Author: Ruth Frances Long
Series: Stand Alone
Published By: Dial Books (August 16, 2012)
Source: ARC Provided By The Publisher (in exchange for an honest review)
Genre: YA Fantasy
My Rating: 3.5 Stars
A darkly compelling mix of romance, fairy tale, and suspense from a new voice in teen fiction
The trees swallowed her brother whole, and Jenny was there to see it. Now seventeen, she revisits the woods where Tom was taken, resolving to say good-bye at last. Instead, she's lured into the trees, where she finds strange and dangerous creatures who seem to consider her the threat. Among them is Jack, mercurial and magnetic, with secrets of his own. Determined to find her brother, with or without Jack's help, Jenny struggles to navigate a faerie world where stunning beauty masks some of the most treacherous evils, and she's faced with a choice between salvation or sacrifice--and not just her own.
I didn't exactly know what to expect from this book after reading the synopsis. The furthest thing from my mind was that it would be about the fae. I have no idea why I didn't even consider that possibility, now looking back on it, I really shouldn't have been quite so dense I suppose.
I sort of have a love hate relationship with books about fairies. I have found that I either really love them or I really really dislike them. There really isn't an in between for me. So I tend to shy away from them unless I have heard a lot about them and they get highly recommended to me. Maybe because I have found that there really is only so much you can do with fairy folklore and legends before they all start to blend together and start copying each other until you really can't tell one fairy book apart from another (with some exceptions of course).
So I was pleasantly surprised to find that this one was starting off like all the others. In fact I was pretty darn curious about where the story was going to go after reading the first chapter.
Trees attacked Jenny's brother Tom, who right from the beginning seems a little strange himself, like maybe there is more to him than even she knows, and sucked him into the nothingness and she is left alone to defend herself and tell her tale, with no one to believe her and her friends and family left to question about her sanity.
This is definitely no ordinary fairy tale. More like something that would have come from the imaginations of the Brothers Grimm.
This is indeed a dark tale of treachery, betrayal and death. Possession and cruelty. The forest is not kind in the Realm nor are most of its inhabitants. And the Rulers are even worse, they are what nightmares are made of.
Even though this story is a dark one there is also some light, because there can never be darkness without some light too.
This is also a story of hope and freedom. One of love and one of a quest and old magic. A story of redemption.
The imagery in the story is just beautiful. Almost as beautiful as the creatures are horrifying and gruesome.