Wildwood

Wildwood❰Download❯ ✤ Wildwood Author Colin Meloy – Bluevapours.co.uk Prue McKeel s life is ordinary At least 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 No one s ever gone in Prue McKeel s life is ordinary At least 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 No one s ever gone in, or at least returned to tell of it So begins an adventure that will take Prue and her friend, Curtis, deep into the Impassable Wilderness There they uncover a secret world in the midst of violent upheaval, a world full of warring creatures, peaceable mystics, and powerful figures with the darkest intentions 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 Wildwood is the first in the Wildwood Chronicles trilogy.

Colin Patrick Henry Meloy is the lead singer and songwriter for the Portland, Oregon folk rock band The Decemberists In addition to his vocal duties, he plays acoustic guitar, string acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bouzouki, and percussion As of , Meloy has written a page book on The Replacements fourth album, Let It Be, released as part of the seriesMeloy was born in Helena, Montana His sister is Maile Meloy, an author often published in The New Yorker He first attended the University of Oregon before transferring to the University of Montana, where he majored in creative writing He then moved to Portland, where he met future bandmates Jenny Conlee and Nate Query Prior to being in The Decemberists, Meloy was the lead singer and songwriter of Happy Cactus and Tarkio, both indie folk bands from MontanaIn early , he embarked on his first solo tour in support of the self released six song EP, Colin Meloy Sings Morrissey, which consists of six Morrissey covers Only , copies of the album were made, and they were sold only on that tour Meloy did a second solo tour in January , playing with Laura Veirs and Amy Annelle On this tour, he sold an EP featuring covers of British folk artist Shirley Collins Shows from the tour were recorded for a live release Meloy also appeared with Charlie Salas Humara in the music video for Pillar of Salt by The ThermalsOn February , , Carson Ellis, Meloy s longtime girlfriend and graphic artist for the Decemberists, gave birth to their son, Henry Hank Meloy.

Wildwood eBook ✓ Hardcover
    Wildwood eBook ✓ Hardcover s ever gone in, or at least returned to tell of it So begins an adventure that will take Prue and her friend, Curtis, deep into the Impassable Wilderness There they uncover a secret world in the midst of violent upheaval, a world full of warring creatures, peaceable mystics, and powerful figures with the darkest intentions 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 Wildwood is the first in the Wildwood Chronicles trilogy."/>
  • Hardcover
  • 541 pages
  • Wildwood
  • Colin Meloy
  • English
  • 24 April 2019
  • 006202468X

10 thoughts on “Wildwood

  1. Miranda Reads says:

    Prue felt like someone had bored a hole in her stomach the size of a basketball. Prue has always lived in Portland, on the edges of a great and wondrous forest.She never gave it much thoughtthat is until her one year old brother Mac was carried off by a flock of crows to the heart of the forest.So, she does what any child would dogo after him with her friend Curtis.However, they soon realize that this will NOT be a simple grab and go The forest, or better known as the Wildwo Prue felt like someone had bored a hole in her stomach the size of a basketball. Prue has always lived in Portland, on the edges of a great and wondrous forest.She never gave it much thoughtthat is until her one year old brother Mac was carried off by a flock of crows to the heart of the forest.So, she does what any child would dogo after him with her friend Curtis.However, they soon realize that this will NOT be a simple grab and go The forest, or better known as the Wildwood, is farmysterious and dangerous than either of them thought possible As she walked, she breathed a quick benediction to the patron saint of sleuthing Nancy Drew, she whispered, be with me nowThere s an army of coyotes being led by a once banished queen who quickly capture Curtis Prue appeals to the rightful Wildwood king only to find that he has no interest in helping her plight She quickly exited the room, hearing the echoes of the mastiff s angered barks fade behind her down the hallway. Prue must rely on her own strength and wits to navigate this wild world of talking animals, tree magic and ancient evil.Will she save her brother Or be forever lost in the Wildwoods Ultimately I really, really enjoyed this one.I absolutely adore long middle school books the longer the better It s always fun to really have time to settle into the story and get to know the characters which we had plenty of time to do.I especially loved Prue her dry wit and cleverness truly made this story shine I loved all of her quirks from her one speed bicycle to her slight obsession with yoga Meditation That s the key Supposedly Calming your mind in total silenceThis definitely had a Narnia feel I saw several parallels but not enough to bother me.There were a few times where the wording became a bitwordy A bit outside of the typical middle school reading level We break our own hearts imposing our moral order on what is, by nature, a wide web of chaos. And yet that perfectly fit the tone of the novel So, all in all this book was a win for me YouTube Blog Instagram Twitter Snapchat miranda.reads Happy Reading

