Monday, February 5, 2018

The Beginning Woods by Malcolm McNeill

The Beginning WoodsMy name is Max, and adults have been Vanishing all over, even my adopted parents. I traveled to the Beginning Woods, searching for my Forever Parents, but I’ve now discovered the Vanishings began with my Appearance. I know I Appeared on a library shelf, but I still don’t know how it happened. In The Woods, I’ve seen lampposts with New Light that can kill the fairy folk, and groups of dragons are attacking cities. Something’s terribly wrong. The Dark Man told me I must stand inside dragon fire to learn where I came from, but only Dragon Hunters can survive. I know I'm different from others, but I don't want to be a Dragon Hunter. Martha, are you there? I don’t know what to do and could really use your advice. C’mon my queen! Martha?

This book is probably for more mature readers, as the author has a very interesting and creative imagination. I must admit that I was confused myself while reading the early parts of the book. Things cleared up a bit once Max arrived in the Beginning Woods. The conflict that emerged pitted science against creative thought. Electric light was fatal to creatures of The Woods, and the Vanishings were blamed on the useless ideas found in books. A very unique situation was presented inside Max’s character, literally. Martha was a dead girl who entered Max through a cut on his finger and was able to use Max as an anchor instead of her gravestone. This allowed her to communicate inside his head and appear to him when needed. In addition, the setting where Martha died was also found inside Max, and she would drown again in the same pond whenever she lost hope. It will make more sense once you read the book. Overall, it was an entertaining book that made me think, a great combination!

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