Date Published: January 30, 2012
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It took some adjusting to get used to this authors style of writing and the concept of the world he created. The concept of the story was actually really interesting and once you started learning about the boundaries and ideas of the world it became easier and more acceptable to understand. Though at times I found myself confused on what was happening I was able to eventually grasp the idea and move forward. It was in the end a fun and fast read and with a little improvement it could become something even more.
The plot was really tricky; there was a ton of sub-plots and conflict all within this story. I felt at times a little overwhelmed on whether I was in one world or the other. But there were definitely some really cool concepts being formed, the world that was building was becoming something in itself…the author was definitely clever when it came to creating a story filled with so many elements and surprises and even when I found it to be disorienting at times I also found myself impressed with the ideas itself. So overall the plot wasn’t fully built on a great foundation and lacked some in but it did have a fascinating storyline and followed along each plot point.
There were some characters that lacked the “touch”. Though they had potential to be a great asset to the story they lacked an important element. They also weren’t necessarily flat characters, they did have some life to them it was just like they were a painting and they lacked a certain color. But not all of the characters were that way, Gabe and Ellie were in fact created with some interesting qualities. And though I found Gabe a very weak character in the beginning I also found him to be a bit different as the story progressed. But in all, though the characters weren’t necessarily the winning element to me in this story they did bring some interesting texture to the story.
Gabe transformed the most in this book and I really enjoyed that it wasn’t at all rushed and unbelievable. We were right alongside him as the secrets and ideas were at last uncovered. And with those secrets and ideas coming to the surface Gabe all but had a choice to transform alongside them. As for the other characters there were some smaller and more discreet transformations, I really enjoyed that not all of them changed in this book, it leaves even more room for the characters to grow in the next book to come. And of course there were the characters that didn’t change at all but in my opinion they needed to stay the same, it made the world more real and believable, not everyone’s going to change, sometimes it takes more of destruction to change a person, in all I was pleased with this element of the story.
The description was pretty good throughout the story, at times it was really great, I was really able to picture it, I could just imagine being there, smelling the odors, hearing the sounds, and feeling the overall environment of their world. There were a few places that had a little too much description, it almost overwhelmed me to the point I was tempted to skip over it and move on but in the end that part was a very important part of the story and I can see the need for description. Though I wouldn’t call the description poetic I do think it had a nice smooth flow to it at times, the scenes were really well defined created.
I found the style to be interesting and unique, though I feel this ties closely to what I described about the plot, I did find the style to be hard to adjust to. The flip flopping between the two worlds had rough edges and at times was confusing. But I did enjoy the POV’s I was able to see through, the two minds were so alike but in a way vastly different. This was definitely a one of a kind book.
Quote of the book:
“But it was too late. Whatever had been damned up inside Gabe for so long was coming up and out, and it was not the angry outburst he'd expected. He didn't know what it was. It was if someone else was speaking, haltingly, and from a remote corner of his aching heart, a truth that he knew only as he heard it spoken."
In the woods behind the park ... buried beneath the ground ... a secret waits.
Thirteen-year-old Gabe Wrenn is unsettled by his family’s move to the creepy old house on Byrnmor Street. Even more unsettling is the prospect of being the new kid in school on Monday, and the object of everyone’s gawking stares, when all he wants is to be left alone with his sketchpad.
But unsettled can’t begin to describe how Gabe feels when he first stands in The Woods, an old oak grove bordering the park behind his house, and a mysterious voice summons him to “the Door to the East.” It’s an epileptic hallucination for sure, and another sign that his bullying older brother Sam is right: Gabe’s nothing but a brain-damaged freak.
This opinion is not shared by Ellie Yvonne, the impetuous girl next door. With disturbing conviction, Ellie declares that Gabe’s epilepsy makes him special. It could even be the key to unlocking the secret of the Brynmor Witch’s bramble-choked grave at the heart of The Woods.
I would recommend this book to sci-fi and fantasy fans. This has the elements to make a great fantasy and I think with a little editing it could become a much more rounded and fun read. I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone who is a light reader; it takes some effort to get into so if you’re one of the readers who reads just to relax this might not be the book for you. In all the ending left me wanting to continue reading this book, it definitely left you questioning on what’s to become of this world. In the end I enjoyed reading this book and it didn’t take me too long to read, this author has some great potential on creating a fun and great fantasy if only a little more practice.