Fog & Fireflies

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Pub Date Apr 11 2024 | Archive Date Jul 15 2024

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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.

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.

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...

A Note From the Publisher

Print ARCs available on request, please email us.
Allow 2-4 weeks for shipping.

No AI was used in the creation of this work.

Publication details:
Aspen & Thorn Press
ISBN: 979-8-9898610-1-9 (ebook)
ISBN: 979-8-9898610-0-2 (paperback)
ISBN: 979-8-9898610-2-6 (hardback)
ISBN: 979-8-9898610-3-3 (audiobook)
Publication date: April 11, 2024
Length: ~380 pages / ~105,000 words

Being published wide with distribution through IngramSpark, Draft2Digital, B&N, KDP and more.

**Maximum wholesale discount offered, with returns.**
Reviews welcome on:

- Goodreads:
- Powell's books: coming soon
- Barnes & Noble: coming soon
- Kobo:
- Draft2Digital/Library/International:

More retailers and independent bookstores coming between now and release date.

Print ARCs available on request, please email us.
Allow 2-4 weeks for shipping.

No AI was used in the creation of this work.


Advance Praise

"A novel that reads like a Ghibli film."

"A novel that reads like a Ghibli film."

Marketing Plan

  • Phase 1 - Submission to reviewers.
  • Phase 2 - Book trailer.
  • Phase 3 - Social media promotion, esp: Instagram, TikTok, Facebook
  • Phase 4 - In person events at local bookstores in the Pacific Northwest, especially Portland, OR, USA
  • Phase 5 - Attendance at conferences.
  • Phase 6 - Audiobook promotion.
  • Phase 7 - Sequel teasers.
  • Phase 1 - Submission to reviewers.
  • Phase 2 - Book trailer.
  • Phase 3 - Social media promotion, esp: Instagram, TikTok, Facebook
  • Phase 4 - In person events at local bookstores in the Pacific Northwest...

Available Editions

ISBN 9798989861019
PRICE $9.99 (USD)

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (EPUB)
Send to Kindle (EPUB)
Download (EPUB)

Average rating from 141 members

Featured Reviews

Its cover immediately attracted my attention. Dark atmosphere with Pan's Labrynth vibes.

Children (almost without adults) live in a town and vigilantly keep guard against a strange fog by strategically estabilished windmills. Anyone who stupid enough to go out is taken by vast, devouring creatures called fog phantoms. Eerie voices and cloudy shapes try to lure the youngs away from their posts, so they use bells to keep their attention focussed. Bells and lanterns filled with fireflies also help them to find each other in the dark. The fog fades away from children but snatches the grown-ups. And, at some point, everyone grows up...

The main character is Ogma, a brave and responsible girl, who started a rescue after a scream, and found a severely wounded boy speaking in Norwegian (I enjoyed decyphering his sentences). Then, soon after he healed up, something came from the fog, and Ogma gets lost in the wilderness...

T. H. Lehnen's prose is glamourous, part like a heartfelt folktale featuring adorable children, enchanting adventures, and mysterious dreams - and part dark fantasy with frightening monsters, mercyless attacks, bloody wounds and killings. He has a good sense for making the scenes vivid and impactful, portraying the dynamics easy to understand, yet fluid enough not to seem simplistic. During the suspense I often heard the intensifying epic music in my head. I like stories in which experiences of hearing, smelling, touching are just as important as seeing; it greatly enhances immersion. Representation of thoughts and feelings organically blends into the text, allowing the story to flow smoothly without abrupt perspective shifts.

I loved how the story unfolded from a fantasy children camp to an exciting adventure with darker tone, impressive creatures, life-or-death-level pledges, and perhaps more in later books.

It is not so long, and the description is right: there is a noticable similarity with the art of Hayao Miyazaki. So I recommend it those who like that style.

Thanks to the author and Netgalley, I read an advanced reading copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

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This story was magic. Pure magic. The melodic and artful way it was written made the story come alive off the page. The characters were vibrant, the descriptions were vivid, and it made my imagination come alive. I wish this was an animated series or a game, I’d love nothing more than to be able to see it all play out in front of me. Everything came together at the end and wrapped up in such a way that there’s plenty of room for the author to continue for many books to come. The only faults I can find are the chapter lengths and the odd melding of real language/names with the fantasy. The chapters were entirely too long and it made the book itself feel too long. The Norwegian language spoken by one of the characters clashes with the Irish namesake of the main character. It felt like the author was pulling from too many real sources but pretending it was not to make it part of the story so I struggled with that. But overall this is an absolutely beautiful tale and I’m thrilled Netgalley gave me the chance to read it.

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

I really liked this book. It read like a Studio Ghibli movie. The book blended fantasy and reality, had compelling characters, and an independent female hero. The way of worldbuilding spoke to me. A lot of the fantasy aspects are not really explained, they are just there. That makes the story feel more authentic.
The story flowed smoothly, and even though everything is nicely wrapped up in the end, there is still room left open for a sequel to the story.

The author also opts for a good amount of 'show, not tell', which works very well. Puzzle pieces click together naturally, and nothing is overly explained. This made the story progress even paced.
Not everything will be explained though. Some questions will stay unanswered.

The characters are very nicely written. Ogma has been proven a worthy main character. She is the embodiment of brave. She will do what she has to do, no matter if she's scared. It's easy to root for her.

I would have liked to hear a bit more about the wizard war, and how the fog came into existence.

All together, it was a great story, and I recommend it to everyone who likes Studio Ghibli movies, and reading about found family, hope, and a compelling female hero.

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Initially drawn in by the cover and spooky vibes. There are almost no grown ups in this town, where the fog has creatures that will try and distract and snatch you, where the children keep watch using bells and firefly lanterns to find each other.

The story follows Ogma, a brave and sensible girl who is instantly likeable as she pushes her fears aside to rescue a boy after hearing a terrified scream.

The world building throws your in quick with some aspects not entirely explained, therefore it took me a moment to get into it and begin picturing everything however as the story developed it then turned into a movie as I read and I could easily feel it playing out before my eyes.

Overall I really enjoyed fog & fireflies!

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I loved this book from the first page, and I won't be surprised if it is one of my favorite books of the year. It definitely lives up to all that it claims to be while also managing to surprise and delight in ways I was not expecting. Even with so many characters, they all have their moments to shine. The magic and world-building is intricate and unique. The plot is sometimes slow but allows the reader to take time to contemplate and enjoy the ride. I will be highly recommending this book when it comes out in April!

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This felt reminiscent of folk tales whispered over a campfire; like your mother's warnings about a strange fog rolling over the fields.

