Publisher: Recorded Books
Publication Date: July 15, 2014
Source: Librarything Early Reviewers program and Recorded Books in exchange for an honest review. Receiving this book in no way effects my opinion or review.
Heather Mackey has captivated listeners everywhere with this spellbinding middle-grade fantasy debut. In Dreamwood, Lucy Darrington sets off in search of her father, who’s somewhere in the Pacific Northwest on a quest for the magical dreamwood. Accompanied by her friend Pete, Lucy soon runs up against Lupine princesses, sea monsters, and the frightening secret of dreamwood itself. (Fantasy/Ages 10 and up)
Lucy Darrington has no choice but to run away from boarding school. Her father, an expert on the supernatural, has been away for too long while doing research in Saarthe, a remote territory in the Pacific Northwest populated by towering redwoods, timber barons, and the Lupine people. But upon arriving, she learns her father is missing: Rumor has it he’s gone in search of dreamwood, a rare tree with magical properties that just might hold the cure for the blight that’s ravaging the forests of Saarthe.
Determined to find her father (and possibly save Saarthe), Lucy and her vexingly stubborn friend Pete follow William Darrington’s trail to the deadly woods on Devil’s Thumb. As they encounter Lupine princesses, giant sea serpents, and all manner of terrifying creatures, Lucy hasn’t reckoned that the dreamwood itself might be the greatest threat of all.
Lucy Darrington is in search of her father after arriving at home to find that he had left on an elaborate and dangerous quest to cure a rot that was taking over all trees. Knowing very little about where he went and why, Lucy must piece together notes he left behind, information from the townspeople, and use her logic to find where he is and how to get him home safely.
As much as this plot line was wonderful and seems like it would be a thrilling book to listen to or read - it was a bit slow-going. Lucy was a bit of a know-it-all throughout the story and the tale itself dragged on, I felt mostly annoyed which Lucy as the main character and on top of that I found myself actively listening to other things so I wouldn't have to sit and listen to more of the book.
I am not saying that it was a bad book, it was just SUPER slow and so every time I started listening to it I found myself zoning-out and not paying attention for ling periods of time or just not caring about the plot at all. On top of that in the latter half of the book, there was a lot of violence and murdering and for a book categorized as Middle Grade, I found it to be a bit graphic and over the top - for instance impaling a man with tree branches (If I had been a kid reading this I would become petrified of trees! - Maybe I am not the best example since I have crazy fears of things, but still!).
What I did like about this book was that it was creative. There was a creepy forest and the magic of it all was well done. The author did a good job explaining how the island/ forest operated and why - through Lucy and her father. Also there was a good a mount of suspense in the final few discs of the audiobook to keep a reader on their toes. Not the best book I have listened to, but also nowhere near the worst.