The Wood by Chelsea Bobulski
Published by: Feiwel & Friends
Pub Date: August 1, 2017
Format: hardcover | Source: purchased
Genres: young adult, fantasy, science fiction (time travel)
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.
Bobulski’s eerie debut is filled with friendship, family, and the responsibilities we choose and those we do not.
The Wood has flown under the radar since its release so I was glad when my friend recommended it to me. It was just the sort of book I always look for this time of year! It’s creepy and mysterious, and I am always a fan of a fantasy wood setting. I was surprised by the time travel element but it was handled well and I liked the mythology of the guardians. Winter herself doesn’t time travel but helps lost travelers get back to their own time periods/countries. The first half was particularly strong; I liked Winter a lot because she was a believable teenage girl with an unbelievable responsibility and I could feel the suspense of the Wood and the scariness of the creatures. I liked her relationship with her mother too. I also like seeing fish out of water characters adjust to their surroundings, like Henry. Unfortunately I thought the second half descended into cliche- especially the villain- and the resolution felt very fast paced; I rolled my eyes a couple times. Still, this is a good read for fans of light SFF and atmospheric fall reads! I’m glad I gave it a chance.
Have you read The Wood? It seems like I’ve found an accidental subgenre I love: creepy, sometimes sentient, wood settings. Has this ever happened to you? Let me know!