- Hardcover: 560 pages
- Publisher: Balzer + Bray (Aug. 30 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 006202468X
- ISBN-13: 978-0062024688
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 4.2 x 19.7 cm
- Shipping Weight: 762 g
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #187,692 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Wildwood Hardcover – Deckle Edge, Aug 30 2011
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Meloy has an immediately recognizable verbal style and creates a fully realized fantasy world…. Ellis’s illustrations perfectly capture the original world and contribute to the feel of an instant timeless classic. Further adventures in Wildwood cannot come quickly enough. (School Library Journal (starred review))
WILDWOOD is an irresistible, atmospheric adventure - richly imagined and richly rewarding. (Trenton Lee Stewart, New York Times bestselling author of The Mysterious Benedict Society)
This book is like the wild, strange forest it describes. It is full of suspense and danger and frightening things the world has never seen, and once I stepped inside I never wanted to leave. (Lemony Snicket)
A satisfying blend of fantasy, adventure story, eco-fable and political satire with broad appeal; especially recommended for preteen boys. (Kirkus Reviews)
WILDWOOD is a beautiful object and a beautiful read. One half fairy tale, one half coming of age story, one half unrepentantly gorgeous work of art, this book is overflowing with gifts. (Jonathan Safran Foer)
Dark and whimsical, with a true and uncanny sense of otherworldliness, WILDWOOD is the heir to a great tradition of stories of wild childhood adventure. It snatched me up and carried me off into a world I didn’t want to leave. (Michael Chabon)
From the Back Cover
Prue McKeel’s life is ordinary. At least until her baby brother is abducted by a murder of crows. And then things get really weird.
You see, on every map of Portland, Oregon, there is a big splotch of green on the edge of the city labeled “I.W.” This stands for “Impassable Wilderness.” No one’s ever gone in—or at least returned to tell of it.
And this is where the crows take her brother.
So begins an adventure that will take Prue and her friend Curtis deep into the Impassable Wilderness. There they uncover a secret world in the midst of violent upheaval, a world full of warring creatures, peaceable mystics, and powerful figures with the darkest intentions. And what begins as a rescue mission becomes something much bigger as the two friends find themselves entwined in a struggle for the very freedom of this wilderness.
A wilderness the locals call Wildwood.
Wildwood is a spellbinding tale full of wonder, danger, and magic that juxtaposes the thrill of a secret world and modern city life. Original and fresh yet steeped in classic fantasy, this is a novel that could have only come from the imagination of Colin Meloy, celebrated for his inventive and fantastic storytelling as the lead singer of the Decemberists. With dozens of intricate and beautiful illustrations by award-winning artist Carson Ellis, Wildwood is truly a new classic for the twenty-first century.See all Product description
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Colin Meloy's writing is wonderful and imaginative creating a vivid world of talking creatures, mystery and some age-appropriate violence, and characters who wrestle with this weird world around them and their own inner fears. Carson Ellis' rich illustrations compliment the story and draw the reader further into this magical world.
Colin Meloy is an excellent writer however, and aside from a Wildwood sequel (which is coming), I would still not hesitate to read what he comes up with next.
I can say that the artwork does add a lot to the story and was a welcome addition.
And those who have heard his songs probably will feel fairly at home in his first novel, "Wildwood: The Wildwood Chronicles, Book I." It's a charming, well-written little adventure novel set in a bizarre Alice-in-Wonderlandish forest, and the only problem is that I didn't feel fully connected to the characters.
Prue is understandably startled when five crows kidnap her baby brother -- and upset when they all vanish into the Impassable Wilderness. Knowing how devastated her parents will be, she sets out into the wildwood to find her brother and bring him home, followed by the class nerd Curtis.
But what is awaiting them is beyond even Curtis' expectations -- a civilization populated by beasts and birds, which is being threatened by the beautiful and ruthless Governess. When the children are separated, they find themselves involved with separate groups within the Wildwood, which is about to be hit by a civil war. And if they can't get the baby back soon, the Governess will use him to destroy the Wildwood...
I can only assume that Colin Meloy really enjoyed the Narnia Chronicles and "Alice in Wonderland" as a child, because "Wildwood: The Wildwood Chronicles, Book I" is the sort of book that such a person would write. It's charming, whimsical, and has lots of talking animals who act in a humorously human manner.
And his writing is quite good, sometimes even lovely. He brings a lot of atmosphere to every scene, whether it's the Governess' moss-and-ivy throne-room or the forest bandits' blood ceremony. There's also a lot of gentle, wry humor woven through it, such as Prue getting tangled in local bureaucracies, but it grows more serious as the story winds on through the shady glades of the Wildwood.
The one problem is that it took me awhile to warm up to Prue or Curtis. They simply didn't feel very well-developed at first, which might put off some readers before Meloy has a chance to make you really like them. But about halfway through, I started really liking Curtis and Prue -- she's a very practical, kindly girl who adjusts very well to the whole Wildwood thing, while he is a budding artist with a boundless imagination.
"Wildwood: The Wildwood Chronicles, Book I" is a charming debut for people who love classic fantasy, forests and possibly the Decemberists. It's more than enough to intrigue me in the second book.
The story is written by Colin Meloy (yes, the Decemberists) and is set in Portland, Oregon. Meloy has told an engrossing story, likely categorized under fantasy fiction in the same vein that "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" might be considered fantasy fiction. The main character, Prue, a twelve year old girl must venture into the Impassable Wilderness to find her baby brother, who has been nabbed by a murder of crows. She is joined by her school mate, Curtis. They have adventures.
Meloy's story is not without violence and the odd cuss word. Words like verdant, phalanx, and warren had us reaching for the dictionary, which is a good thing. Too often, it seems, that writers have been asked to dumb down or make a story more "kid-friendly". Wildwood is a refreshing read. Our in-house critics, 9 and 7 years old, approved. They are ready to read the next book, Under Wildwood: The Wildwood Chronicles, Book II.
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