Book Review: What The Woods Keep

My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Author: Kataya De Becerra

Format: Hardcover

Pages: 365

Categories: Mystery, Psychology, Physics, Dark Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Mythology

Book Blurb:

On her eighteenth birthday, Hayden inherits her childhood home—on the condition that she uncover its dark secrets.

Hayden tried to put the past behind her, and it worked. She’s getting ready for college, living in a Brooklyn apartment, and hanging out with her best friend and roommate Del. But now it’s all catching up with her: her mother’s mysterious disappearance a decade before, her father’s outlandish theories about a lost supernatural race, and Hayden’s own dark dreams of strange symbols and rituals in the Colorado woods where she grew up.

As soon as Hayden arrives at her hometown, her friend Del in tow, it begins: Neighbors whisper secrets about Hayden’s mother; the boy next door is now all grown-up in a very distracting way; and Hayden feels the trees calling to her. And among them, deep in the woods, Hayden will discover something incredible—something that threatens reality itself.

MY REVIEW

This is one of those books where I borrowed it because of it’s lovely cover. The book blurb sounded interesting but I didn’t quite know what to expect.

What The Woods Keep, follows Hayden, who just turned eighteen and inherits her mother’s home in Promise, Colorado. Hayden has a quite a past: a childhood in Promise with memories of these dark woods, her mother disappearing, her dad who is a physicist but obsessed with Nibelungs. And yes I had to google Nibelungs to see if they were a real thing and they definitely are a thing, a thing of legend and lore.

This story is different and I was drawn into Hayden’s psychosis. She has dreams that haunt her, she’s a warrior on a horse. Hayden’s past also revolves on an incident of unexplained violence at her school – her counseling sessions are presented to us in the book like evidence.

When she goes to Promise with her best friend Del, more strange things start to happen. The people in town have eyes like her, one color different than the other. The woods around them are creepy and a white raven is constantly watching her. Plus there is a facility called Blue Haven Research Institute in Promise with security guards. What is going on? I kept reading to find out, so this book definitely kept me engaged.

This book is hard to categorize. It’s a mashup of sci-fi, fantasy, and mystery. I really loved how most chapters started off with some scientific tidbit on physics or psychology. And some parts were creepy too whenever it was about the woods. What is in these woods? What did Hayden’s mom do there? How did she die or disappear? Are the Nibelungs real? The story moved along quickly for me. I loved all the extra things in this book like Hayden’s case files, newspaper clippings and her mother’s hand written notes.

The only thing that didn’t grab me was the romance between Hayden and her old childhood friend Shannon. It happens a bit quick after they reunite but I guess I can surmise the feelings were always there because they grew up so close together.

Overall, this was a pleasantly surprising fun book to read! It is a really good debut from this author. I look forward to seeing what she writes in the future.

Get it here: Amazon

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