Book Reviews

The Waking Forest by Alyssa Wees

The Waking Forest

Title: The Waking Forest
Author: Alyssa Wees
Rating: ★★★

The waking forest has secrets. To Rhea, it appears like a mirage, dark and dense, at the very edge of her backyard. But when she reaches out to touch it, the forest vanishes. She’s desperate to know more—until she finds a peculiar boy who offers to reveal its secrets. If she plays a game.

To the Witch, the forest is her home, where she sits on her throne of carved bone, waiting for dreaming children to beg her to grant their wishes. One night, a mysterious visitor arrives and asks her what she wishes for, but the Witch sends him away. And then the uninvited guest returns.

The strangers are just the beginning. Something is stirring in the forest, and when Rhea’s and the Witch’s paths collide, a truth more treacherous and deadly than either could ever imagine surfaces. But how much are they willing to risk to survive?

The premise of this novel reminds me of a blend between Hansel and Gretel and Peter Pan. Rhea, our protagonist, lives with her parents, sister, and pet fox. Dreaming, and unable to know if they are reality or not, she sees this shadow of a boy (reminded me of the naughty Peter Pan) that believes they have met before. Slowly, members of her family start disappearing (but no one else believes they ever existed but her).

In an alternate universe, we come across a witch who is visited by a fox. This witch grants children wishes.

The waking forest has secrets. To Rhea, it appears like a mirage, dark and dense, at the very edge of her backyard. But when she reaches out to touch it, the forest vanishes. She’s desperate to know more—until she finds a peculiar boy who offers to reveal its secrets. If she plays a game.

To the Witch, the forest is her home, where she sits on her throne of carved bone, waiting for dreaming children to beg her to grant their wishes.

Eventually, the stories are woven together. I think this is where I got lost. I enjoyed the chapters alternating between characters and them being separate. Also, people dreaming and being involved in different worlds is getting a bit old for me, and I find myself not enjoying those stories as much. I wanted to love it and I felt like there was so much more potential, I just think the execution lost me a little bit.

tenor

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