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For fans of the Chronicles of Narnia comes the second book in the Wildwood Chronicles, the New York Times bestselling fantasy adventure series by Colin Meloy, lead singer of the Decemberists, and Carson Ellis, acclaimed illustrator of The Mysterious Benedict Society.

The three books in the Wildwood Chronicles captivate readers with the wonder and thrill of a secret world within the landscape of a modern city. The books feel at once firmly steeped in the classics of children's literature and completely fresh. Each story is told from multiple points of view, and the books feature more than eighty illustrations, including six full-color plates, making them an absolutely gorgeous object.

In Under Wildwood, Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis reveal new dimensions of the epic fantasy-adventure series begun with the critically acclaimed, bestselling Wildwood.

Ever since Prue McKeel returned home from the Impassable Wilderness after rescuing her brother from the malevolent Dowager Governess, life has been pretty dull. School holds no interest for her, and her new science teacher keeps getting on her case about her dismal test scores and daydreaming in class. Her mind is constantly returning to the verdant groves and sky-tall trees of Wildwood, where her friend Curtis still remains as a bandit-in-training.

But all is not well in that world. Dark assassins with mysterious motives conspire to settle the scores of an unknown client. A titan of industry employs inmates from his orphanage to work his machine shop, all the while obsessing over the exploitation of the Impassable Wilderness. And, in what will be their greatest challenge yet, Prue and Curtis are thrown together again to save themselves and the lives of their friends, and to bring unity to a divided country. But in order to do that, they must go under Wildwood.

The bestselling trilogy from Colin Meloy and Carson Ellis consists of Wildwood, Under Wildwood, and Wildwood Imperium.

559 pages, Hardcover

First published September 25, 2012

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About the author

Colin Meloy

28 books820 followers
Colin Patrick Henry Meloy is the lead singer and songwriter for the Portland, Oregon folk-rock band The Decemberists. In addition to his vocal duties, he plays acoustic guitar, 12-string acoustic guitar, electric guitar, bouzouki, and percussion. As of 2005, Meloy has written a 100-page book on The Replacements' fourth album, "Let It Be," released as part of the 33⅓ series.

Meloy was born in Helena, Montana. His sister is Maile Meloy, an author often published in The New Yorker. He first attended the University of Oregon before transferring to the University of Montana, where he majored in creative writing. He then moved to Portland, where he met future bandmates Jenny Conlee and Nate Query. Prior to being in The Decemberists, Meloy was the lead singer and songwriter of Happy Cactus and Tarkio, both indie/folk bands from Montana.

In early 2005, he embarked on his first solo tour in support of the self-released six-song EP, "Colin Meloy Sings Morrissey," which consists of six Morrissey covers. Only 1,000 copies of the album were made, and they were sold only on that tour. Meloy did a second solo tour in January 2006, playing with Laura Veirs and Amy Annelle. On this tour, he sold an EP featuring covers of British folk artist Shirley Collins. Shows from the 2006 tour were recorded for a live release. Meloy also appeared with Charlie Salas-Humara in the music video for "Pillar of Salt" by The Thermals.

On February 24, 2006, Carson Ellis, Meloy's longtime girlfriend and graphic artist for the Decemberists, gave birth to their son, Henry "Hank" Meloy.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 728 reviews
Profile Image for Miranda Reads.
1,589 reviews155k followers
December 9, 2020

Sometimes, when the world is falling apart around you, all that's left to do is dance, right?
Prue McKeel saved her brother, led Wildwood to freedom and fought her way back to the normal world.

But somehow, even though all she wanted to do was return to her parents...things just don't feel the same.
School holds no interest for her...her mind is constantly returning to the verdant groves and sky-tall trees of Wildwood...
Curtis, Prue's best friend, spends his time in bandit training in the Impassable Wilderness - and all Prue can think about is how much she wishes to be there too.

And then the assassin shows up, and she really has no choice but to return.