  2. Carmine says:

    2 for the writing 4 for the illustrations which are amazing 3 over all I nearly abandoned after the Portland hipster preciousness of the first chapter Seriously, apparently we needed to establish that 12 year old Prue rides a single speed bike and cruises the new used bins at the record store very important for aesthetic Also, it is probably a good thing the crows took the baby because eventually she was going to do some damage hauling him around in a flippin red wagon tied to her bike 2 for the writing 4 for the illustrations which are amazing 3 over all I nearly abandoned after the Portland hipster preciousness of the first chapter Seriously, apparently we needed to establish that 12 year old Prue rides a single speed bike and cruises the new used bins at the record store very important for aesthetic Also, it is probably a good thing the crows took the baby because eventually she was going to do some damage hauling him around in a flippin red wagon tied to her bike and leaving him outside as she stops in at the library Again, this makes for a great illustration but there is no way any parent is going to let their 12 year old pull a baby in a red wagon behind a bike even their second child, even portland hipsters They will be down at the REI with everyone else checking out the saftey specs and how sturdy the harness is on an actual bike trailer and it will be covered with bright reflectors and flags At first I thought maybe Meloy and Ellis don t yet have a child and that might have something to do with it, but apparently they do Next time I m down in Portland I ll have to look for hipsters pulling a baby in a red wagon behind their bike and I ll flag them down for an autograph.I do have some kids here at the library who choose their reading purely based on the thickness of the book thicker better , but it still has to be compelling I have a hard time seeing them slog on through.I will read the second in this projected trilogy only if they put it out in picture book format

  3. nicole says:

    BOOOOORRRRRRIIIIIIIINGGGGGGGG.It s a 541 page middle grade fiction fantasy that bored me to tears except for one story about Prue s parents that was the only part I found interesting and I d much rather have read about that for 541 pages Meloy and Ellis call this work a love letter to the woods of Portland, Oregon, and a true collboration between their work And that s admirable and beautiful, but I tried to quit this book a hundred times, until I realized I had already read so many pages tha BOOOOORRRRRRIIIIIIIINGGGGGGGG.It s a 541 page middle grade fiction fantasy that bored me to tears except for one story about Prue s parents that was the only part I found interesting and I d much rather have read about that for 541 pages Meloy and Ellis call this work a love letter to the woods of Portland, Oregon, and a true collboration between their work And that s admirable and beautiful, but I tried to quit this book a hundred times, until I realized I had already read so many pages that I might as well see it through Why is this book so long The most beautiful thing about The Decemberists the reason that I was so excited to grab a copy of this book at BEA, despite not being able to get a ticket for the autograph session because really who wakes up that early is that they have these amazing, gravely songs that concisely key word, jot that down, it will be on the test tell you a kickass story.Exhibit A The Mariner s Revenge Eight minutes and twenty five seconds to tell a perfect short story And it wasn t just the book s length that had me bitching and complaining Let s take a look at Prue s babysitting session, page 4 of your uncorrected proof for those of you following along at home After several random errands a pair of Levis, not quite the right color, needed returning the recent arrivals bin at Vinyl Resting Place required perusing a plate of veggie tostadas was messily shared at the taqueria she found herself whiling time outside the coffee shop on the main street while Mac quietly napped in the red wagon She sipped steamed milk and watched through the window as the cafe employees awkwardly installed a secondhand elk head trophy on the wall Yeah Sooooo Prue is like nine years old Or maybe eleven Who are we kidding here Who is this book for I ll tell you that, it s not for any of the kids I worked with this past year in fifth and sixth grade Even my voracious readers And it s not for me, who actually knows who Colin Meloy is, and it s not for people who liked Narnia or Harry Potter or hiking or trees or anything It s basically for people who love Portland, right I was sort of into the story s two adult heroes or villains, depending on whose side and what chapter you were on They re called the Dowager Governess and the Bandit King, so you can just stop rolling your eyes thank you very much I ll listen to every Decemberist album that rolls out and fawn over Carson Ellis s lovely drawings, but read another book in this series Never

