Sunday, 5 March 2017

Book Review: Darkly Wood II by Max Power

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Synopsis: This chilling sequel to Darkly Wood brings us back to the mysterious wood perched above the sleepy village of Cranby. The mystery returns with love and terror walking hand and hand through the seemingly innocent paths of the place that has generated many fearful tales. This time however, there is an even more sinister presence. Much time has passed since Daisy escaped the terror of the wood and on the surface little has changed. But behind the tree line, a new danger lurks. Fans of the original will be taken to darker depths and first time readers will discover the true art of storytelling from the mind of the award winning author Max Power. Heart stopping, fast paced, unrelenting danger lies waiting for you between the pages. Sometimes love is all you have. Sometimes, love is not enough. Darkness is coming…

Review: 

Darkly Wood was such an incredible read that any follow up had its work cut out. All the same I was very excited to hear of the release of Darkly Wood II, and just like its predecessor, it does live up to most of my expectations.

I’m generally more critical of my favourite authors so my review should be taken in the spirit it is meant.

In the opening pages of the story, we are introduced to Wormhold, a simply genius creation in terms of the creep factor. This is a man – if he is not a demon in disguise, who is genuinely creepy and acts in such a subtle way that you really don’t know what he is going to do from one scene to the next.

His first request of the wonderfully named Cathecus Flincher is truly horrifying. I was staring stunned at the page when I read the request / demand (the latter description more true as bad things happen to those who cross Wormhold.)

" This is one author who is a genius storyteller."

As the story progresses, we are taken back into the aptly named Darkly Wood, and this is strangely where the story lost a little of its power. ‘Woody’ seems less scary here, whereas in the first book he was something to be feared.

The book is part of a trilogy, that’s obvious from the ending, and whilst DW2 doesn’t suffer from ‘middle book syndrome’ it does have a slightly bloated middle.

The final third introduces us to Squelby – certainly a character to watch.

The simple and sheer joy of the Darkly Wood books is that they seem to be written by someone who enjoys enticing us with mysteriously named people – I thought a certain author of a young wizard was good at naming characters until I read the Darkly Wood series.

I do not wish to harp on about it, but this is one author who is a genius storyteller. You are pulled so effortlessly into the world he has created, it is a believable setup that would have me wanting to evacuate the village of Cranby if I could.

There is a delicious morsel for us who want more, because there is going to be a further segment to this series. For now, I am giving this particular book four stars. When I have read the closing chapter to the series, and I will be excited for it’s forthcoming release, I may come back and revise that rating.

It’s recommended to read the first book in any case. One could read this book as a standalone, but you would be missing out on vital character development from the first book.

Strongly recommended.