Book Review: The Wood

Posted October 6, 2017 by Kara in book review, Kara / 1 Comment

Book Review: The WoodThe Wood by Chelsea Bobulski
Published by Feiwel & Friends on August 1st 2017
Genres: young adult, fantasy, horror
Pages: 320
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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three-half-stars

After her father goes missing in the woods that they protect, Winter tries to seek the truth in what happened, why the wood is changing, and what it all has to do with the arrival of a mysterious stranger in this thrilling YA debut.
When Winter’s dad goes missing during his nightly patrol of the wood, it falls to her to patrol the time portals and protect the travelers who slip through them. Winter can't help but think there's more to her dad's disappearance than she's being told.
She soon finds a young man traveling in the wood named Henry who knows more than he should. He believes if they can work together to find his missing parents, they could discover the truth about Winter’s dad.
The wood is poisoned, changing into something sinister—torturing travelers lost in it. Winter must put her trust in Henry in order to find the truth and those they’ve lost.
Bobulski’s eerie debut is filled with friendship, family, and the responsibilities we choose and those we do not.

Chelsea Bobulski’s debut was interesting. I mostly liked it, but it left me sort of feeling bereft of emotion, and emotional connection to books and characters is a very personal thing, so what may have been my experience will not be someone else’s, so I wouldn’t not recommend this book based on that.

In fact, I was quite won over by the genre-bending weirdness going on in The Wood. It’s mostly fantasy, with fae (they are immortal and called The Old Ones and The Council) and a creepy wood, but a little bit of Science Fiction (due to the time travel aspect), and a good helping of horror (it was creepy and a bit gory with some really nasty creatures).

The world-building was actually super creative and my favorite part of the novel. As I’ve mentioned time and time again, time travel novels usually do not work for me, and more often than not, I avoid them like the plague. But this one did because it was simple and uncomplicated, and as a result, not convoluted and overwritten. If it takes too long to explain something that my eyes start to glaze over, I’m out. That didn’t happen here and I’m thankful.

I also truly appreciate the author’s attention to the writing. Delightful turns of phrase, vivid sensory language, and it really kept the images moving in my brain like a film. These are the types of books I seek out because I’m a visual reader. I will definitely remember that in the future as this author continues to write and publish, and her new book looks right up my alley again. I like authors that take risks and push boundaries with storytelling.

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