I am a massive fan of The Decemberists so when I heard earlier this year than Colin Meloy had written a book I was very excited. That fact that it was a kids book didn’t put me off and the fact that it had a magical world feel to only increased my anticipation. Especially considering my favourite album of The Decemberists is the rock-operatic The Hazards of Love which is a story told across the 17 tracks of the album.
A few reviewers have compared WILDWOOD to The Chronicles of Narnia and maybe in a way it is a modern day version of those stories but I personally think it is infinitely better than the Narnia books and doesn’t need the comparison. The book is set in modern day Portland and focuses on Prue McKeel who takes her one year old brother to the park only to have him carried off by a murder of crows. The crows carry her baby brother off into The Impassable Wood. An area of Portland that has never been settled or developed and is seemingly off limits to everybody. But Prue must get her brother back and with the help of her friend Curtis she sets off on a magical adventure through Wildwood, a land where animals and humans live together but where trouble has been brewing amongst warring tribes and factions.
Meloy has created a totally believable world and I was fascinated by the politics and hierarchies he created within it. I would recommend in for 10 and up only because it gets a little dark in places and a bit of blood spilt. I really enjoyed this book and can’t wait to see where the series goes and if they ever make a movie I hope it’s a condition that Colin does the soundtrack!