  4. Katie Bruce says:

    I finally finished this book I think it took me 2.5 months to get through this galley That s usually not a good sign if it s taking me that long to finish something To be fair, this book is a chunker 541 pages, to be precise The concept was actually really fun, in the beginning A sort of Narnia meets Portland kind of thing, but I got bogged down in the language and style really quickly I mean, it s GREAT to have some complex vocab in a middle grade novel, for sure, but there were defini I finally finished this book I think it took me 2.5 months to get through this galley That s usually not a good sign if it s taking me that long to finish something To be fair, this book is a chunker 541 pages, to be precise The concept was actually really fun, in the beginning A sort of Narnia meets Portland kind of thing, but I got bogged down in the language and style really quickly I mean, it s GREAT to have some complex vocab in a middle grade novel, for sure, but there were definitely some sentences that reminded me of that episode of Friends where Joey figures out how to use the thesaurus feature on his computer and uses it for every single word Sometimes simpler is better, and this book just didn t have a good balance of simple vs complex language to me I don t think most kids will read this at least not all the way through It should have probably been split into 2 books, as I had trouble remembering who some characters were what had happened in the beginning when the final battle scene took place Audience is probably grown up Decemberist fans

  5. Daven says:

    What an enjoyable read this was I confess to entering into this novel with conflicting feelings I attended a young adult literature conference back in October As we were getting settled in to listen to the keynote speaker no less than Mike Lupica, not to drop names or anything, I caught glimpse of a confusingly familiar face moving across the periphery of the large, crowded roomIsn t that Colin Meloy of The DecemberistsI thoughtYeah, right, and he d be at a young adult liter What an enjoyable read this was I confess to entering into this novel with conflicting feelings I attended a young adult literature conference back in October As we were getting settled in to listen to the keynote speaker no less than Mike Lupica, not to drop names or anything, I caught glimpse of a confusingly familiar face moving across the periphery of the large, crowded roomIsn t that Colin Meloy of The DecemberistsI thoughtYeah, right, and he d be at a young adult literature conference in Naperville, IllinoisUh huh.Well, gentle skeptics, I met Colin Meloy of The Decemberists that day, along with the very talented illustrator and wife of Meloy, Carson Ellis This fine YA fantasy, Wildwood, is their collaborative effort, which of course I snatched up and marched over to their signing table with I didn t let on that I knew of his other life, as the frontman for one of my most admired bands I m a near 50 year old slightly grizzled father of three it s not flattering to gush in such a condition Plus, I considered it thoughtful of me to let him bask in the relative anonymity of a YA lit conference, where the heavy majority of attendees were middle school librarians who would ve thought Decemberists was just a catchy term for people really into the upcoming holiday season.Now, would I have read this book, let alone purchased it, had it not been written by Meloy Maybe But, maybe not I tend to repel as do opposite magnetic poles when it comes to YA fantasy I try, believe me But when fuzzy creatures begin to speak in clever tones, I recoil My ability to heave that tonnage of suspension of disbelief just isn t present in these spindly arms of mine Soa weighty dilemma now presented itself gadzooks, Meloy had written a full fledged fantasy, replete with literally armies of verbose forest inhabitants I steeled myself with continuous listens of The Decemberists wondrous The King is Dead CD, and dove in.No, I wasn t fully taken in immediately, but skillfully and wonderfully, the world of Wildwood captured me The story centers on the 12 year old Prue, whose toddler brother is carted away from a neighborhood park by a murder of crows due to her momentary lapse in vigilance The child disappears into the thick Impenetrable Wilderness across the Willamette River of Portland, Oregon Prue frantically follows, taking readers fully into an alternate world, where contingents of creatures both four legged and human vascillate between diplomacy and all out warfare Prue and her sort of friend, Curtis, are quickly separated in the depths of Wildwood Their storylines separate, and then gradually and dramatically intertwine again.Certainly, there are elements of this novel that have been presented in past YA fantasies a cruel minded Dowager Governess bent on ruling over the forest at whatever risk of bloodletting, whimsical animals who spar, cajole, and nurture, a flawed yet perfectly heroic rebel leader My favorite a rabbit sentinel sporting a colander yes, a colander as a helmet, and closing nearly every sentence with a perfunctory So I grinned every time he spoke, bless his furry little head But despite the familiarity of these elements, the novel possesses such charm and such three dimensionality that I became very happily and very willingly lost in Wildwood And the fringes of darkness in Meloy s writing prevents Wildwood from becoming merely a fluffy escape You want Meloy darkness check out the lyrics to his The Rake s Song on the CD The Hazards of Love yipesReading Wildwood, I was a surrounded reader For what better reason do we read And so, in the closing pages, when Prue emerges from the wilderness, to return to the reality of urban life, much to her parents joy, I was nothing but melancholy I didn t want to leave Toss me some trail mix, throw a colander on my grizzled head, and let me talk to the animals I m there