Meanwhile Curtis's parents are beside themselves and when rumors reach them that Curtis is in Turkey, they drop off his two younger sisters at the local orphanage in order to travel there.

But the orphanage is not what it seems. There's a sinister scientist determined to break through the Impassable Wilderness and into Wildwood - and the girls are trapped right in the middle of itall.
I just saw her. She was so … alive.
Throughout all of this, there is something menacing brewing in the heart of the Impassible Wilderness - and the children will have no choice but to confront it themselves.

All in all - this was a rather good sequel.

I liked the continuation of the series and the direction it took.

The addition of Curtis's sisters (and their misadventures) was a good touch. It is often so hard to introduce new main characters but Meloy did it smoothly and effortlessly.

I do feel that some of the characterizations (in particular, when Prue and Curtis disagreed) seemed inconsistent with the first book.

Well, maybe not inconsistent, but more like exaggerated? Things that would have not bothered them before seem to be VERY BIG DEALS this round, which seemed a smidge out of a character.

However, the adventure was really well written.

I loved exploring the various ins and outs of Wildwood and the Imapssable Wilderness with thee whole gang - that was so much fun (and absolutely fascinating!).

The one thing that was a bit of a hangup for me was that this book was over 550 pages (which to me on audiobook) wasn't too terrible, but it does seem rather long for a middle grade book.

As a big book lover, I didn't have much of an issue, but it can be a bit of a barrier for some kids.

All in all - this sequel delivered and I cannot wait to get my hands on the third!!

Audiobook Comments
Narrated by the author - very impressive! I always love when the author reads their own book.

YouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Snapchat @miranda_reads
Profile Image for Sarah .
72 reviews35 followers
April 4, 2013

I don't know why I kept reading. I normally take pride in giving up on a book I'm not enjoying. I am in charge of my reading life! I don't let guilt propel me! There are too many great books I'll never read to waste time on those I don't like.

Why did I keep on reading this one even though I was not enjoying it?
1. I enjoyed the first one. I assume it's going to be a trilogy and I like reading trilogies. 3 is the magic number!
2. I like the look and feel of the books. The illustrations are lovely.
3. It's a mythologized version of my own city, nearby neighborhoods and the Forrest Park wooded area that crowns Portland.
4. My husband bought it for me for Christmas. I like getting books for Christmas.
5. It seemed like I would enjoy it if I would just straighten up my attitude.

I was bored. It was tedious. There was no heart. I thought the underworld would be more like an underworld (more banished souls and/or a devil character and less moles.) The Portland references (including the Shanghai Tunnels) and a nod to our Pabst Blue Ribbon hipster culture only made me roll my eyes. And now it's over and it was such an unsatisfying non-conclusion, which means that there will be no closure unless I read the 3rd and final installment. I don't wanna. I'll read the Cliff's Notes but that's it.
Profile Image for Sarah.
237 reviews1,096 followers
May 8, 2018
Congratulations, Colin Meloy, for producing a second installment that was noticeably better than the first!

A few months after Prue McKeel and Curtis Mehlberg entered the Impassible Wilderness to rescue Prue’s baby brother from an evil sorceress, life has returned to mostly normal for the McKeel family, although Prue is struggling in school and her parents don’t know why. The Mehlbergs have had no such luck. Curtis is still missing, and the parents are so desperate to find him that they flew to Turkey, leaving their two daughters, Rachel and Elsie, at the decidedly creepy Unthank Home for Wayward Youth.

Meanwhile Curtis has been happily training as a bandit in the Wildwood, almost never remembering his parents and sisters. The mad Dowager Governess was defeated (although we all know the drill with fantasy “deaths” without a body to show for it) leaving chaos in the wood. Warring factions have sprung up and no one seems to know who the leader should be. Iphigenia, Chief Mystic and priestess of the Great Tree, insists that Prue needs to come back if the Wood should be saved. The girl’s destiny has not yet run its course.

Back in Portland, Prue confides in a concerned new teacher, Ms. Thennis. Prue suspects the Wood is calling her back, but what’s wrong now?

