(Website, Goodreads)Published by Feiwel & Friends on 2017-08
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult Fiction
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.
The Wood by debut author Chelsea Bobulski was a book I was immediately drawn into and unable to put down. It had a great mix of interesting characters and a page turning story.
Winter is a guardian of the wood and this definitely complicates her life. I loved how Bobulski blended this supernatural aspect with the normal aspects of a life of a teenager. It truly showed the strain Winter is under trying to complete school while trying to protect travelers now that her father is gone. I liked Winter. She is smart and takes her charge seriously. Under the training of her father and now the guidance of his good friend, Uncle Joe (not really her uncle), she has become good at her work but there is always danger out in the wood.
Things are changing in the wood though and Winter needs to figure out what is happening. Travelers are in more danger than normal and despite following all the rules, Winter also finds herself fighting for her life unexpectedly. When one traveler gives her some trouble and ultimately returns to the wood, she decides to break the rules and trust him to help her figure out what is going on.
I really enjoyed the supernatural aspect of this story. As I mentioned, Winter’s Uncle Joe isn’t really her uncle – he is fae. Eventually the fae recognized how dangerous the wood could be so they formed the council and the guardians were assigned to protect the wood from being used by those with bad intentions. The bloodlines of these guardians are tied to their sections of the wood and the magic pulls them to it.
In addition to Winter and Joe, we also have Henry who happens to be a pivotal character to this story for a few reasons. He added a layer that made the story a bit more interesting considering he came from the 18th century. I loved the chapters where he was exposed to things we consider common and seeing them through his eyes. But…there is a reason Henry is there and it all comes back to the wood. His parents happen to be members of the council and they also happen to be missing. He is determined to find out what happened to them and to do that, he needs to get through Winter’s section of the wood.
I also really loved the relationship that Winter had with her mother and her friend Meredith. They brought the story back to the real world. Yes, Winter had this life that forced her to be something more than a teenager but these two characters brought everything back to normal every time she stepped outside of the wood.
The changing wood, the disappearance of Winter’s father, and the disappearance of Henry’s parents are connected to a larger issue. I’m not going to say much about this because I don’t want to ruin anything about this story. Admittedly I figured things out but I thought Bobulski did a great job bringing everything together.
Overall I was impressed with this book. I found the characters interesting and the story kept me interested and turning the pages. I also have to say that the cover to this book is perfect. If you are looking for something a little different, check this one out. I definitely look forward to more stories from Chelsea Bobulski and will be watching to see what her next book is.
Thank you to the publisher for the review copy!