  6. samm says:

    I first picked up this book because, I cannot lie, I love the Decemberists After cracking open the first couple pages I was swept into the seedlings of a great adventure The world created by Meloy is so close to our own yet so far apart It takes place in the Impassable Wilderness of Portland And by the end of the book I was thinking if I went to Portland I too would be able to find this magic forest existing today just beyond my imagination It has everything I love adventure birds anim I first picked up this book because, I cannot lie, I love the Decemberists After cracking open the first couple pages I was swept into the seedlings of a great adventure The world created by Meloy is so close to our own yet so far apart It takes place in the Impassable Wilderness of Portland And by the end of the book I was thinking if I went to Portland I too would be able to find this magic forest existing today just beyond my imagination It has everything I love adventure birds animals wise old women friendship family I m quite an outdoorsy person myself, so I really loved all the nature that is so perfectly and accurately described for the setting of this story I think any kid that is into hiking, camping, and exploring the natural sciences will really love this book Adults too

  7. Lily says:

    I know an emoticon is not a review, but There is nothing right about this book.For one, it is ridiculously boring The pacing is awful by the end of the first half so 300 pages in , it felt like absolutely nothing of import had happened The characters are bland and unlovable, which is key when you re writing a timeless read totally stereotypical fairy tale.The plot often doesn t make sense Now, I m not saying that everything has to be explained I don t care that some animals talk, a I know an emoticon is not a review, but There is nothing right about this book.For one, it is ridiculously boring The pacing is awful by the end of the first half so 300 pages in , it felt like absolutely nothing of import had happened The characters are bland and unlovable, which is key when you re writing a timeless read totally stereotypical fairy tale.The plot often doesn t make sense Now, I m not saying that everything has to be explained I don t care that some animals talk, and some don t, and that this totally eco friendly alternative society still somehow has advanced technology like cars and guns No big But other questions that I can t reveal because they would spoil the clunky plot stand glaringly unanswered at the end.Stereotypes Everybody is a stereotype Crows and coyotes bad Owls wise Farmers stupid City folk rude Spunky young girls good Nerdy little boys the hero, even if Prue is ostensibly supposed to be the heroine Hippie old women nonviolent to a fault Part and parcel with stereotypes come sexism We have the bereaved mothers are evil line that we often see in fairy tales I don t get it, Meloy You make a big stink about ladies being able to fight in this alternative world, and then you make Prue silly, dull, and weak, and the Dowager Governess a baby crazy psychotic We call that lip service Go read some Irigaray.The illustrations are beautiful, I will say that And Meloy does know some beautiful, obscure words But they are not enough to make up for the totally bla story.tl dr This book is boring and sexist Don t bother

