Title: The Hazel Wood
Author: Melissa Albert
Series Status: Standalone
Publishing Date: January 30th, 2018
# of pages: 368
My Rating: 4/5 stars
Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: Her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”
Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.
* I received a free copy in exchange for a honest review *
This darkly mesmerizing read had me hooked from the beginning. I was honestly amazed at how quickly this story captivated me.
Starting with the story itself which is dark and eerie and manages to go in directions that I never anticipated. I went into this story not knowing anything other than the summary and honestly that’s the way to go into. If anymore of the plot was revealed I think I would have found the story predictable but the vagueness that starts from the beginning really made the story what it was. The moments of reveal where so well placed that I couldn’t help but be surprised by them then.
Then there are the characters who manage to add to the terrific world building by bringing the creepy factor up. Alice is always moving with her mom because bad luck follows them. Finch is the fangirl we could all only hope to be and is hoping to live out his own adventure.
One of the things that I really loved about this was the stories. They were so powerful and such a major part of the story that it was incredible to see how dangerous they became.
Albert’s writing was definitely the star of this story because it was so powerful. While I didn’t necessarily like the main characters in some moments I was still enraptured because her writing was so strong and intense that it was hard not to.
Overall this was a dark and intoxicating story and I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a eerie and dark fantasy.