by John Connolly

Reviewer Rating:


David loses a lot of things during the course of this novel. His mother to a horrible disease, the relationship with his father as he remarries and has another child, his home, as his father relocates them to be closer to his war job, and his sense of belonging in the world. David copes with all of this by retreating into his books while simultaneously losing clarity of what’s real in the world. He finds himself in a violent world that melds together memories of fairy tales with those of nightmares. He finds help with many of the characters that live in the woods but is hunted by many others, including talking wolves and the Crooked Man who promises to return him to his world if he’ll only tell him the name of his new step brother. This story is incredibly disturbing as it lures you in and then perverts and twists the stories we grew up with around David, changing him from a normal 12 year old boy to someone far older than he should be.  Dark and powerful, Connolly’s book is worth the feelings of unease one experiences while living in this strange world through David’s eyes.

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