  8. Sarah says:

    EDIT I decided it really wasn t fair to compare this book with a TV show that came out after it Also the second book in the series was a big improvement on this one and made me like it a bit better.Prue McKeel is a twelve year old from Portland, tasked with watching her baby brother while their parents spend the day at the craft fair Prue transports baby Mac in the little red wagon hitched to her bicycle, and the infant is carried off by crows Prue follows the crows into the woods, right to EDIT I decided it really wasn t fair to compare this book with a TV show that came out after it Also the second book in the series was a big improvement on this one and made me like it a bit better.Prue McKeel is a twelve year old from Portland, tasked with watching her baby brother while their parents spend the day at the craft fair Prue transports baby Mac in the little red wagon hitched to her bicycle, and the infant is carried off by crows Prue follows the crows into the woods, right to the edge of a fantastic waste called the Impassable Wilderness, where no one is supposed to go.But Prue wants to rescue her brother, so after conning her parents with a lump of blanket shaped like a baby the most transparent trick baby since Kronos swallowed the stone he mistook for Zeus she bikes away the next morning, into the woods She is accompanied by her classmate, Curtis, a nerd with a fairly obvious crush on her, though why he likes her is anyone s guess.In the woods, they are quickly confronted by bipedal, clothed, musket toting, talking coyotes, who attack them Prue escapes but Curtis is captured Curtis is taken to the Dowager Governess, who reigns over the coyotes She plies him with blackberry wine and adopts him as a son instantly, drafting him into the war she wages against the bandits of the wood.Prue, meanwhile, meets a friendly mailman and gets shipped to the Governor s mansion in acivilized part of the Wood, where she has a friendly chat with a giant talking owl who promptly gets arrested While on the run from a similar fate she falls in with the bandits, who take her to see the mystics, so they can stop the Governess who of course was the brains behind kidnapping the baby from sacrificing the infant to an invasive vampire plant, which once fed on human blood will destroy the entire Wildwood.I had to keep a running list of all the things that this book stole from, or at least reminded me of The Chronicles of Narnia, especially The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, The Silver Chair, andPrince CaspianThings stolen talking beasts, evil sorceress who preys on the insecurities of young boys, blood sacrifice on a stone ruin, heroine followed into the forest by annoying boy from school, trees that turn the tide of the battleThe Wee Free Menby Terry Pratchett Things stolen kidnapped baby brother, prepubescent heroine on quest, evil queen who stole the baby, fantasy Scotsmen who steal things Labyrinth Things stolen kidnapped baby brother, heroine on quest, sorcerer who kidnapped the baby, talking animals, cowardly but ultimately helpful old manThe Trollsby Polly Horvath Things that overlap Pacific Northwest setting, little brother lost in woods, possibly haunted woods James Cameron s Avatar Things stolen Governing body that has to sit around a semi sentient tree and meditate before deciding anything Much environmentalist pontificating that detracts from the storyThe Lord of the RingsThings stolen The Eagles are coming The Eagles are coming Also, Prue lifts a line from Aragorn at one pointMacbethThings stolen the trees at the end Although those could just have easily come from LOTR or Narnia Needless to say, that s both a long list and a mostly good one Unfortunately, while Meloy imitated the superficial trappings of these works, their spirit evaded him.C.S Lewis might be one of the best writers the English language ever produced, with his immaculate sentence structure, his evocative imagery, his professorial fourth wall breaks, his barely described but internally consistent characters, and his vast knowledge and love of mythology and Scripture that holds up the structures of his own stories The Narnia books especially are shaped by the horrors of WWII.Conversely, Wildwood s prose, while literate, is swollen with too many words, many of which can be found nowhere but in a thesaurus The characters are inconsistent and remote, and there is no deeper meaning underneath No Aslan emerges to give his life for the kids and the wood This is not the stuff that epics are made of, and it saps the final conflict of the punch it was meant to have Edmund Pevensie never forgets that he made the war worse by going to the Witch, and that his actions under her influence brought about the death of Aslan He grows into a quieter, graver man than his brother Peter, humble and of sound judgment Curtis Mehlberg arguably causesdamage to Wildwood than Edmund did to Narnia taking lots of bandits out with a cannon but neither he nor anyone else seems to remember this At the end of the book, he unironically says We lost a lot of bandits in this war, as if he had nothing to do with that.Pratchett s writing style was in the same great British tradition as that of Lewis, and Tiffany Aching is one of the finest heroines YA offers She s spunky without being aggressive, brilliant without being a know it all, no nonsense but never mean She squares off with a faerie queen, but unlike the Dowager, the Queen just wants a baby for company Wentworth will probably be neglected once the capricious Queen gets bored of being a mom, but no one is going to murder the child You know, because infanticide doesn t really