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"I loved the ending. It was both surprising and lended a hopefulness needed for me after all of the action. The story definitely stuck with me for many days after finishing the book!" - MoonshineArtSpot --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
From the Author
Morel mushroom hunting has always been a favorite among our family. If you've never enjoyed a trip into the woods to look for this fungus, I suggest you give it a try. You never know you just might love it! --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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One of the keys to me liking a book is not guessing the ending before I should. Often it's before 20% of the way through and I do not like that.
With Black Woods, the odd thing was that not only did I NOT guess the ending, I didn't even think about trying to.
The book was fast paced, well written with a few typos ( its free, get over it) and left me wanting more from our lead characters in the book. Two older, mushroom hunting sisters who have a close bond.
This book was complete as is, so don't think you'll have to buy a sequel to get the whole story, but the characters were well written with a keen insight into how friends and/or siblings talk and act together. There's not a lot to say about the story that is not in the description and I do not want to give any spoilers.
I read this in one sitting of less than 3 hours.
I hope for more from Laura Wright LaRoche.
But the story...ah...the story was magnificent. I found myself with tears in my eyes when I thought one of the sisters didn't make it. The tension was nicely played during the final moments of the climb to the top of the hill. I was chanting in my head..come on you can make it..come on climb. I will be reading the second book and hope to learn more about the origins of the creature.
i think the writer was playing on a very basic fear that everybody has felt at some point. walking alone through the woods at night, well, theres nothing else quite like that. you can hear every sound and the crack of a twig becomes something other worldly, especially in the dark
i believe this one follows on from so much that went before it in the good classic horror movies. you have those pleasant characters who seem very real and you have the impossible situation and then you have that aspect of horror. the situation they end up in, in the woods, is a kind of terror but in the end there is a twist to it that adds another dimension of fear. it is the kind of fear that really cant be escaped.
First, three things regarding negative points mentioned in other reviews.
1. The "overuse" of information about mushrooms and hunting them: I am NOT a mushroom hunter, nor did I know anything about the activity prior to reading this book. Was there a lot of mushroom mentions? Sure, since that is the major hobby of the two senior characters. However, as someone who loves mysteries in the cozy genre, the mushrooms were no more distracting than if the lead characters were endlessly referring to their animals, scrapbooking, cooking, or soccer mom activities. It is an integral part of the characters' personalities, and quite honestly, I didn't think there actually was an overabundance that detracted from the story.
2. The speech of the 20-something males: Again, I did not see a problem with this. Do they talk like characters on Jersey Shore? Nope, they actually related in FULL sentences without a ton of vulgarity or slang. I think this may be a regional thing for readers, since there are still parts of middle America where young men can speak without sounding illiterate.
3. The improbability of "two old ladies to the rescue": First of all, since both characters were part of the local search and rescue team, it isn't that big of a stretch that they would be called in. Additionally, others had already been involved in the search prior to their arrival on the scene. And since many smaller communities rely on volunteers, it is not a stretch that the police would have utilized their resources first, since they did arrive due to a 911 call of injury.
Second, a few things I really liked about the book:
1. I liked that the author did not fully describe the "monster in the woods" in great detail. Although there are minor descriptive details, the sense of evil comes from atmosphere, allowing the reader to create their own picture of WHAT the monster might be.
2. Although some may be disappointed in the ending, I like the throwback to a Twilight Zone story-within-a-story-within-a-dream. It adds a sense of macabre to the whole tale, as well as setting up nicely to come back for more in the series.
3. This is a good beginning for a continuing series. If you liked everything tied up neatly at the end of a book, this will not be the one to purchase. Since I find that many books rush to tie up loose ends, I liked the fact that there is more out there to discover about the Black Woods.
With all that said, the reason that I only gave this book three stars is quite honestly the lack of style in the writing. The story was obviously thought out and drawn together, but the language was flat, and real descriptions of any sort were minimal at best. I think the author has potential with this series, but it needs to flow with the words, instead of so many short, choppy sentences. I'm hoping that the following books will contain more lively drama, because the author has a chance to develop an enjoyable series.
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