This novel takes place in a world that is absolutely glowing with magic. This is the definition of a book that hits you with whimsy and wonder at first glance, only to unveil something darker later. There are certainly spooky elements to this story, and I think they absolutely shine through with the author's writing style. Our main protagonist, Ogma, is so brave and curious - and the author makes her come off of the page. Ogma is extremely likable, and I found myself looking forward to following her story more.

My only real complaint, like other reviewers have said, is that the chapters themselves are an awkward length. I'm no stranger to epic fantasy novels, but at a certain point the 60ish page chapters can feel unwieldy and difficult to stay hooked to. If you're someone who doesn't mind longer chapters, this book is for you! If you're someone who likes to put a book down after a chapter or two, this might be a little tough to dive into.

Overall, I think this is a book that you need to have on your shelf.
A massive thank you to both the Author and Netgalley for giving me the chance to read and review this novel!

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This is a Refreshing fantasy, reminiscent of of older "Fairytales" or old cultural stories.

Told primarily from the perspective of children who's responsibility is to protect walled towns from the supernatural fog, that brings with it, several types of specters, and beasts.

As per the normal fantasy, one night things change with the appearance of an older injured boy. Strange magic, beetle inspired's all so strange....things move along quickly and interestingly.

This tale, besides having magic, was itself, MAGICAL. very clear, understandable prose that painted a beautiful picture...

I would happily read another story from this author, in this world.

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Ogma is a child - and like all children in her village, she stands watch against the fog, to keep the fog, and the phantoms it contains, from overtaking her village. Only children can do this job; once they get too old, they are no longer effective at keeping the fog away. Adults in their village live in the center, away from the walls that the children patrol. Villages like the one Ogma lives in shift with the fog; when the fog lifts, sometimes they find themselves near another village. When that happens, there is trade, of both things and people, as young adults trade villages to find mates. Sometimes, instead of a village appearing, Caravaners appear, with items to trade from the villages they've visited as they sail the fog, the only people in the world who can safely be out when the fog falls. But some villages have too few children to watch their walls, and in their desperation, they search for any children they can find, even if it means stealing them from their homes. Ogma is lost in the fog during such a raid, and is saved by the Caravaners who had recently visited her village. Together, they try to find Ogma's village, but instead, they find a mystery to be solved - the mystery of the stolen children.

This is an intriguing and engrossing novel, with characters - particularly Ogma - who readers will want to root for. Not all the people are human, and just they are is open to interpretation; the Caravaners themselves admit that no two of them are alike, and the puppeteers who travel with them are different still. Recommended for readers middle school to adult.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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The comparison to Hayao Miyazaki is absolutely spot on. The themes and story in Fog and Fireflies fit the Studio Ghibli vibe and you find yourself instant warming to these characters. The setting as well is so vivid and I truly felt like I was there on the wall with those kids watching out for the fog.
If feels between middle grade/YA at times but on the darker side but everything was handled with care. I LOVE middle grade so this wasn’t an issue for me at all but felt the need to let others know!
Ogma is definitely a new favorite character!

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Fog & Fireflies is a beautifully written dark fantasy YA novel about innocence, bravery, and the magic of found family that harkens towards the imaginative and wonderful world-building and storytelling of Hayao Miyazaki. T.H Lehnen’s prose weaves together an incredibly vivid world full of magic and delight that leaves readers wishing for more.

The only thing that really prevented this from being a 5-star read for me was the rapid pace in which we are thrown into the story and world, with little explanation or details before the events of the story unfolds which made it a bit hard for me to get into and engage with the book at first, and the somewhat lengthy chapter lengths took some getting used to. It wasn’t until about a third of the way through that I got more of a sense of the characters and their setting. Additionally, I loved Ogma as a strong female lead character as well as the other fantastical cast of characters we meet along the way.

Overall, I loved this book and am excited to see more from the author!

Thank you to Netgalley and the author for providing this eArc in exchange for a honest review. All opinions in this review are my own.

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Wow, I LOVED this book! I was unsure what to expect going in, but the cover is beautiful and the blurb drew me with mentions of "echoes of golden age fantasy." Fog & Fireflies absolutely fulfilled that promise! I was swept into a fantastical world that I find myself wanting to return to.

The story follows Ogma, a girl who has grown up watching the fog. The fog that surrounds her town can attack adults, but children are immune, and must stand guard on the walls to drive the fog back. They also look out for fog breaks, which may reveal other towns, or the mystical caravaners, inhuman beings that travel the fog to trade. When her town is attacked, Ogma gets lost in the fog. Her only hope to get home is to venture into the unknown.

Ogma is such a fun central character. She's tough and confident. At the same time, she has so much love to give, loyalty, and a strong sense of adventure. In following her story, we also get glimpses into the minds of other characters, through a sort of omniscient narration style that fit the world well. I also really liked the way that the names and the slang terms used in the book added to the rich worldbuilding, really bringing me into another realm.

If you like found family, fantastical world building, and coming of age stories, you will enjoy this book. It is a YA novel, but I loved it as an adult, and would recommend it to those of all ages!

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“I am almost at a loss on how to describe how wonderful this book was. Reading it made me feel like I fell through a wardrobe and was exploring something new and completely undiscovered. The characters and the world building are so fantastical I wanted to pack a bag and walk into the fog just to join them. Every time I started to feel like I had a grip on what was happening the story would change and fold into so many different parts. This book tells a tale of a world so rich in wonders that I devoured every page.

This book has a grip on my soul and I really hope there is more to come.“

This is my first net galley read and I did the review wrong and posted it to Goodreads first before sending feedback here. I really hope there is more to come, I enjoyed this story immensely and I will be recommending it to my friends that teach middle school. This book reminds me a lot of Neil Gaiman’s Stardust, not necessarily by the plot but the wonder and excitement the world brings feels the same to me and the story telling is similar as well.

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Fog & Fireflies is... an experience.

What attracted me to the story first is the cover; it gives me the vibes of Pan's Labyrinth meets Death Note meets the spirit world in Avatar: The Last Airbender (all of which I thoroughly enjoyed). Reading the synopsis of the story, I was extremely curious, especially as it was described as being a novel for "readers who enjoy rich worldbuilding" which describes me to a T (worldbuilding is my forte).

Initially, I found myself a little disappointed in what I read. The story was slow to start and almost felt as if I was missing something. However, I did not have to read too far into the story for that opinion to change in a very drastic manner. Lehnen's prose is captivating and his characters are a delight to read. The darker theme of the story kept me hooked and I found I was soon at a place where I couldn't put it down.