belong in a light hearted middle grade adventure.Compared to Tiffany, Prue is negative space, a girl shaped cardboard cut out in hipster clothes We are told at the beginning of the story that she draws birds, listens to vinyl, does yoga, is a vegetarian, likes lattes, and is finicky about her jeans I m sorry, her Levi s being the exact right shade of indigo Meloy thinks these are character traits.Also, the Nac Mac Feegle could wipe the floor with the Wildwood Bandits any day Ye take the high road an I ll take yer wallet The Trolls, Labyrinth, WFM and to a lesser extent LWW all show an older sibling learning to value an annoying younger one when the younger one is imperiled Sally, John and Edward to Robby Sarah to Toby Tiffany to Wentworth Peter to Edmund developedin the movie than the book This theme is absent in Wildwood Yet Prue isn t particularly tender with little Mac either The opposite of love is not hate, but indifference The comparison to Labyrinth doesn t hold up beyond the superficial similarities of the plot Prue is a child, comfortably ensconced in her upper class hipster existence Sarah is in her mid teens, anxious about growing up, angry at her parents for divorcing, and stuck in an affluent but apparently loveless home Jareth has nothing in common with Alexandra beyond being a magician, and he forms an interesting contrast with both her and Pratchett s Faerie Queen in his treatment of the stolen child The Goblin King is a great babysitter and a lousy tyrant most Labyrinth dwellers might not even know who their King is, whether they have a king, or what is a king He never bothers them, preferring to lounge on his throne or stalk Sarah in owl form Labyrinth is not actually a kids adventure story, but a gothic semi romance following the Hades Persephone template that, for reasons best known to itself, features singing goblin muppets I can t be certain if Meloy borrowed from The Trolls since that book is not exactly well known Which is a shame, because there aren t that many books I read in second grade that I remember now and am still stunned by how good they were The novel is episodic and remarkably short, surreal and sometimes hilarious but ultimately somber Unlike the other works on this list, this one might not technically be a fantasy, since one is never sure whether or not the titular Trolls are literally real, or the semi hallucinatory manifestation of human envy and greed At 135 pages, you can fit four Trolls inside Wildwood The stuff borrowed from Avatar is but the culmination of a problem that runs throughout the book Meloy s modern, affluent perspective screaming its presence at inopportune intervals and ruining the illusion of timelessness that he s trying to create Of the works we discussed above, Narnia and Labyrinth take place in their present days or not long before the 1940s and 80s, respectively , while Trolls has a present 1999 frame story with flashbacks to the 70s 80s where most of the action occurs This doesn t apply to WFM, which takes place entirely in an imaginary setting that satirizes high fantasy and steampunk in equal measure But while Lewis uses the vernacular of the time, he never references sports, big band jazz, or popular movies he doesn t even mention WWII all that much Henson and Co make their heroine deliberately untrendy, with her long straight hair, baggy hippie clothes, and preference for reading and solitude the male lead s anime hair, flouncy shirts and slim fitting leggings are admittedlydated, but he sof a throwback to his actor s 70s glam rock days than a true 80s hair metal bodice ripper pretty boy Trolls, likewise, has only a scant handful of grounding references and the present age of the main character to date it by My point is, the hipster pablum spouted by Prue, Curtis, and occasionally even the narrator is going to age this book terribly It s as annoying as Cassandra Clare trying to show off her knowledge of urban teen subcultures and looking like that one friend s mom who tries way too hard to be her child s friend it s like Rick Riordan referencing Hillary Duff inThe Lightning Thiefor writing a thinly veiled fictional version of Gerard Butler intoThe Lost HeroScholastic has to reissue the Animorphs series every five years or so to update the pop culture references Returning to Wildwood, Meloy s insertions have a political tang to them largely absent in Clare, Riordan and Applegate, which makes them doubly annoying When Prue rudely snaps at her mother I m a vegetarian ergo, no bacon pg 2 , the narrator seems to find her justified, and to share her belief that meat is yucky I have absolutely nothing against hipsters or vegetarians, but the snobbery in this particular book bugs me Eat whatever you want, but don t look down your nose at people with different diets Later comments about expensive jeans, yoga, and vinyl records raise the question Do any actual kids care that much about these things, or is this hipster adult projection For someone who comes so dangerously close to plagiarizing Lewis, you d think Meloy would ve noticed that the only Narnia character who sounds anything like his two protagonists is one Eustace Clarence Scrubb in fact, Curtis explanation of his pacifist beliefs pg 101 is mighty similar to Eustace trying to whine his way out of a duel with Reepicheep in Chapter II ofThe Voyage of the Dawn TreaderThe thing about Eustace who when we first meet him enjoys reading about grain elevators, has an absurd amount of faith in the British government, and regularly ingests something called Plumptree s Vitaminized Nerve Food is that he s meant to be an idiot After a traumatic experience, he becomes a dramatically