Author: Heather Mackey
Rating: ★★★★ 1/2
Synopsis: Lucy Darrington has no choice but to run away from boarding school. Her father, an expert on the supernatural, has been away for too long while doing research in Saarthe, a remote territory in the Pacific Northwest populated by towering redwoods, timber barons, and the Lupine people. But upon arriving, she learns her father is missing: Rumor has it he’s gone in search of dreamwood, a rare tree with magical properties that just might hold the cure for the blight that’s ravaging the forests of Saarthe.
Determined to find her father (and possibly save Saarthe), Lucy and her vexingly stubborn friend Pete follow William Darrington’s trail to the deadly woods on Devil’s Thumb. As they encounter Lupine princesses, giant sea serpents, and all manner of terrifying creatures, Lucy hasn’t reckoned that the dreamwood itself might be the greatest threat of all.
Huge thank you to Razorbill Canada/Putnam for this ARC!
Dreamwood is gorgeous, mysterious, and creepy. Just one look at the book’s cover and you get a sense that the world in this novel is beautiful yet deadly. Heather Mackey’s debut about a girl seeking the mystery behind her father’s disappearance and his fascination with the Devil’s wood, is a surprisingly rich and inviting novel to read.
I think what I loved about this novel is how much the mystery sucks you in. Like Lucy, Mackey makes the reader want to discovery the mysteries behind the dreamwood and why people fear its power. Furthermore, she provides minimal hints, only revealing so much at a time. When big reveals in this book happen, more questions generally follow.
I loved how inviting the characters were in this novel, particularly Lucy and Pete. I love how they are developed and the subtleness in there characterization works well here. Also this begins as a boarding school novel (which, I am a sucker for), and develops into so much more. Also the descriptions in this book are so beautifully written that I found myself sighing and rereading parts happily because Mackey made it so easy to feel immersed in this world. Also this book is creepy, has killer trees, ominous vegetation, and to me the descriptions just fed into how vivid this world is.
Dreamwood is a book you read if you want to get lost in a world unlike your own. It’s thoughtful, beautiful, deadly, and it makes you want to follow the path of Lucy and Pete and uncover the larger picture. I really cannot wait to see what Heather Mackey writes next because Dreamwood is fantastic.