 20 pages before they happen. The main character basically acts like an overgrown teenager throughout the entire book. Her logic and they way she acts just doesn't jibe with the context of the story.
After Sadie's son Sam is kidnapped the subsequent 50 pages become painfully repetitive. I think we get that Sadie is sad and misses her son. But it goes on and on. Everything that was once "nice" is now bad and spoiled. I think the author could have conveyed this in a few pages.
During this whole story I kept thinking: Sadie is a mystery writer. Yet, here she is, in her own mystery, and acts completely clueless. Not once does she draw on her experience as a writer and try to sort things out.
Then the book is filled with Odd Moments:
Sadie decides to take a "luxurious bath" ostensibly to treat herself, yet then tries to drown herself:
She held her breath as long as she could, and when she came up sputtering for air, she was disappointed. Drowning herself was definitely out of the question.
Tardif, Cheryl Kaye (2011-02-26). Children of the Fog (Kindle Locations 41612-41635). Imajin Books. Kindle Edition.
This doesn't make sense as she's already decided on how she's going to kill herself. She's left no room for doubt (or experimentation).
"Plus my laptop is dead and I need to charge my cell." (says Sadie, the main character)
She held up her phone.
"Ah," Ed said with a nod. "Never did get me one of them things. Gives you brain cancer, I hear."
Tardif, Cheryl Kaye (2011-02-26). Children of the Fog (Kindle Locations 41814-41847). Imajin Books. Kindle Edition.
If Ed knows cell phones give you brain cancer then why doesn't he know it's called a "cell"?
Here's another "gem"
"Where is my son?" (says Sadie, who's been captured by the Fog, the kidnapper)
"Not so f'ing fast!" he snarled. "I want something first." (my edit, Amazon won't allow the whole word)
"What?" His tongue swept over cracked lips. "Something I ain't had in five years."
When he smiled, acid boiled up into her throat.
Change the subject! Get him thinking about something else!
Tardif, Cheryl Kaye (2011-02-26). Children of the Fog (Kindle Locations 58754-58795). Imajin Books. Kindle Edition.
LOL. Change the subject? As if that's going to deter a murderer from raping?
Sadie finds a picture of the kidnapper in her photo album (he's in a public shot). She say's "Gottcha!" and runs off to tell the police. Ok so the chase is on right? Then hardly 10 pages later she says finding him meant very little to her. Huh?
Sadie's husband goes to jail for 10 years. She starts driving his Mercedes around. Sadie's friend says he'll be pissed and Sadie starts wondering if it's a good idea to take his car. Hello! He's in jail for 10 years. So what! Then there's warning from Philip her husband that the car may not start up sometimes. Lo and behold when Sadie desperately needs the car it doesn't start!
The author telegraphs "surprises". In one scene a clown shows up to entertain her son and his friends at his birthday party. At the end of the party, Sadie states "she never saw him leave." Ok, so I immediately think: cue one clown hiding in the house. Voila! Child is kidnapped by said clown.
Sadie is a recovering alcoholic but the writing around the drinking wasn't believable. There was a lot of chuckling and giggling going on when she starts drinking again.
And for the grand finale:
Sadie runs away to kill herself and happens to rent a cabin right across the river from the kidnapper's secret bunker and saves the day. LOL.
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on March 18, 2012
I wanted to like this book. Really I did. Admittedly, I'm not a reader of the suspense genre except for this particular book. Having said that, I found the story itself to be ridiculous. Even the "twists" were predictable from the moment they were set up. (*spoiler alert*) Sadie goes driving off into the wilderness and a mysterious car tries to run her off the road? Then the same mysterious (and creepy!) guy, who coincidentally lives across the river from the cabin she's renting, keeps giving her dirty looks? Really? Could he be any other than THE FOG? Sure, Sadie didn't put it together til way later, but as a reader, I found myself rolling my eyes and just waiting for the dots to connect themselves. This is just one example of many I could give. (Want another one? Okay. There turns out to be an undercover cop investigating her husband. AND her husband is having an affair with a coworker. Does it really take anybody more than 4 milliseconds to figure out the cop and the "coworker" are the same person?)
Also, the writing. Oh my word. I don't think this is giving much away, because it happens in the first few chapters, but when Sadie buys Sam a bike for his upcoming birthday, the author *actually* uses the line, "Little did she know, he would never see it." Little did she know? Are you allowed to use that phrase in your writing when you're older than 12? I'll admit that the story was fast moving, so the writing got more bearable over time because I was reading it more for the story than the actual writing, if that makes sense.
Overall, I think this book could be enjoyable, but you *really* have to ignore all the gaps in logic and bizarre issues of timing (like the fact that Sadie's husband goes from being investigated for fraud, to striking a plea bargain, to being sentenced to 10 years in prison--all in the span of about 3 weeks).
Apologies to all who read and enjoyed this book. I realize this could very well be a case of "It just wasn't for me." If you're into suspense-type books, then maybe give it a try, I guess.
48 of 59 people found the following review helpful
on July 7, 2012
Completely unbelievable tale. Also, seemed as though book would be concluding but I was only at 58 percent so I was excited to think there might be some great psychological twist that would redeem the book but the epilogue hits you at the end of 58% and the remaining 40% of the 'book' were previews of several of the author's other books. The story concludes hurriedly like a very lame Lifetime movie - so disappointing!
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on August 7, 2012
Very juvenile writing. Story line is ridiculous. How many problems CAN one woman have on top of losing her child? No fight to save him. No fight to find him. No fight to defend herself in her marriage. AND a cheating best friend to boot.
Very disappointing. Will not follow this author.
26 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on July 22, 2012
I was looking for a good psychological thriller book and the description of this book seemed pretty interesting, until I started reading the first chapters of the book. The main character, Sadie, is very weak and cares only about her child. Her drunk, abusive husband, Phillip is annoying and careless. The plot of the story isn't that original, its definitely been done before. I did not get what I wanted out of this book. I hate reading stories about "close" families. If this woman writes another book, I strongly suggest that she read "The Lion, The Lamb, and The Hunted" by Andrew E. Kaufman before publishing another horrible story. Do not waste your time on this book. I repeat, do NOT waste your time on this book. Let me tell you something, this book is ninety-nine cents of pure agony.
What I liked:
I can't say that I liked anything in the book.
What I didn't like:
The characters, the plot, the lack of suspense.
23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on August 26, 2012
I'm trying to understand how so many people could give this book such high reviews -- the writing was poor, the main character wasn't especially likeable, the story line was predictable on many levels, and unbelievable on others. Not worth the time!