The vivid descriptions make every part of the story feel real and alive as you read it, and Lehnen pays just the right amount of attention to each and every detail, ensuring the reader is drawn deep into the story, one page at a time. If you enjoy a blended fantasy experience; if you enjoy any of the references listed above; if you are a fan of Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli; if you fall into any of these categories, then I recommend this book for you.

4.5 Stars (rounded up), though it could have been an easy 5 stars had I been able to get hooked earlier in the story.

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What would your life look like if your village was surrounded by a fluid, magical fog that could kill any adult that got too close? How would you cope when the fog whispered and howled like your friends in pain, contorted into horrible beasts, desperately trying to trick you into leaving your post? How would the world work if, instead of growing out of your fear of the dark, you grew into it?
This is what life is like for Ogma and her friends. The children of the village live in the watchtower and patrol the wall while the adults stay locked inside, hiding from the fog. The children use bells to identify themselves and communicate in the fog because trusting a voice when you can’t see where it came from can mean death.
When an unconscious boy in strange armour is spotted outside the walls, the story tumbles into action. This book is full of strange creatures, stranger magic, gods, gnomes, and shadows at every corner. It’s a beautifully told tale that feels like watching a Ghibli film with its unique twists and turns, idyllic landscapes, and insidious villains.
With children in charge of protecting the village it’s hardly surprising that this story deals with themes of parentification, though this doesn’t drive the main plot. The characters in this story drive the plot along – it’s their actions and bravery that carry this book to the heights that it does, along with the creative variety of secondary characters that we meet along the way. The human adults are almost background characters and it’s an adventure book through and through as Ogma is forced to face her fears and step up to save her village. I absolutely fell in love with the characters in this book and it more than satisfied the quota of weird and wonderful creatures I was looking for after reading the blurb.
The beautifully ominous cover and the imminent dangers that our characters face don’t stop this story from being joyful. These characters experience many joyful, heart-warming moments that will have you fighting the urge to squish them into a bearhug or tuck them away in a pocket to keep them safe.
This beautiful story left me with many, many questions about the smaller ways that these characters function in a world governed by fog, as well as the greater consequences of the climatic ending. It’s my understanding that this is a standalone story, but I would snap up a sequel or another book in this world in a heartbeat.
I would heartily recommend this book to fans of T Kingfisher, Margaret Rogerson, and Studio Ghibli films.
Fog & Fireflies by T H Lehnen comes out on the 11th April 2024.

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Fog & Fireflies is a magical story about Ogma, a girl living in a world where children fight against a mysterious fog that will take anyone who is an adult. The world building in this was done so well- from the first pages, the reader is immersed in a world of mysterious fog creatures, the shifting fogs, and those who travel among the fog.

This is classified as YA, but as an adult reader I found this to be incredibly engaging. The book is YA in the sense that it doesn’t delve into adult content and the protagonist is a girl, but the adventurous nature of the plot linen and depth of characterization makes it appropriate for all ages. It’s been a long time since I read a fantasy I enjoyed this much, and I hope this author writes a second book set in this world to continue Ogma’s story!

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Ogma, our female protagonist, lives in a very dark, strange world, where a fog full of nightmare creatures surrounds her town, and where towns move around in the fog on their own, so when you do get the rare day or two when the fog lifts, you never quite know what you will find. The fog only attacks adults, so the kids have to man the wall around the town to keep the fog from moving over the walls, into the town. Ogma, through a series of unforeseen events, ends up lost in the fog, and when she meets up with some caravaners who had been visiting her town, she sets off to figure out where the fog comes from, and how to get rid of it.

I love dark fantasy books with excellent world building, and this book gave me all of that, and more. The characters were interesting, the plot flowed nicely, and the book was a fast read because I didn't want to put it down.

I enjoyed this book very much and highly recommend it.

5/5 stars.

*** I would like to thank NetGalley, Aspen & Thorn Press, and T.H. Lehnen for the opportunity to read and review an eARC of Fog and Fireflies.

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Starting off with an intriguing and magical premise, Fog & Fireflies sweeps you away to a mysterious land beholden to the coming and goings of a malevolent and never-ending fog. Our main character Ogma is swept into a wondrous journey through the depths of the fog with a charming caravan of shepherds, uncovering old and forgotten things along the way. I do think some of the characters were underutilized and kind of random, but overall, I really enjoyed this story and the world-building. I definitely would love to learn more about the mysterious wizards and other secrets hidden within the fog itself. While this book did not conclude on a cliffhanger, it definitely promised more, and I'm already looking forward to the second book!

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for letting me access an early copy of this book!

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What a great story about the strength, power, and resilience of children. The story is a fantastical world of mist, monsters, and unlikely heroes. The prose is descriptive, lively, and draws the reader into the plight of our protagonist, Ogma, and her village. She is one of the protectors of the village and shows equal parts commitment to her call, and ignorance of youth. She’s quite likable, and becomes more so as more is learned of her personally and character throughout the story. As the story goes on, you fill the anguish and pain of Ogma as she is desperate to return to her people, and help them fight off the new threat that attacked them. Lehnen gives Ogma strength, determination, drive, but also vulnerability and dependence on her new friends. We are reminded that she is still a child trying to fill the shoes an adult should, but can, and will, not. But bit by bit, Ogma grows in wisdom and we cheer her on until the very end.

T.H. Lehnen created a wonderful fantasy story with a variety of characters and a story that will grab ahold of your imagination. I really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more of his work. 4.5 stars.

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Amazing book!
I was captured by the cover art and pulled in further by the overview.
Fog & Fireflies is labeled as YA but I would recommend this book to anyone who loves fantasy, definitely a book anyone age 9+ will enjoy.
The author did such a great job world building, his descriptive writing is incredible, I felt like I was watching a movie while reading.
His character development is unbelievable, I fell in love with almost each person in the story.
The plot is remarkable, if you have a young person that you are trying to introduce to reading this is a great book to start with.
There is always that one book that leaves an impression on you growing up, that you remember started your love of reading… this is that book!

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What an adventure !!! I loved everything about this book. From the world to the unique characters. This left me wanting to explore more of this world.

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T. H. Lehnen has a great writing style for this type of book, it has a great overall feel to this and it worked with everything that I wanted. The characters were what I was expecting and enjoyed how good the characters were in this world. It had everything that I was hoping for and it had a great concept for a fantasy world.

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Thank you Netgalley and Aspen & Thorn Press for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Ogma is in her tenth season from a windmill village in which the children watch the fog from the walls. The fog is deadly to adults in which everyone carries bells with them to alert one another from the North wall, West wall, etc of any alarms, or such. One night, Ogma is awoken by numerous bells in which the children are being kidnapped. She chases them out into the fog to find herself suddenly lost and away from everyone. Throughout her journey, Ogma finds likely allies in which she considers friends. (Remember the "friends", as that becomes important as the story progresses). Eventually, Ogma locates the missing/kidnapped children and what shocks her is that they are OLDER! Not only are they eight seasons older, but Ogma looks exactly the same as she did when she got lost in the woods. The ending is very bitter sweet and I'm excited to see if there is more for Ogma and her friends.

