11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
A darker, more involved sequel that maintains the style of the first; on a whole, a success. Recommended,
This review is from: Under Wildwood (Wildwood Chronicles) (Hardcover)
Since the events in Wildwood, Prue has returned to the unfulfilling monotony of the Outside while Curtis trains with bandits in the Wood. But their lives are disrupted again, this time by an assassination attempt which sends them on a long quest to resurrect a ruler and save the Wood. Under Wildwood continues the stylistic traditions of its predecessor, but this is a darker book. Rambling and whimsical, lengthy but so diverse--exploring new areas of the map and introducing a number of new characters--that it never drags, it affects an almost mythical tone. But this view of Wildwood and its surroundings is starker, darker, and far more grim--not a new direction to take a children's series, but one that contrasts and compliments the whimsy and highlights the book's surprisingly vivid emotional landscape. Ellis's illustrations are the ideal companion, folksy and stylized but rendered suitably in thick blacks shot through with bright red.
Unfortunately, Under Wildwood also does what I hate most about series and ends halfway, with the third book promising to finish up this particular quest. The comperably involved, extended journey suits the darker tone, but I'd still prefer a finished story; this is why I tend to avoid series. But I'm invested in Wildwood, enjoyed this installation, and will see it through. I don't believe these are new classics, but they have a certain beauty, especially for a St. John's resident: the location shines, as much a character as Prue or Curtis, and the series has a well-defined, unique tone that refuses to grow stagnant. I recommend it.