Author: Colin Meloy
Illustrator: Carson Ellis
Summary: 'Prue McKeel's life is ordinary. That is, until her brother is abducted by a murder of crows and taken to the Impassable Wilderness, a dense, tangled forest on the edge of Portland. So begins an adventure that will take Prue and her friend Curtis deep into the Impassable Wilderness. And what begins as a rescue mission becomes something much greater as the two friends find themselves entwined in a struggle for the very freedom of this wilderness. A wilderness the locals call Wildwood.'
My thoughts: On my recent trip to Margaret River, I broke my usual habit of buying at least two books while down there and only bought one - Wildwood. I had previously read a sample of the first two chapters or so on my Kindle and had decided that I would give it a go sometime.
I must admit that what first drew me to this book was simple aesthetic pleasure - I adore the illustrations done by Carson Ellis in this (and ON this) book, and they did much to improve my reading experience when I found myself bed-bound for a few days whilst reading this.
For me, this book was reminiscent of the great children's fantasy stories like The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, or even Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Caroll. As you can see in the summary, it features two friends who end up wandering into a completely different world they never knew existed, and ending up in greater trouble than they thought possible.
I loved the characters in this book for their backgrounds, their descriptions, and what they stood for. Having said that, though, I sometimes found myself a bit unconvinced by their motivations to do certain things in the book. For example, early in the book (it is quite early, but for those who don't want to know anything, perhaps skip to the rating?) I was confused as to Curtis's real reasons for following Prue. The reasons he offered just seemed a bit wishy-washy - I felt like there needed to be more demonstration of emotional attachment and deliberation before these decisions could just be made. This, unfortunately, was a common theme throughout the book, which brought me down a little bit.
I also had some issues with things being left unresolved at the end of the book, but I feel that perhaps these things shall be addressed in the second book.
While I had my issues with this book, I did love the premise and the setting. I very nearly got completely lost in the world of Wildwood, and I adored that. I think I'll definitely give Under Wildwood a go - I still have the hunger for more.
Keep up with what I'm reading over here!