Wildwood by Colin Meloy


Reviewed by Melissa Rader (Library Staff)

This book was not scraped delicately with a thin layer of charm; this book had charm slathered on it with a trowel. And then asked for seconds.

Wildwood is a contemporary story with a decidedly old-fashioned feel. When Prue’s baby brother is kidnapped by crows, she resolves to rescue him and soon discovers that a complex animal society exists within the woods bordering her Portland, Oregon home.

I took a big chance on this book but it was so, so worth it! It’s a hefty tome (560 pages!) and the first in a series to boot, so I was worried about it becoming very involved and tedious. However, my opinion is that the pacing was absolutely perfect. Each scene was patiently described and explored, but not lingered over–I felt like we spent just the right amount of time in each one. Plus, the book always managed to take the story to the next level. I would gasp, and then smile.

I don’t know if you know this but Colin Meloy is also the songwriter and lead singer for The Decemberists. Many of their songs are finely crafted sagas (such as my current favorite, “The Mariner’s Revenge Song”) and Meloy’s impressively descriptive yet economical way with words shines through in Wildwood. And, as if this book weren’t already adorable enough (Ha!), it is illustrated throughout by Meloy’s wife, Carson Ellis AND (are you ready for this?) includes color plates. I told you it was old-fashioned! So modern and quaint.

Located in Teen Fiction (TEEN FIC MELOY BK. 1)

P.S. If you want to check out The Decemberists, they are located under CD POP/ROCK DECEMBERISTS. “The Mariner’s Revenge Song” is on their album, Picaresque

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