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

"We sail the fog"

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Fog and Fireflies is a dark fantasy novel that tells the story of this mystical fog that takes adults. Children of villages keep watch and ward off fog phantoms, all while trying to keep the adults safe.

When the fog clears, Ogma’s windmill village is attacked by cravanners who try to abduct children. In the chaos Othman becomes lost in the fog and must try to find her friends and her home.

Opinion: I really enjoyed this book! It was a beautifully written dark fantasy. When I saw the cover and read the description on Netgalley, I knew I had to read this!

I loved the main character, Ogma. She was written to be a strong and brave character yet at moments you can feel her fear, which is nice!

The visuals in this are described so well that it’s easy to picture them. I could picture the villages, the fog, and the wagons clearly.

I think this book could have benefited from having the chapters a bit more split up. There’s a total of 10, long chapters in the ARC copy. Since the chapters are long, it feels like it jumps around a lot. I didn’t mind it too much, but at times it was hard to keep track of what was happening at what time.

Overall I rate this book 4/5 stars and I can’t wait for more!

Thank you to Netgalley and the author for the ARC in exchange for an honest review!

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I have to echo other reviewers and say that the cover is what first drew me to this book. It reminded me of Pan's Labyrinth, but also vibe of the witch from Narnia. As an avid fantasy reader from probably age 8 onward, I was interested to see what new YA Fantasy looks like these days.

Color me enthralled.

The world is both whimsical and mysterious, though it did take me a little while to feel truly immersed in the story. Fans of rich worldbuilding won't mind that though, as the payoff is worth the investment.

While this book is labeled Young Adult, I enjoyed it as an adult reader.

Thank you to NetGalley and Aspen & Thorn Press for this eARC in exchange for my honest review.

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T.H Lehnen creates a fantastical world of dimensions and worlds surrounding a lovely young woman who is helping those around her to stay safe in the face of a frightening fog which causes everything and everyone to disappear without warning. It is a powerful story of learning and growth as the characters learn about love and loss.

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I wanted to read this book because the name and cover attracted my attention. This was such a cute story. It was pure magic. I enjoyed it cover to cover. It made me think of The Labrinth, The Neverending Story, and even a bit of The Princess Bride. This ya fantasy is all about innocence, magic, adventure, and being brave. I will definitely add this paperback to my collection once its available.

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I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The dark fairy tale vibes of this story had me intrigued from start to finish.
The author has a fantastic ability to create a vivid scene without having to go overboard with unnecessary details. The characters. the theme, everything about this book was so well thought out. If you enjoy a good heartfelt fantasy packed full of adventure, mystical fog creatures, and world building that will genuinely blow your mind, I definitely recommend giving this book a try!
This is easily one of my favorite reads so far this year, and I really hope there is a sequel, because I'm not ready to let go of Ogma and her world.

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I thoroughly enjoyed this story. It reminded me of a Ghibli tale, with children at the forefront going on a grand adventure. The characters were detailed and endearing. There are several plot points I'm excited to learn more about in the sequel(s).
The writing style flowed very well, and the book was a quick read.
One of the characters did not speak the common language. Using the Kindle app, I was able to highlight and translate everything he said which was very helpful. I would suggest having some form of glossary or translation available in the physical book so readers know what is going on.
I look forward to reading more from this author.

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I love this book it's almost like a pan's labyrinth retelling with the monsters and the Aesthetic five star read

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I love reading fantasy books, especially ones that have an epic and unique story. This book is a great example of such a story, where the author has created an incredibly immersive world with complex timelines, creatures, and emotions of young children. The book is dark and takes you on quite a journey primarily following Ogma, but also giving glimpses of different characters. When the big reveal comes, everything ties together. However, at times, I found myself confused about why things happened and how they occurred. Though some things were explained, like the fog, I'm still not 100% sure why.

Despite being a YA book, my young reader, who is almost 8, was reading over my shoulder. We would talk about what was happening in the story, and he enjoyed it quite a bit. The story involves kids who look after and keep adults safe, humans, and people who aren't people, and have unique characteristics despite their parentage. The whole world is engaging, intriguing, and magical. I would love to know more about this world, like Dunkirk's story before meeting Ogma or the war that started it all, or even about other characters. It's all very intriguing and well worth the read.

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I LOVE the cover and premise for this book. Also, Studio Ghibli vibes? Pan's Labyrinth comparisons? It seemed right up my alley!

The writing style is easy to read and the plot hook, with the story centering around kids, is sure to resonate with readers. Personally, I found the structure a bit disjointed/confusing-- there are so many characters and it seems like Ogma is going to be our main protagonist that we closely follow, but we end up weaving in and out of an omniscient narrator and different characters.

Still, a fun and original fantasy novel, and I know readers will enjoy it!

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For anyone craving a nostalgic, coming-of-age fantasy with a touch of darkness, reminiscent of Pan's Labyrinth and The Neverending story, there is finally a fresh tale for you in Fogs & Fireflies. The world is fascinating from page one; we are introduced to Ogma, a child, approaching her teenage years at most, patrolling the walls of her town, looking out for phantoms in the malicious fog outside the walls. Why are children in charge of protecting the town? What is the fog?

"Why do we get more afraid when we get older?"

I was delighted by the cast of brutally honest but charmingly individual children who are so resilient in the face of such darkness. The way they are both petty like young children often get, but will band together and protect each other when faced with adversity is so real. It is something that we lose as we grow up, along with the wonder and fearlessness.

I do wish the chapters were shorter; the currently extremely long chapters can definitely be parts instead that can then be split into a few chapters, especially considering the young readers that can be very interested in this book. Even as an adult, I would've enjoyed the book more with less lengthy chapters. Further, the story is split into clear arcs as Ogma faces different obstacles and travels distinct settings.

Thank you NetGalley, Aspen & Thorn Press and the author for this advance review copy, I am leaving this review voluntarily.

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I would like to thank Netgalley for providing me with an ARC copy of this book. I was intrigued into reading it because of the cover photo. The story has a very unique storyline and I had a great time Reading it.

The writing skills of the author are flawless and I was engaged throughout the book without getting bored. I enjoyed reading it while drinking a cup of coffee. The character developments were interesting and the world building was quite unique and captivating. I could visualise myself in the story with the characters.

