* Book Beginnings is a meme hosted by Rose City Reader, where every Friday, bloggers post the first sentence (or few sentences) of their current read, as well as their first impressions of the book! *
This week, I’ll be highlighting one of my current reads, The Wood by Chelsea Bobulski.
Dad tells me the wood is not a place to play. It is a place for business, and it is more powerful than I could ever imagine.
He tells me I cannot forget the rules of the wood. There are three.
Do not travel from the paths.
Do not linger after dark.
Do not ignore the calling.
This book releases August 1st, and was granted to me by NetGalley and Feiwel & Friends, which I am ever so grateful for! I thought the synopsis of this sounded so cool at the time I requested it, but to be totally honest, when I began this ARC on a whim late at night after already having been half-asleep, I read these first few lines and thought, “Wait, did I request a horror book? I could have sworn this was fantasy/sci-fi…”
Something about the imagery of these woods that are so dangerous they require rules like “do not travel from the paths” is creepy enough, but “do not ignore the calling”? Don’t mind me while I shiver a little. I’ve always been creeped out by the woods at night (chalk it up to having grown up halfway living at my grandma’s house, which was in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by spooky, thick woods full of critters and noises), so this was a great opening to catch my attention right away.
Just in the first few chapters, we learn that the main character’s father has been tasked with patrolling the woods, which hold portals to many other times and places. His job was to watch for people who had accidentally walked through their portals into the wood, and then to guide those people back to their own times and places before they caused any mayhem. When he goes missing, the job is prematurely passed on to Winter, our MC.
My first impression is that this book has been a little eerie and a whole lot interesting, and I’m really excited to see where it goes.
When Winter’s dad goes missing during his nightly patrol of the wood, it falls to her to patrol the time portals and protect the travelers who slip through them. Winter can’t help but think there’s more to her dad’s disappearance than she’s being told.
She soon finds a young man traveling in the wood named Henry who knows more than he should. He believes if they can work together to find his missing parents, they could discover the truth about Winter’s dad.
The wood is poisoned, changing into something sinister—torturing travelers lost in it. Winter must put her trust in Henry in order to find the truth and those they’ve lost.
Bobulski’s eerie debut is filled with friendship, family, and the responsibilities we choose and those we do not.