Her of the Wood – Veronica Watts
Determined to get out of a city where the lowest classes are subjugated into silent submission, Euodia sneaks onto a convoy of detainees being transported to the old lands to die.
Her hope is rewarded when her group meets scouts from a small but thriving community. As Euodia learns to live and work in her new home, she struggles to shake off years of conditioning so that she can be honest with Ailie about her developing feelings.
But just as she’s finding her feet, and maybe her courage, a deadly disease sweeps through the community…
Her of the Wood is a dystopian story about the search for freedom and finding a home where you can be yourself.
I liked the cover and the premise piqued my curiosity enough for me to take a chance on this novel. Solace is an ideal community where people are free to love whomever they please. I liked all the cozy couples in the story but the vast majority of the novel is about Euodia going about her daily business which is not the most riveting subject to read about. We are shown the development of hers and Ailie’s relationship which was sweet but the writing style, composed of short almost terse sentences makes everything come across as bland. And even though I was hoping none of them die and the couples stay together, I felt like I hadn’t connected with any of the characters. In addition, the conflicts were resolved a little too easily and the sense of danger was constantly muted.
The book’s highlights were the first and last parts which were ironically, moments that involve the city Dracon where Euodia came from. I am actually more curious about the city than Solace but I am also glad the plot was not the usual dystopian take-down-the-corrupt-government storyline.
The ending was certainly a big surprise which might have hinted on a sequel. I would like to find out more about Dracon. Would the city people ever know about Solace? Would people from Solace want to see the city?
Like I said, the premise shows promise but the execution could use some work, the characters need more depth and maybe an exciting event or two to shake things up in the middle part. However the book offers some positive messages I liked and the setting was good. It also has a YA feel to it which is also a plus. All in all, I rate this a pass.
I received a copy of Her of the Wood from Less Than Three Press
via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
3 Stars – not exactly setting my world on fire but I liked it