Just Hatched is a feature where I share my first impressions of a book after the first chapter. Check out the announcement post for more information.
The Trees by Ali Shaw has a cover that immediately grabs you and from what I can tell, the words on the inside are just the same. The cover actually really captures the spooky strangeness of the opening chapters where a whole forest springs up over night and strange creatures seem to now be inhabiting what was previously suburbia.
Note: I received an advanced copy of The Trees from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.
The Trees by Ali Shaw
Published by Bloomsbury on Aug 2nd, 2016
Genres: Adult, Magical Realism
Page Length: 496 pages
How I got my copy: NetGalley
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Barnes & Noble - Goodreads
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The Trees. They arrived in the night: wrenching through the ground, thundering up into the air, and turning Adrien's suburban street into a shadowy forest. Shocked by the sight but determined to get some answers, he ventures out, passing destroyed buildings, felled power lines, and broken bodies still wrapped in tattered bed linens hanging from branches.
It is soon apparent that no help is coming and that these trees, which seem the work of centuries rather than hours, span far beyond the town. As far, perhaps, as the coast, where across the sea in Ireland, Adrien's wife is away on a business trip and there is no way of knowing whether she is alive or dead.
When Adrien meets Hannah, a woman who, unlike him, believes that the coming of the trees may signal renewal rather than destruction and Seb, her technology-obsessed son, they persuade him to join them. Together, they pack up what remains of the lives they once had and set out on a quest to find Hannah's forester brother and Adrien's wife--and to discover just how deep the forest goes.
Their journey through the trees will take them into unimaginable territory: to a place of terrible beauty and violence, of deadly enemies and unexpected allies, to the dark heart of nature and the darkness--and also the power--inside themselves.
How is the writing style?
The writing has a distinctive voice where a character’s thoughts are dropped within sentences as the narrator explains what is going on. At first I was put off by the rather unpleasant character of Adrien Thomas as he buys cheap beer and watches westerns, but he grew on me as he dealt with the crisis and he isn’t the only PoV. Hannah is the other and she is a mother dealing with a teenage son and now creepy forests. It is all written in past tense, third person.
General tone of the beginning
The beginning for both of these characters is a boring and typical life for a middle aged person in this day and age and then their lives are upended suddenly when they look out the window and find their neighborhoods destroyed by a new forest. Everything seemed fine if odd until the narrator mentions ‘stranger creatures’ going about their business high in the branches. Dun dun dunnnnnnnn!
Setting, genre, etc?
Definitely adult given the two main characters are clearly adults dealing with adult problems. I’m going to rely on Goodreads claiming this book is magical realism since it certainly seems like it could be and I have a hard time telling that from fantasy.
- My current read, leave me alone! (~5 stars)
- Reading in the near future *hides from TBR pile glare* (~4 stars)
- Hoping to get back to eventually (~3 stars)
- Probably not getting back to but someone else will like it (~2 stars)
- Don’t really want to push this copy on anyone else (~1 star)
I was going to give The Trees a 4, but then I was looking back over the first chapters to write this up and I just finished my previous read, so I’m giving in to temptation and giving it 5 stars and now I must go read! Seriously, this book is perfect for non-traditional Halloween :D.
See for yourself!
Have you read this one yet? Are you inclined to check it out?
The Trees by Ali Shaw
© 2016, Anya. All rights reserved.