I will highly recommend this book. Grab your copy today and you will definitely love reading it as much as I did.

#fogandfireflies #NetGalley

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I truly enjoyed this book. I'm always a little wary when reading a book that's for older children/ya because it generally means that all adults are incompetent, evil/bad or both and that always bothers me. Not that there can't be adults who are those things. I feel like this book does a decent job combining helpful adults and it makes it entertaining to read not just for children/ya but also for us who are older. It felt like they did made this story very unique and didn't feel like a story that has been overdone before. I love the characters, and the twists and turns along the way as well as the ending, which I didn't see coming. Love a good mystery. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

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'"Why do we get more scared when we grow older?" he asked quietly.
"We know better," Ogma said.'

Wow! What a stunning debut! From characterisation to world building, I loved it all! The cover and the premise are what immediately lured me in – children protecting the adults and their village is such an interesting concept to build the story around. I loved Ogma, the main character, and how her story progressed. Her bravery, protectiveness and love for her friends made her such a beautiful character to read about. The diversity of all of the creatures is an aspect I loved, too. Some of them truly felt like products of a nightmare, but still, all of them were described beautifully. It is obvious the author's imagination was working overtime while writing this story and it has made it incredibly original. The combination of action scenes and world building is done nicely, I was never bored!

I would have loved to know a bit more about some of the side characters, there are so many of them, and I would love for this to have a sequel even more. I believe there is a lot of potential for it!

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4.5 rating (arc review)

As soon as I read the description for this book, I knew I had to read it and I was not disappointed.

Fog & Fireflies has everything you would want a great fantasy book to have. It’s has captivating characters, great world building, magic, adventure, lots of intense moments and several twist that I didn’t expect.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and I can’t wait to see what else T. H. Lehnen does next.

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"Why do we grow more scared as we get older?"
"Because we know better."

Every now and then you come across a new release that feels like you’re reading a modern classic. Whether it be the themes, the writing itself, or how reminiscent it feels of another classic; there’s a certain charisma to these stories that makes them feel special. This week I’ve had the pleasure to read not one, but two of these stories. One of them, Impossible Creatures, has already garnered plenty of well-deserves praise and love. The other is an upcoming indie title, that I’m therefore even more excited to put on people’s radar.
With vibes of The Neverending Story, a world reminiscent of Miyazaki, and a story that feels like a folktale told at night around a campfire: this is a release to keep your eye on.

The Story:
In a world blanketed in a never ceasing fog inhabited by nightmarish creatures, humans are confined to isolated settlements that sail the fog like ships. Ogma lives in one of these settlements, and is part of the team of children guarding the walls and sounding the alarm whenever one of the fog-phantoms approaches. Her job is an important one, and one only children can do, as the older you grow, the more susceptible you become to the fogs treacherous calls.
One day, Ogma’s town is attacked by shadows from the fog. In an attempt to save those she loves, Ogma sets off on a journey into the unseen, where she must rely on her wits and her friends in order to survive.

What I loved:
The immediate standout here is the quality and depth of the worldbuilding Lehnen put into this story. From the setting of the fog-drowned world with its floating settlements, to the fearful creatures that inhabit it, to the history and lore of the wizard-war that created this situation: it feels like Lehnen knows this world inside out, and is excited to take you on a journey through it.
The plot offers a good balance between action and character interaction, and Ogma and her traveling band make for great companions on this trip. I especially love how Ogma was a strong female character, that isn’t afraid to recognise that she still needs help and support from her friends (something that unfortunately is quite rare in Young Adult fiction).
Another element that made the story feel similar to modern classics like The Neverending Story is how well it translates to different age-ranges of reader. I would classify the story somewhere between the upper-end of middle-grade and the younger side of YA (12 to 15 years), but it’s core-themes of friendship, fear, growing up, growing older and growing apart translate perfectly to adult readers as well.

What I didn’t love:
Fog and Fireflies is a debut novel, and has some struggles typical of that. Most notably, it struggles a little around the half-way point. After a fascinating beginning, there’s a bit of a drop in pacing, as well as a very quick expansion on the world and magic-system that doesn’t quite feel like it gives the reader enough time or information to adjust. Although the author seems to know the lore of his world inside out, he struggles at times to keep the reader up to pace. I hope the next book in this series will expand further on this worldbuilding and fill in the gaps that were left in my understanding.
That brings me to my second point of critique: I wish the Goodreads page and marketing had been a little more clear about the fact that this is the start of a series, not a standalone fantasy. To me, this wasn’t a problem, but know before going in that this is a satisfying story in its own right, but it does have some open ends after you flip the final page.

As a final aside, I’m happy to let you know that I had a great mailexchange with the author, in which he stressed how much he values accessibility, and an audiobook is in the making so visually impaired readers can enjoy the story too. If you know me, you know how deeply I appreciate an author (especially indie!) thinking of such things.

Many thanks to T.J. Lehnen and Netgalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

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This was so so so good!!! It’s not something I would normally read but I was so gripped from the beginning! And it’s short I read it in one day!

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I absolutely loved Fog & Fireflies! It's less of an open and shut plot and more adventures and vibes. Reading it felt like a mix of The Maze Runner, The City of Ember, and Howl's Moving Castle or other Ghibli works. I was super captivated by the world and characters, and the writing was super poetic and flowed nicely. My only complaint is that there wasn't more, I was really sad when I got to the last page. Also, I have questions about Ogma's town, the state of the world, and what happens next!?

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I really enjoyed this story. This story is truly found family done right. The characters were enjoyable. The pacing could be a little on the slow side— but that builds towards the plot.

Thank you to the author & NetGalley for allowing me the opportunity to read this e-ARC.

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In a word -
Sentient fog
Strange and fantastical creatures
Found family

Wow. I wasn't sure what to expect when I first saw this as a spotlight through netgalley, but the idea of Sentient fog drew me in. There are super strong themes of Parentification as we follow Ogma on her journey. I love the world building and all of the fantastical creatures we get to meet. The pacing was fine throughout each leg of the story (I saw that mentioned in another review). My only draw backs were the translation in the first few chapters (you don't have to translate, but I couldn't not), and the chapter lengths. It fits the story, but also felt funny to stop in the middle of an hour long chapter! Can't wait for the book to release so everyone can enjoy it as much as I did!

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This was my first fantasy read for 2024 and it was pretty good. I would recommend this read to my fantasy reading friends for sure.

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A Ghibli-esc adventure through a world shrouded in fog. Equal parts enchanting and horrifying as these kids defend their home and look out for each other, especially since the grownups can’t.

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In exchange for an honest review, I received an ARC to this book from NetGalley and Aspen & Thorn Press!

