Fantasy · Fiction · Young Adult

The Night Country


Title: The Night Country

Author: Melissa Albert

Page Count: 331

Series: The Hazel Wood, Book 2

Publishing Date/Publisher: January 7, 2020 by Flatiron Books

Format: Hardcover

Review: This book had a great start and then…stalled out. I ripped through the first few chapters, and then found myself losing steam as nothing really seemed to happen.  The first book in this series, The Hazel Wood, was positively magical.  I found myself wrapped up in the numerous fairytales and in the overarching storyline.  I was hoping for much of the same in the follow up, and although there were some similarities, it wasn’t nearly as engaging as it’s predecessor.   It was still dark and twisted, but there were less stories and it focused on a mystery that dragged on before ending abruptly.  In the interim of time that has passed between Alice and Finch’s last meeting, Finch has been traveling between worlds.  Sadly the reader sees almost none of that.  Similarly, years have passed for Alice, but we still have no idea what she is doing aside from moping around.  As with many sequels for books I loved, I just expected more than what I got.  I am unclear if this is a duology or a series because the ending seemed to be rather definitive.  I can’t imagine where the story would go from here, but maybe Albert will surprise me.

Reader: Bekah



Fantasy · Fiction · Young Adult

The Hazel Wood


Title: The Hazel Wood

Author: Melissa Albert

Performer: Rebecca Soler

Length: 10 hr, 35 min, 25 sec

Series: The Hazel Wood, Book 1

Publishing Date/Publisher: 2018 by MacMillan Audio

Format: eAudiobook

Review: This is an example of a fairytale done right.  In the same fashion as the Brothers Grimm, Albert weaves together a series of dark and twisted tales with no morals and a whole lot of death.  I can honestly say that I never knew what to expect with this story, because it is not an adaptation of anything I am familiar with.  It does have echoes of Alice in Wonderland in the sense that a character named Alice portals into a fantasy world; however, that seems to be where the similarities end.  I enjoyed the characters, and the dialogue, and the way the author wove together a modern day setting with a more fantastical one.  I am also a sucker for stories within a story, and I was very pleased to find out that although this could easily have been a standalone, there will be a continuation of this story in another book.  There were a number of story titles mentioned that were not told, and I am hopeful that those stories might be revealed in the next installment.  I also hope that there is more to the story of Alice and Finch.  Fingers crossed!

As always, Rebecca Soler was a perfect performer in this story.  Loved it in audiobook format!

Reader: Bekah