Genre: YA Fantasy
Recommended Age: 16+ (violence, blood, some language)
Author: Melissa Albert
I received a free copy of this book on Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Flatiron Books!
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. – Amazon.com
I love fairy tales and I’m sure almost everyone in the world has heard the phrase “once upon a time” uttered once in their lifetime. But what if there were tales that were dark, like darker than the Grimms Brothers fairytales? Enter Tales From The Hinterland! A book about those very dark, violent, and haunting tales. And enter Alice, a girl who is trying to figure out who she is, why her and her mother keep having to leave their homes, and who kidnapped her mother. She, along with superfan Ellery, travel to find her grandmother, the author of Tales From The Hinterland, to discover the answer to those questions. So, let’s start off by saying that this book was actually really great! I thought the characters were all very well developed, the plot was intriguing and very well developed, and the world building was fairly well done as well. I thought that I could see these fantastical places pretty clearly in my mind.
However, I did feel that the pacing was a bit off in some spots. The book definitely has its high and lows in terms of action, but for the most part it’s mostly action. I managed to read the book in a day. That’s how fast of a read it was for me. On the subject of action, I did think that the action bits (like fighting and high stakes scenes) were a bit muddied. They weren’t that clear to me as a reader and I felt that if those scenes were expanded a bit more then they could have made a bit more sense. The language is also flowery in places and while it didn’t bug me I know it does some people which is why I mention it.
Verdict: If you’re looking for a dark and action-y read this February I’d definitely choose this one! It was one of my favorite reads so far this January and I think that this will be a favorite read for a lot of other people too this year. Definitely one of the most anticipated reads that is worth the hype in my opinion.