What first caught my eye with this book was the cover. It is absolutely stunning and very suiting. It fits the story told perfectly both content-wise and vibe-wise.

This book's intriguing concept and worldbuilding is one of its best-selling points. I haven't before read a book where the world shifts as it does in Fog & Fireflies. It must have been terrifying being lost in that fog.

I loved the atmosphere of this book, the dark fantasy, the way the world worked. We don't see a lot of the adults (apart from the caravan people) and I think I'd have loved to see more of that particular relationship between children and adults, considering the world has made the children the protectors. But I do think we get an understanding of what the fear of the fog might do to an adult.

I found Ogma to be a nice, well-rounded character. But I think my favorites ended up being the people from the Caravan.

Fair warning, for those who know they might struggle with long chapters. This almost 400-page book only has 10 chapters. There is also a fair bit of jumping between perspectives within chapters, which might be good to know before going into this book.

It was an enjoyable and quick read. I highly recommend it!

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Wonder and mystery this novel will leave you wanting to stay in this unique world! Lehnen makes the characters lovable while adding unique characteristics wanting you to learn more about them! While this novel has a few different points of view that at times can be confusing the narrative flows easily allowing you to not miss a beat of this story. Overall this was a fun, easy read that I highly recommend!

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“Why do we get more scared when we get older?” “We know better.”
In a secluded town, children, nearly devoid of adult supervision, stand as the vigilant guardians against an encroaching mysterious fog, employing strategically placed windmills as their defense. Venturing beyond the safety of their boundaries invites peril from the insatiable fog phantoms, ominous beings that swiftly ensnare any unwary wanderers. Amidst the eerie whispers and nebulous apparitions that seek to entice them away from their watch, the children maintain focus with the aid of resonant bells, their clear tones piercing through the fog's deceptive allure.
Guided by the flickering glow of lanterns teeming with fireflies, the children navigate the darkness, ensuring their unity and safety in the face of the enveloping mist. Though the fog refrains from encroaching upon the children, it ruthlessly claims the adults who dare to venture beyond the protective confines.
Yet, as time inexorably marches forward, the inevitable passage into adulthood beckons for each child, heralding the end of their guardianship and the dawn of new responsibilities.
T.H. Lehnen invites readers on an exhilarating odyssey through a realm where the mystical intertwines effortlessly with the extraordinary, weaving a captivating tapestry of marvel and exploration. From the opening lines, Lehnen's narrative captivates, enveloping readers in a cocoon of atmospheric allure that is both enchanting and irresistible. With a colorful cast of characters, malevolent gods, terrifying demons and a magical landscape this story is definitely one for fans of Hayao Miyazaki.
Thank you to Netgalley and the author for providing this eArc. Fog & Fireflies publishes April 11th.

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This YA fantasy tells the story of some brave and innocent kids who are the last stand against the Fog, a weird enemy that goes after adults. They spend their time watching the wall and patrolling to keep the Fog away. But there are also some other weird creatures living in this strange fog.

I really enjoyed this story; the author's way of writing makes it easy to get sucked into the world. It evokes a sense of childhood nostalgia, allowing us to witness the bravery of the young heroine, Ogma. The world is exceptional and it sparks your imagination, kind of like watching a Studio Ghibli movie.

Big thanks to NetGalley, Aspen & Thorn Press, and T. J. Lehnen for the eARC in exchange for my honest review.

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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.


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Fog & Fireflies crafts a unique world and premise I have not seen before in a work of fantasy, and kept me very much engaged as I sought to understand this new landscape. We follow Ogma, a child who is part of a world in which a Fog shifts the land around them and their town. A Fog that whispers and plays tricks, but poses an even great threats to the adults of the world, leaving the children to work as the defenders of the town.

I really enjoyed this read, and the world building. It was truly something new and imaginative. I want to visit and learn more about this world and the cast of characters, and I very much hope there may be a sequel in the works.

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I am such a sucker for a young adult/ middle grade read. When I read this genre, it is as though I fall back into the realm of wonder, mystery, and "what-if". The world we encounter is one covered in fog with monsters lurking just beyond sight. The children are the ones who guard the walls and protect the village as it seems the adults are more vulnerable to the phantoms. As the story progresses, we learn the fog is a remnant from when wizards battled, scarring the land and cutting people off from each other. When the fog clears, the villages seek each other out with the little time they have, in order to trade and prepare for the next wave of fog and isolation.

There are a lot of strong points in this book such as the creative world, and the dark mysteries which seem to lie just out of sight behind the fog. I like knowing there are more planed in the series with the hopes we will uncover more secrets and build more bonds among the characters.
One of the critiques I had, was I needed a bit more explanation in the beginning to help me understand what type of world I had been dropped into. The shadow puppet story by Wheeler does help, but we also get the perspective of children so it also seems a bit juvenile and not very clear.
I worked through this story quickly and felt engaged and curious about the world. I think it's a pretty strong debut novel and I can't wait to see how the author and characters grow in the next installments,

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After reading One Dark Window I was enthralled by this! I absolutely dove into the world thanks to the detailed descriptions. I loved that the children were immune to the fog and thus were the ones protecting the adults. It was so nice to see that dynamic switched and how it worked out because of it. Ogma was a great main character that showed off her strengths but allowed her weaknesses to exist as well.
My ONLY issue was the long chapters. I like a stopping point and there was one that went on for like an hour.

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I loved the story, the world building and meeting the different characters. I felt completely immersed in the story and couldn't stop reading it.

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"Fog and Fireflies" by T. H. Lehnen is a captivating and beautifully written novel that transports you to a world filled with mystery and magic. The author's descriptive prose creates a vivid and atmospheric setting that truly immerses the reader in the story.

The characters are well-developed and engaging, each with their own unique personalities and motivations. The protagonist's journey is filled with twists and turns that keep you on the edge of your seat, eager to discover what will happen next.

Lehnen's storytelling is masterful, blending elements of fantasy and adventure in a way that feels fresh and original. The themes of friendship, courage, and the power of belief resonate throughout the narrative, leaving a lasting impact on the reader.

Overall, "Fog and Fireflies" is a delightful read that will appeal to fans of fantasy and magic. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for an enchanting tale that will sweep you away to a world of wonder and imagination.

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Fog and Fireflies is a young adult fantasy. It follows Ogma a ten year old girl in a fantastical dangerous world. The dark fantasy elements remind me of Never Ending Story and I love that it doesn't shy away from darker themes.
The settings in this novel are atmospheric and strange. The biggest danger being the fog that surrounds the villages, whispers to the children that watch as they .protect the adults from the phantoms inside it.
There are so many characters and scene changes I had a hard time following what was going on at times. The illustrations helped me picture things a little better.
Thank you to Netgalley for this Arc. This review was given freely and all views expressed are my own.

