Fiction Fest: A sampling of Steve Westover’s ‘Return of the Mystic Gray’

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Oregon’s Crater Lake is a few hours south of Salem, Ore.–where “Return of the Mystic Gray” author Steve Westover grew up–and is the inspiration for the “Crater Lake” series of juvenile books.

“Growing up in Oregon, I loved camping in the mountains with my fellow Scouts,” said Westover. “I even camped in the snow, cross-country skiing into camp and building snow caves. Many of those experiences inspired this book. Unlike the warm summer adventure the kids had in Book 1 [of the series], they are now at Crater Lake in the dead of winter with miles of snow and frozen landscape. It’s beautiful, but treacherous.”

“Return of the Mystic Gray” was released on April 9 and is the sequel to 2012’s “Crater Lake: Battle for Wizard Island.” You can find the books on, and


The wolf’s bite shredded Brady’s Gore-Tex glove. When the wolf approached again, Brady brushed at the animal with annoyance, knocking it back ten feet and causing it to yelp as it crashed into the snow. “Punk! These are my only gloves,” Brady muttered.

Removing his right glove, Brady examined the severe tear and then looked at his hand. There wasn’t a scratch or even a red mark. Brady placed the glove back on his hand and then watched while the wolf turned to run into the woods.

Brady pounded his chest with a fist and tilted his head to the sky, whooping and hollering, mocking the wolf’s howls and yelps. He then screamed in declaration, “I AM INVINCIBLE.”

Reveling in his newfound durability, Brady smirked but then his eyes widened with fear as he felt the ground collapse beneath his skis.

The avalanche seemed determined to take Brady with it as it cascaded down the cliff. Falling sideways, Brady quickly turned his skis to point down the nearly vertical cliff slope. The skis hit the slope and Brady picked up speed as he leaned back so far that he sat on the back of the skis. “WOO-HOO!” he screamed as he barreled down the cliff but then became silent as the rest of the avalanche caught him from behind, burying Brady. It carried him the rest of the way down to the shore of Crater Lake.

The avalanche slammed Brady’s body into the snow-covered boulders that lined the shoreline . . . testing his claim of invincibility.