by Shea Ernshaw
Published by Simon Pulse
Release Date: November 5th 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Magic, Mystery, Paranormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy, YA
Format Read: ARC, eBook
Buy on Amazon
A haunting romance set deep in the magical snow-covered forest, where the appearance of a mysterious boy unearths secrets that awakens the enchanted, but angry, woods.
Be careful of the dark, dark wood . . .
Especially the woods surrounding the town of Fir Haven. Some say these woods are magical. Haunted, even.
Rumored to be a witch, only Nora Walker knows the truth. She and the Walker women before her have always shared a special connection with the woods. And it’s this special connection that leads Nora to Oliver Huntsman—the same boy who disappeared from the Camp for Wayward Boys weeks ago—and in the middle of the worst snowstorm in years. He should be dead, but here he is alive, and left in the woods with no memory of the time he’d been missing.
But Nora can feel an uneasy shift in the woods at Oliver’s presence. And it’s not too long after that Nora realizes she has no choice but to unearth the truth behind how the boy she has come to care so deeply about survived his time in the forest, and what led him there in the first place. What Nora doesn’t know, though, is that Oliver has secrets of his own—secrets he’ll do anything to keep buried, because as it turns out, he wasn’t the only one to have gone missing on that fateful night all those weeks ago.
I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The quotes used on this Review were taken from the ARC and may change after publication.
This is the first book I read by this author and the first thing I want to say is that I truly liked Shea’s writing. Her prose was beautiful, enjoyable and it kept you holding on to every word.
The atmosphere and the setting were absolutely fantastic. The woods were like another character themselves. Everything came to life in my head and it made me feel trapped, scared or creeped out… it made me feel wonder and awe… I felt like I was there living everything with the characters in this winter town and these mystical woods.
As for the main characters, I really really liked both of them. Both individually and together as friends, as a team and as a couple. Their relationship was incredibly cute and I was shipping them and rooting for them so hard.
However, I do feel that we could have gotten more character development (and more development on their relationship/feelings). That was something that was definitely missing, and it would have made everything 100% better. Neither of them actually grew very much and it seemed like a missed opportunity. Same thing for the side characters.
Now, I absolutely loved the addition of the beautiful, amazing, fierce and loyal and overall heartwarming dog (GOING HARD ON THIS -CAUSE HE DESERVES IT lol), he totally owned my heart.
There are certain plot twists in this book. My experience with them was basically: predicting it, then thinking “no, of course that’s not it, duh”, and then predicting something entirely different and rolling with that theory for the rest of the book only to find out that what had crossed my mind at first and I dismissed was what was actually happening LOL
In general, I really liked the story though. The mystery was well-executed and it kept you on your toes during pretty much the entire book. It had an incredibly fast pace in which there was not a single page that was boring or unnecessary. I totally devoured the book, right from the very beginning, I was hooked. The story made me feel excited, invested and so many different things including soooo heartbroken that I wanted to cry at a certain point lol
I also really liked getting all those insights into the Walker family and their powers, all the magical aspects of the book regarding the witches were amazing and something I enjoyed a lot.
do need to say is that the ending felt extremely rushed in my personal opinion
and I really wish we could have seen more of the aftermath once we had gotten to
the big reveal.
I couldn’t help but have a sour taste in my mouth regarding the finale.
I heard there were some changes to the final book and I’m very interested in knowing what those are and if they improve the story the way it needed. I also am definitely reading this author again, I’m gonna meet her at the FIL Guadalajara this December and I am SO EXCITED about that!
I truly enjoyed this story and I am glad I got to read it. I definitely recommend it.
Asis is a Mexican girl whose life changed at the age of six when her father read the first chapter of Harry Potter to her. Ever since that night, the book world sucked her in and she’s never been seen amongst mortals again.
I am a professional Translator-Interpreter, currently working as an ESL teacher at an elementary school and an ELE teacher online. I have a passion for languages and an imagination that works 24/7. I am a romantic at heart, and my favorite genre is fantasy.
I’m incredibly obsessive towards anything I like, I can’t just like something, I always end up obsessed with it.
I love Scotland, musical theatre, Taylor Swift, beautiful places, Critical Role, and I love stories in all formats.
Stories are a refuge for me and they’ve always been, they are also the one thing that makes me feel, interact and truly live.
I’m not the most social person but when it comes to fangirling… whenever, wherever… I’m your girl. Hit me up!