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4 ⭐️
If judging a book by its cover was a person. It's me! This cover is E V E R Y T H I N G!
This is book 1 in a possibly trilogy.
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." This description ALONE had my attention and drew me to this story! Normally, the adults are protecting the elderly or children, but nope, the children protect the village. Ogma is the main female lead who is a child who watches the fog from the walls of her windmills town. Ogma town is attacked, and children are being kidnapped, and Ogma gets lost. She must have hope, faith, and courage to find her way back home.
Dunkirk speaks a different language, and he makes me giggle talking.
Did I mention before a chapter beginning it has illustration!!!!
♡ eArc Review ♡
♤ Release April.11 ♤
Thank you, Netgalley and Aspen and Thorn Press, for the eArc for my honest review.

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T.H. Lehnen’s Fog & Fireflies is a delightfully magical tale that really drew me in right from the start. Loved how we don’t really know what is happening at the beginning and only meet a few characters and have to wonder what is going on, how things are revealed to us, learning what it means to be ‘old’ in this world. And then the delight of the shadow puppet show. This was just classic storytelling and as I said a truly magical tale. In some ways it reminded of fantasy movies from the 80s, such as The Dark Crystal. And if this were to be made into a movie or show that’s how I’d envision it being done. Not so much with live actors, but intricate puppetry or old school hand drawn animation. This might be a story geared toward a younger audience but I think it will truly appeal readers of all ages, especially those that are young at heart. I look forward to reading more by Lehnen. Thanks so much to Aspen & Thorn Press and NetGalley for the chance to read and review an ARC of Fog & Fireflies.

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Reading Fog & Fireflies was like watching a movie! The way that T.H. Lehnen writes makes it so easy to visualize the story, making this book such a pleasure to read.

The story centers around a young girl named Ogma, who along with the other children of the town, are tasked with keeping everyone safe from a mysterious fog that is capable of kidnapping their people. For me, this was one of the more fascinating aspects of the book, that the youth were the ones empowered to keep their town safe. They are the fearless ones, as we all seem to become more scared as we get older.

I was invested in the world Lehnen built from the very first page, waiting impatiently to receive more and more answers about the hows and whys, while being given even more questions along the way. Meeting an interesting array of fantastical creatures and people, who have to navigate through some interesting and treacherous situations, kept me on the edge of my seat for the entire read.

My only criticism would be the length of some of the chapters which I’m hopeful will be addressed before final copies, as I read an advanced one.

Highly recommend this for anyone interested in beautiful prose and amazing world building, a wonderful fantasy read for ages 9+. Can’t wait for the sequels and to watch this on the big screen one day!!

Thanks to T.H. Lehnen, Aspen & Thorn Press and NetGalley for the ARC, opinions expressed are my own.

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This book is all about the setting vibes. It felt like I was exploring a primitive Wonderland. A Wonderland before it was Alice's Wonderland. The world is so visceral but shadowed in fog with a glimpse of what it used to be. With the fog being a major plot point in the central story but also gives the book horror elements. The more I explored the world the more questions I had. Lehnen did an excellent job answering my questions and then presenting me with new ones. There were times when the pacing was so slow and I found myself driving from the story, but it always pulled me back in immediately.

Aside from the setting and atmosphere, Ogma - the MC - was well-rounded and I truly did root for her. For once it felt like I was reading from a 14-year-old's perspective. A true MG book.

I was never sure what the plot was or where it was going though. It's not a plot-central book. There was some tension and some action with resolution and the end but it wasn't the main plot of the story or what pushed it forward. It's very much a book about Ogma surviving and traveling through the fog to get home and save her friends.

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A unique fantasy world, leaving a lasting impression!

As highlighted in the blurb and other reviews, this novel offers a distinctive setting with an unconventional hierarchy. Here, children possess decision-making powers to protect the adults from a looming threat of a mysterious, magical fog that only negatively affects grown-ups, creating a different dynamic amongst the various characters. There’s an element of dark intrigue and oppressive anxiety that shapes the daily lives and habits of all, where the contrast between the innocence of youth and the burdens of adulthood is nicely portrayed.

The story follows Ogma, a brave 14-year-old girl on the brink of leadership, who demonstrates fierce love for her people and resilience in the face of adversity when their safety is threatened. I appreciated how Lehnen weaves together past and present, legend and lore, unveiling an ancient war among powerful wizards and its lingering negative repercussions.

Overall, the writing is engaging though at times, a bit meandering. However, while the protagonist is young, the story's fantastical elements seen in this richly imagined world will surely resonate with readers of all ages. With the promise of magic, wondrous beings, horrific monsters, awakening gods, and more books to come, this is a journey worth checking out!

Thank you to the author and Aspen & Thorn Press via NetGalley for an ebook in exchange for an honest review posted to GoodReads -

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Fog & Fireflies by T. H. Lehnen is a wonderful YA dark fantasy novel.
The vividness of the writing, so sharp and crisp and rich, conveys marvelous imagery with only a few words.
I was sucked in by the first page and I thought the flow of the book was perfect, and it made for an easy read.
The characters are well described and developed I really enjoyed this adventure with them.
I can’t wait to read book two.

Thank You NetGalley and Aspen & Thorn Press for your generosity and gifting me a copy of this amazing eARC!

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Fog & Fireflies is a deeply imaginative, heartfelt book about the fear of growing up and getting older.

I really enjoyed the pacing for this one. One of my biggest pet peeves is books that drag on and on without ever getting anywhere, but I appreciated how this story moved along and pulls readers in from the first page. The atmosphere is spooky and fun, even though this would be terrifying in reality. Ogma is a brave and intelligent lead character, and I enjoyed reading from her perspective. I think she’s everything you could want in a hero.

I think this story’s underlying theme and message is one that will stick with readers for a long time. I can see this being one of those classics you can return to again and again.

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I received this arc in exchange for an honest review.
Fog and fireflies is a fantasy novel about a young girl named Ogma who is trapped in an enchanted fog and tries to go home.
I loved the writing style, and the worldbuilding felt very unique and well thought out. I loved all the characters, and I think they were so beautifully written especially wheeler, Dunkirk, and Ogma.

Overall, if you liked Studio Ghibli and Lockwood and Co, then you'll definitely enjoy this book.5 stars, loved it, and I can't wait for the next book.

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Thank you Net Galley and publishers for letting me read an arc of this book for an honest review.

