I walked a block on rubbery knees, feeling the way I did the time a van clipped my bike and sent me reeling into a line of parked cars. Ella had dropped her cigarette and jumped on the fallen bike, screaming at the top of her lungs as she sped after the car. Bleeding in three places, I watched her go, glad she knew I’d rather have retribution than comfort.
As excited as I was to read Melissa Albert’s 2018 contemporary fantasy The Hazel Wood, I cannot but say that it failed to deliver on its promise. Which is unfortunate, because there was some serious promise!
The initial premise was a huge draw, setting a reality-meets-fairytale dynamic in a grim urban fantasy world. With a strong set of characters and a clear mystery to follow, this should have been an easy win. And at first it kind of was.