Andrea Cefalo's Reviews > The White Forest

The White Forest by Adam McOmber
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Oct 20, 12

Read from August 20 to September 05, 2012

"When Nathan Ashe disappeared from the ruined streets of Southwark, I couldn’t help but think the horror was, at least in part, my own design. I’d infected him, after all, with my so-called disease. The rank shadows and gaslight in the human warrens beyond Blackfriars Bridge did the rest."

What happened to Nathan Ashe? The young, handsome, London socialite has gone missing under mysterious circumstances and no one can seem to figure out how or why, not until his unlikely friends, Jane and Madeline, take it upon themselves to solve the mystery. Jane led a lonely life before meeting Madeline, a girl ostracized due to scandal from London high society, takes her under wing. Jane knew all-too-well what it meant to be ostracized, her strange ability to feel the spirits in everyday objects and to transfer that ability onto anyone who touches her had left Jane utterly alone for most of her life. Madeline brought her from out of the shadows, but two’s company and three’s a crowd when the handsome Nathan Ashe joined their duo some time ago. Ashe, whose obsession with mysticism caused him to join the cult of a madman, led both girls to wonder whom it was that he truly loved: the beautiful Madeline or the magical Jane. Now that Nathan is missing, Jane must confront the dangerous leader of the cult though she suspects Nathan may have met his demise at her very hands.

The White Forest illustrates the underbelly of occult obsession during the Victorian Era. McOmber describes the scenery and spirits of the objects surrounding Jane lyrically. The mystery behind Nathan’s disappearance drives the plot somewhat consistently. However, the constant jumps from past to present cause confusion. The novel may have been better as a series rather than a single novel so the relationships between the characters and the characters themselves could have been better developed. Also, the confusing time shifts could have been avoided had The White Forest been more than one novel. Overall, Libba Bray fans might enjoy The White Forest which has similarities to her Gemma Doyle trilogy. 2.5/5 stars

Author: Adam McOmber
Genre: Adult Historical Fantasy
Pub. Date: September 11, 2013
Source: From Publisher for Review
Review Written by Andrea Cefalo, author of The Fairytale Keeper series and chief editor of Obelisk Review
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