"The White Forest" Book Review
Written by Jennifer Turner
Published by Touchstone Books
Written by Adam McOmber
2012, 322 pages, Fiction
Released on July 19th, 2013
I'll admit that when I first started reading The White Forest, I simply couldn't get into it. If this book hadn't been assigned to me, I would have likely set it down and never finished it. I was glad I forced myself to read it, because it went from boring to amazing so very quickly.
The novel takes place in Victorian England and centers on the disappearance of a young man, Nathan Ashe. His two best friends, Jane and Maddy, decide to investigate a cult he was involved in, hoping to find him. Jane is able to sense energies in objects, a talent Nathan had become obsessed with, causing a rift in the trio's friendship.
Jane's talent garners not only the attention of the police, who believe she was involved with his disappearance, and the cult's leader, Artison Day, who hopes to use Jane to essentially unmake the world.
What really won me over for this novel is how wonderfully descriptive author Adam McComber is. I could see the surroundings in rich detail and felt like I was more a part of the story rather than an observer. The plot started out slow, but once McComber settled into his groove it grew into an amazing and original story. This is coming from a girl who has never been crazy about gothic horror.
I do have some quibbles with the book though. Minor characters that only appear in a handful of pages are fleshed out, but that same courtesy is not granted to the main characters. Maddy appears to be a one note shrew whose motivations come off as weak and petty. And Nathan, whom the novel is partially centered on, is dull and I didn't really care if he was found or not.
The ending seems rushed and I left the novel not quite understanding what had actually happened. I reread the last chapter a couple of more times and still did not understand what the author was going for.
I still liked The White Forest despite the weak ending and rather bland central characters. There are certainly worse ways to spend your time. Such as watching Showgirls, unedited while sober.