I almost stopped at page 30 but am so glad I continued because I rated it a 4.7/5 stars. It’s a standalone enemies to lovers with dual points of view. The author mentioned that this idea came from a gender reversal Beauty and the Beast to see if she could write a boy falling in love with a monster. I love this because my next work in progress with a temporary title named, “The Phantom Ink” would be based on the same concept, Brody enraptured by the villain, “Maura.”
Anyways, the ultimate question of “Into the Heartless Wood” is what gives a being a soul?
This is the first book I’ve read in a while where the main character is a male which is new for me. 17 year old Owen lives too close to a magical/destructive forest that seems to have violent witch trees of sorts. His father wants to get him away from this area as soon as possible since the forest took his wife/children’s mother but Owen wants to stay and study astronomy under his father and help raise his little sister. He takes a typical train trip to deliver charts of stars when the train crashes and everything goes wrong…! Then I got to read the short point of view from “Monster” which seems to be from the murderous trees’ perspective.
Why is Owen different than the rest? Why did she let him live? What does that mean? Will he ever get home to his little sister and Dad? Will he find out why the forest is growing abnormally fast? Will Owen prevent other deaths? Will his father push him away from home? And my most important question… will he fall in love with ‘monster?’ (who I’m assuming is the witch’s daughter.)
Most first person present tense books read like contemporary romance so it’s refreshing that this one still has the historical fantasy and earthy vibe.
No! Not Awela! In such a short time I already truly care for all the members of this family. The author has done a fabulous job of showing their closeness, their humanity, and dependence on one another for survival and emotional support. I love that Owen is the caregiver and how much he loves them.
The Monster’s point of view chapters are short but almost read like dark poetry.
Some of the prose style reminds me of the Shatter Me series.
In the beginning the story is a little repetitive as he’s trying to figure stuff out and remember. I love morally gray characters and the theme of seeing the good in monsters.
It’s confusing when the names Owen, Seren and siren are all so similar sounding. But I do love how her chapter titles change at chapter 20.
Halfway through, I’m taking a break before starting part 2. This is a quick, easy read with a straightforward plot that shows the desperation of teenage emotions. I’m loving the poetic vibe of the dark prose in this enchanted forest. It reminds me of Holly Black’s “The Darkest Part of the Forest.”
Everything makes an unpredictable twist when he’s serving the king and I have no idea where the story is going now. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad.
I’m a bit bored by the training session portion. There are two instances where some event happens in a preceding chapter and then in the chapter after it’s actually happening about 10 minutes prior to the chapter before. Which I don’t like at all.
Wait. His choice at the end of chapter 57 is confusing motives.
At the big battle scene I’m getting a little worn down by the constant dramatic “this is my last breath” and “i will not live to see that day” because it’s been said so many times now that I feel like the characters are over exaggerating. I mean, obviously it’s a life or death situation but it seems like every conflict has been pivotal up to this point.
Also this comment from the mother makes no sense: “It is time for you to prove your worth, worthless one.”
I’m happy with the ending and fulfilled with the conclusion. I would’ve liked another resolution scene, but that’s okay. I highly recommend this one.