What a delightfully strange book. I chose this book cause I thought the cover looked cool , but the story is just as fun! In a world where the fog only goes after adults, children are the protectors of villages. They guard the walls and fight off the fog when it gets too close. But something, or someone is taking all of the children leaving the adults vulnerable. The world building in this YA fantasy is so good and intriguing, it's like I can imagine being there. There's so many quirky people and creatures that you learn about as you follow the story from the point of view from Ogma, what I can guess is maybe 6 or 7. She's on a mission to save all her friends when she gets lost in the fog herself. There are only 10 chapters but they are really long, almost too long so the format was a little funky but overall it was quite an enjoyable book. One that I took a gamble on.

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I really enjoyed this book. The story is incredibly unique and complex. It’s a true modern fairytale with imaginative characters, wild adventures, and deep mysteries. The author keeps all the great parts of YA — clean action sequences and emotional characters who are trying to find themselves while they save the world — and leaves out the weird dark stuff and raunchiness of modern YA. The pacing is somewhat slow and it doesn’t become a page-turner until about 40% through, but the ending is worth the wait. Definitely a recommended read.

Special thanks to NetGalley and Aspen & Thorn Press for the eARC in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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First thing that drew me to the book was the cover, second thing was the story. I was excited to read a debut book by an indie author as its my personal opinion they don’t get enough praise.

One thing I enjoyed: The world building. If you can draw me into the world of your story and i can picture it in my head, basically having a movie in my head, then you have done well with me.

One thing I did not enjoy: The pacing of the story. There was a bit of a lull about midway through the book. But once you get past that then the pace becomes more even again.

Overall I would definitely recommend this book.

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This book was something special. I wasn't expecting much while I dove into it, I've had a string of flops lately, I was expecting another, but boy was I blown away when I read this one.
I normally read books based on older characters, but the MC in this book is a teenager and I absolutely adored her, she was full of sass, strength and held everyone she knew as close to her as family. She felt emotions deeply but also showed how powerful her inner strength was in times of trouble.
The story is based around a village surrounded by a spooky fog, there are others of course, but this particular village is central to the story, they communicate on patrol using bells, now I couldn't shake the idea of cowbells for a while, not sure why, but I'm sure they were more like jingly bells.
The world is rich with phantom creatures, beautiful tree folk, wizards, animal type humans, fog dwelling beasts, puppeteers, and intense yet endearing mystery!
I loved following the journey of the characters, I felt invested in their lives and was holding my breath waiting for answers to come!
This book gave me a sense of a misfit family, all of these people who have been raised together but aren't related, taking care of each other. It felt bittersweet, knowing that it was forced upon them, being separated from any kin, and made to live a life to protect adults. To be a parent figure to other youngsters, any bonds made likely to be separated once again.. Thus the family is ever expanding, but the stories told will last for many seasons.
They share a living space, cozy and take their mission very seriously so when it all goes to shit, they all have each others backs. The bonds made in this book stand the test of time and distance.
I wasn't expecting the mega curveball ending, that was a right knock out! Well played, my friend. I truly hope there's a follow up book to this because I loved it so much. It wasn't so much as a cliffhanger, I just feel like I want to be lost in the fog with this story a while longer yet, like there's more to say!
I will recommend this book, and really hope it gains some further attention, as it was such a pleasant and mysterious read! A nice clean one too!
A well deserved 4* shiny stars from me!
"Now, we sail the fog!"

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*I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.*


'True stories are often sad.'

- Wheeler

'They are dancing. Like the stars.'

- Narrator



Cover. I actually only got the physical copy for the cover, but hear me out. The book blurb was interesting too and I never got a physical copy before so I was really excited for it. The book also has more than one cover and they all keep the style of the main cover.

The wording might be confusing at times, but it's creative. Perhaps you have to think a bit longer when reading the book, but it has its own uniqueness.

Doesn't take long to get exciting.

The fog isn't always there. And it's not that rare when it disappears. Yes, it doesn't happen every week, but it's not the typical 'It happened 100 years ago...' story. That's really cool and I am fond of it.

The foreign boy who doesn't speak their language doesn't understand all the time the others and vice versa. Ogma only understands him via his body language and her own memory of stuff. That makes a lot of sense and it's not like she understands him and knows everything without a right explanation.

In chapter 'blank faces' it got really exciting. And the chapter after that a twist of plot came. Totally unpredictable. I didn't even know that something like that was happening. That in chapter 'lost' we would meet some 'interesting' characters. It was so funny. And so crazy. Gave me fairy tale vibes. I'm a fan of fairy tales, so I turned the pages faster and faster, wanting to know more. As someone who always knows the plots of murder mysteries and stuff and never gets impressed by twists I must say this one was really good. You can't predict it, 'cause it got never mentioned before. It kinda did, but you could never know what is actually meant. And you won't predict what 'interesting' characters would be there. Trust me, it's so good and funny, you will love it.

The world building is really good. I would consider it as high fantasy as there are many places where Ogma travels and they all are unique in their own way. Each place gets described perfectly and one can easily make a picture up in their mind on how it would look like.

At the beginning of the book we get told that Ogma is 14 seasons old and at first it was confusing, but it gets explained later on near the end of the book that the word 'year' doesn't exist in her language, they use 'season' instead. So there is a reason behind this, yes one might not know it from the start, but I think it's obvious that she isn't 54 years old and actually 14 as the book is about children protecting the adults.


Chapters. Some are only 12 pages long, as long as a chapter should be, but some are over 50 pages long. Some read chapter-wise and that is a bit problematic. It makes the book also feel longer than it actually is.

Personally, I think that the 7.,8. and 9. chapters were all a bit slow. The 7. had at least a story to tell, so that made sense, but the 8. and 9. could have been shorter.

What to do for a higher rating:

There should be more chapters, so that the reader can take more frequent breaks and it makes the book seem shorter. A few chapters had a bit of content that was repeated or not necessary and could be cut shorter, to keep the pacing of the book balanced.

End note/Final thoughts:

Thank you for the advanced reader copy of Fog & Fireflies by T.H. Lehnen. And thank you so much for putting the trust into me and giving me a physical copy.

Started the book: 2. April 2024
Finished the book: 6. April 2024
Wrote the review: 6. April 2024

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Absolutely evokes the golden age of fantasy, but especially in that way that is approachable to both children and adults. The descriptions were lush, and while I wish there had been a bit more delving into the worldbuilding, I understand that there are supposed to be more books, so hopefully those will get more into how parts of this world came to be, especially the wizards.

There’s a lot going on, from all of the characters to scene settings, which does mean you have to pay closer attention at times to piece everything that’s going on together, but it does give the result that you’re really able to sink into the world and get that slow fantasy feeling.

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