The Beginning Woods by Malcolm McNeil
Published September 2016 by Pushkin Press
Source: Allen & Unwin
Rating: 2 stars
From the blurb: A MYSTERY NO ONE CAN SOLVEI took one look at the beautiful cover of The Beginning Woods (designed by the talented Helen Crawford-White at studiohelen), read that blurb, and wanted to love this book. At first I thought I would. I found the story charming, enchanting, and mysterious, up until the end of the first third, and then I got a bit lost in the woods. I found my interest waning, it was all a bit confusing and hard to follow. I pushed myself to keep reading, hoping to find more of the magic from the beginning, but in the end I skim read to the end.
The Vanishings started without warning. People disappearing into thin air - just piles of clothes left behind. Each day, thousands gone without a trace.
A BABY NO ONE WANTED
Max was abandoned in a bookshop and grows up haunted by memories of his parents. Only he can solve the mystery of the Vanishings.
A SECRET THAT COULD SAVE THE FUTURE
To find the answers, Max must leave this world and enter the Beginning Woods. A realm of magic and terror, life and death.
But can he bear the truth - or will is destroy him?
A STORY THAT WILL TAKE YOU TO ANOTHER WORLD
Greater than your dreams. Darker than your fears. Full of more wonder than you could ever desire. Welcome to the ineffable Beginning Woods...
Ableist language: crazy, idiot.
The Beginning Woods started out as a captivating and magical read, and I only wish that sentiment had carried on into the rest of the story. I'm sure there'll be readers who will enjoy this more than I did.
Thank you to Allen & Unwin for my review copy. RRP A$16.99.