✭✭✫✫✫ 2 Stars
For generations Winter’s family has had the all important task of guardian to the Wood. The Wood acts as a portal from different times and places with all sorts of people wandering in and need to return to their home place/time as to not disturb the space time continuum. But Winter’s Dad has gone missing and the Wood is getting sick, so she teams up with ye old Englishmen (who is a swoon worthy teenage boy), Henry to figure out what happened to her Dad and the Wood.
It’s a great premise: dark and creepy woods, time travel, chronologically challenged romance, mystery, immortal beings, and creepy shadow monsters. But it all falls a little short.
The woods get creepy but they never seem to pose a real threat. The time travel is not explained or used enough in the plot to make it interesting. It serves for Henry to gawk at the newfangled tech of her shower, but other than that doesn’t drive the plot. The romance is nonexistent, until they are sucking face and proclaiming their love. The mystery lacked clues that were intriguing or difficult to see or figure out.
The fantasy elements weren’t fleshed out and felt as if they were just a template taken from other stories. The shadow monsters resemble a watered down version of the corsai from This Savage Song. Actually, the non-fantasy elements weren’t fleshed out either. The characters seemed like shells, with all the necessary parts to perform their plot function but nothing beyond that. Also, THEY DIDN’T HAVE ANY FLAWS. She was good at her job guarding the wood and he literally said “I will do exactly what you tell me too” and then he did.
The plot was too straight forward. There’s some minor inconveniences, but they don’t have any negative consequences and the biggest one gives them their biggest clue into what’s going on. The whole thing wraps up so quickly, too. There’s all this build up and they figure it out and deal with it in 40 pages. It feels too easy, so easy that I wasn’t impressed or moved.
It could have been really good but nothing made this book stand out at all. There were some nice fall vibes toward the beginning though.
If you have any thoughts on this book, or any other book, or anything, please let me know in the comments!