January 27, 2021

Review: Into the Heartless Wood by Joanna Ruth Meyer


Into the Heartless Wood is an unconventional love story between a tree-siren and a human boy, filled with interesting lore and a vivid setting. The forest is home to a powerful witch and her tree-siren daughters who lure men and women in to the woods in order to harvest their souls. When Owen Merrick stumbles past the protective garden wall surrounding his home, one of the tree-siren daughters saves his life instead of ending it and they begin meeting every night. As their feelings grow, so does Seren's desire to become human and soon they find themselves pulled into a centuries old feud between the witch and the king to stop a dangerous curse. 


The author's writing was atmosphere and engaging and I was very much drawn to the premise. The story itself hooked me enough that I wanted to see how it would unfold but something about how the chapters were written created a wall. Even though the chapters alternated between Owen and Seren, it felt as though we were only skimming the surface of who they were. The book was definitely more plot-driven than character-driven and as a result, I didn't connect fully to either. This is in part due to needing more about Owen himself, his family and life. The same goes for Seren and their relationship. I actually think the book would've benefitted from being a bit longer so the characters could be more strongly developed.


And I found that also applied to the world-building. The lore was undeniably fascinating. But I found myself wanting to learn more about the woods and the war between the witch and the king, which I think would've added more urgency to the dangerous curse they faced.


Do I recommend?
It is interesting so if you think this is something you'd enjoy, I'd recommend borrowing it from the library. 


***

pub 1/12/21 by Page Street Kids
Young Adult - Fantasy
Received ARC from pub for review
Goodreads | Author

Thanks Jess for taking the photo for me!

1 comment

  1. The premise of this one sounds so fascinating! It's unfortunate that it didn't quite end up hitting a sweet spot when it comes to character development though.

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