The waking forest has secrets. To Rhea, it appears like a mirage, dark and dense, at the very edge of her backyard. But when she reaches out to touch it, the forest vanishes. She’s desperate to know more—until she finds a peculiar boy who offers to reveal its secrets. If she plays a game.
To the Witch, the forest is her home, where she sits on her throne of carved bone, waiting for dreaming children to beg her to grant their wishes. One night, a mysterious visitor arrives and asks her what she wishes for, but the Witch sends him away. And then the uninvited guest returns.
The strangers are just the beginning. Something is stirring in the forest, and when Rhea’s and the Witch’s paths collide, a truth more treacherous and deadly than either could ever imagine surfaces. But how much are they willing to risk to survive?
With a description that reads nearly like a fairy tale and a magical cover, do I really need to explain why I wanted to read this book?
The writing is lush, beautiful, and velvety, with imagery that will transport you to another place. Some lines I re-read several times because of the way the author weaves words together. There are basically three stories in this book, and the chapters alternate. Somewhere around the middle or so, it’s revealed how they’re connected. Rhea and her family are adorable and quirky, and the Darkness in the attic is spine-tingling and alluring. It’s a nice touch.
With the first half of the book, I was all in and just wanted to find a secluded corner with no interruptions. And then I got to the second half, and it lost me. It has the feel of a fairy tale, but I felt untethered, and unsure of what was real in the story. Even the dialogue was off, sounding more juvenile, and I found myself skimming the pages instead of savoring them as I had in the first half of the book.
Many other reviewers loved the dreamy, storybook feel of this novel, but I need to feel more grounded in my reading, with a better grasp of the plot. Even though it turned out not to be for me, I’d still recommend this book because of the extraordinary writing, and I wouldn’t hesitate to read another novel by this author in the future.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.