I finally finished reading Wildwood by Colin Meloy, and Carson Ellis. I was very intrigued by this book and loved the illustrations, they made this book seem very fascinating. I ordered it at the library and started reading straight away. It took me 2 months to finish! And that is not a good sign for a book. I had to renew it 2 times before I was done, and I finished it just so I could get rid of it. The book is massive (over 500 pages) and very heavy. Because of this, I only read it at home but even then it was incredibly uncomfortable to hold it.
The story is very simple. A baby gets abducted by crows, his sister goes into the Wildwood to rescue him but her classmate follows her, and they both get separated by some coyotes, who can talk and wear clothes. After that they meet a lot of folk (humans and animals), who live in the woods and have their own secluded society and governments. The territory is divided and some unrest can be felt between the territories. The former ruler Alexandra (she reminds me of Cersei Lannister), clearly a mad woman, wants to bring her revenge on the folk of the woods but Curtis and Prue are trying their best to prevent this.
This book is kind of a mixture of Narnia and The Snow Queen that has some hipsters mixed in. The story felt a bit too boring for me. It was written as typical children’s book but it lacked originality and character. It was too long and not very exciting. Some characters seem very interesting but they quickly get out of the picture. Prue doesn’t have much character, except her stubbornness and love for her brother. Curtis is a bit more interesting but still there are not enough personal touch or specifics that would make them gripping and interesting. Too many characters and not enough details about them. Of course, I understand that this is a children’s book and it has to have a lot of action rather than inner dialogues but some depth would be nice. The feel is like eating only the topping of the cake. Language-wise it was not bad and suitable for the target audience. Would be equally interesting for both boys and girls. There is certain degree of adventure, politics, friendship and trust.
This book has great illustrations. I love the style and they made me happy to flick through this book. I could make a completely different story from these illustrations. They are very expressive and each tells a small story of its own. I seriously doubt, if I will ever read the following books in this series, but I will gladly flick through to see more of those gorgeous illustrations. I found a video about the creative process behind this book and think it is very sweet:
Overall, I would not particularly recommend this book. It wasn’t bad (I did finish it after all) but there are so many books, that are much better than this one. I didn’t feel connected and felt a lack of originality. I rate this book by 5 out of 10, mostly because I loved the illustrations. It would make a much better graphic novel than it made a full book. That is my personal opinion, some people might find it great. If you read it or the following books in the series, please tell me what you think. I might change my mind about reading the next book.