different kid Funny how the many scary things that happen to Prue and Curtis never stick to them In short, if you want your MCs to be likeable, pre dragoned Eustace is the last person you want them to sound like I haven t even gotten to the supporting characters, so let s hear a bit about them now Brendan the Bandit King the leader of a ragtag band who live in the wood and terrorize merchant wagons I like him well enough, but he s not developed much Iphigenia the Mystic an old magic woman who does old magic woman things She is the chief priestess tending the Avatar tree that tells the Wildwood mystics what to do She can also talk to plants in a memorable scene towards the end, she convinces a great mass of blackberry plants to move off the road for the bandits and militia The soldiers stand around for half an hour waiting for her to finish this instead of simply cutting the plants down with the many sharp implements at hand They had precious little time to reach the place where the Dowager intended to kill Mac, but Goddess forbid they trample some plants Owl Rex a giant Great Horned Owl, who stands as tall as Prue, Owl Rex is the Crown Prince of the Avian Principality He is the rightful ruler of the Wildwood s birds, but the crows broke away from him to serve the Dowager instead Easily the second least offensive character in the ensemble, Owl is arrested shortly after being introduced and then disappears for three hundred pages Richard a cowardly but ultimately kind and helpful old man who drives an arcane mail van through the North Wildwood He becomes friends with Prue, calling to mind both Tumnus from LWW and Hoggle from Labyrinth Note that both of those characters betrayed or almost betrayed their young female friends, and were forgiven, but forgiveness is a theme and Meloy doesn t like those So, no fall from grace and mini redemption arc for you, Richard Governor Lars Svik a weaselly, ineffective leader, whom we know is weaselly and ineffective because the narrator and the characters often tell us so, although there remains no evidence that Svik is anyincompetent than the average soulless bureaucrat His secretary, Roger, gives strong Wormtongue vibes I suppose Roger shows up in a sequel, because while teased as sinister, he does nothing here Septimus the Rat the only character in the group that I can truly say I liked, Septimus lives in the Dowager s dungeon, befriends Curtis once the latter turns against Alexandra and is imprisoned, and helps the boy, the bandits, and Dmitri the turncoat coyote escape Septimus is cool because he actually seems like a rat, rather than a human in a rat s body He s sneaky, always hungry, and his scope of comprehension rarely goes beyond what he wants to eat at the moment His line, It feels good on my teeth, becomes a running gag Dmitri the coyote No development at all He used to work for the Dowager, now he doesn t, no personality All the coyotes have Russian names, and Alexandra and her late son Alexei are probably named after the last Tsarina and her son Alexandra, the Dowager Governess could have been a strong villain given a little development Her tragic backstory is easily the best part of the book Perhaps a novel targeting older readers and focusing on the clockwork boy and his crazy mother would have yielded better results for Meloy I wouldn t even mind reading the sequels if this plot thread reemerges and becomes important But I have no particular hope for that As is, Alexandra is scary but can t hold an icicle to her obvious inspiration Jadis, one of the most terrifying villains in fantasy when you tally her list of crimes and their magnitude I m also not sure how I feel about the white, redheaded Alexandra affecting the costume of a stereotypical squaw You would think that a writer as PC as Meloy would consider this cultural appropriation or at least a bit too close to the romanticized white savage trope I ll close with a few quick points.1 I have never used the word similar so frequently in a review Wildwood uses its literary tradition for a crutch, even if it looks down its nose at its predecessors.2 Each of the books films TV shows I compared it to has an underlying archetype from mythology or the Bible, that inform its symbolism and ultimate meaning LWW The Passion and Resurrection of Christ Labyrinth Hades and Persephone WFM Just a changeling myth, but Hades and Persephone and Orpheus and Eurydice figure into its second sequel,WintersmithOver the Garden Wall see below The Divine ComedyTrolls Joseph and His BrothersLet the reader take note that those four old stories have a fair amount of shared imagery seasonal change, characters entering caves or falling down holes, journeys into the underworld, prophecy, separation from and reunion with family, forgiveness Most importantly they involve death, real or perceived, and resurrection Wildwood really ought to follow along these lines, but doesn t.If you like Americana fantasy and or folk art, watch Over the Garden Wall instead This Cartoon Network miniseries features emotional depth, character growth, flashes of great dialogue My name is Greg Hi Greg, I m Beatrice My brother s name is Wirt Who cares actual suspense, symbolism, a world you can really wander in, and economic, well paced storytelling When a 110 minute, episodic cartoon with musical numbers is better at basic storytelling than a 541 page, third person past tense novel let alone this much better a that cartoon is inspired, and b something s really wrong with that book.Read The Trolls Read The Wee Free Men Check out Labyrinth And if by some crazy circumstance you still haven t visited Narnia, get yourself those books as soon as you can

  9. The Chuck says:

    This is a delight of a young adult book.After reading a number of reviews here and on , I can only add to the discussion that the largest complaints seem to be that the vocabulary is troubling and perhaps not age appropriate To that I say, Buy a dictionary, suck it up, and read better books All the praise that has already been doled out sums it up it s a great tale that s just different enough from everything else in the genre of kids fantasy to be really engaging and delightful.

  10. ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪SomeBunny Reads (Phoenix)•*¨*•♫♪ says:

    It s better to live presently By living thus, perhaps we can learn to understand the nature of this fragile coexistence we share with the world around usI believe that this book was written with impeccable technique Within its genre middle grade fantasy adventure it really shines for length and complexity and the author shows a maturity which even some adult fantasy authors can t compete with Unfortunately, even though this book was technically very good, it wasn t as enjoyable espeIt s better to live presently By living thus, perhaps we can learn to understand the nature of this fragile coexistence we share with the world around usI believe that this book was written with impeccable technique Within its genre middle grade fantasy adventure it really shines for length and complexity and the author shows a maturity which even some adult fantasy authors can t compete with Unfortunately, even though this book was technically very good, it wasn t as enjoyable especially the first part, before the action starts, I found it quite dull and boring Further on in the book, things start to becomeinteresting, and the battles are described in details and masterfully Overall, I enjoyed it because of how beautiful this book looks, because of the illustrations, and because I appreciate the talent of the author but I wasn t glued to the pages An interesting book, that definitely got me curious to go on with the series to see if it becomesfun to read

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