Content Advisory
Violence: Like the first book—not much, but what’s there is startlingly bloody for a middle-grade book. We see a shape-shifter get stabbed, and her shape changes from her human to animal form as it dies. Assassins are sent after children, and while they are unsuccessful, that’s not for lack of effort or menace on their part. Joffrey Unthank forces children to labor in his factory, and some have been maimed or terribly injured in said factory. Some rebellious kids burn down a building.

Sex: Prue notices that Curtis’ shoulders are starting to broaden. That’s it.

Language: None.

Substance Abuse: None.

Nightmare Fuel: The aforementioned shape-shifter is described in a frightening way, and one of the illustrations portraying her in mid-morph gave me the willies. That said, it’s a lot less scary than the first book. Know your kids. Kids, know yourselves.

Miscellaneous: There’s a villainous Ukrainian character who speaks in a stereotypical accent and generally acts like an evil agent from the Rocky & Bullwinkle cartoon. She’s not super offensive, but she still comes off as a product of accidental xenophobia.

The first volume in the Wildwood series, simply entitled Wildwood, really rubbed me the wrong way for a variety of reasons. The characters were hard to empathize with, the story took too long to get where it was going, and the whole thing was so hipster it had never heard of itself. Not to mention that the narrator’s fondness for obscure vocabulary words made it hard to picture what was happening at some points.

Paul and George HDN

However, the book had a lot of potential. It stole from the best—C.S. Lewis, Terry Pratchett, Jim Henson, and a wee dash of J.R.R. Tolkien at the end—while bringing its own Old Americana aesthetic and an agreeably spooky mood. The illustrations by Carson Ellis (who happens to be Meloy’s wife and album-cover artist) were charming pieces of folk art. The first book dashed my hopes, but for some reason the second one called to me. And while not the greatest general-audience fantasy novel ever written, it’s actually quite agreeable.

The addition of Joffrey Unthank and his orphanage/factory is straight outta Lemony Snicket, which both is and isn’t an improvement on the first book. It’s an improvement because a lot of the weirder “real world” parts make sense if the “real world” in this universe is a Snicketesque realm of absurdism. Yet it’s also a step back because there was no indication in book one that this world was like that. It’s a good ret-con, but still a ret-con. And even in such a surreal place, Mom and Dad Mehlberg leaving their two remaining children in such a place while they go to search for their son doesn’t jive with what little we know about them. Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire wound up in situations this bad and worse, but their parents were dead. Big difference.

Violet, Klaus and Sunny

On a related note, the almost bloodless battle between the kids and the Industrial Titans’ goons was underwhelming after the spectacle at the Plinth in the first book, wherein people actually died and there were fantastical creatures. This one felt a little too much like the end of a '90s family comedy. It just did not go with the tone of the previous book, or this one up until that point.

As for the Titans themselves, Big Business being the villain has become cliché, but it usually doesn’t share antagonist duties with faceless magical forces, so watching the heroes battle both in Wildwood Imperium should actually be interesting.

The hipster milieu from the first book has also been greatly toned down. It has receded to the background, where it’s just fine. Prue and Curtis no longer try to wriggle out of their destined duties, and they certainly aren’t ranting anymore about emotional support while everyone else is marching off to die. They have figured out that pacifism is a good policy in Portland, but will not save you from an evil sorceress or a shape-shifting assassin. When one lives in two different worlds, one can accommodate two different worldviews.

Also no more posturing about expensive jeans or coffee. They were actually believable twelve-year-olds this time around. And Curtis got called out for being selfish and oblivious—by Prue, by the narrator, and by his own conscience. Character development. It’s a good thing.

Rachel and Elsie, Curtis’ sisters, are not terribly unique—Rachel is a typical sulky goth teen, Elsie is a typical bright-eyed little girl who brings her doll everywhere—but they were believable and likeable enough. They reminded me of both Susan and Lucy Pevensie from Narnia, and Wirt and Greg from Over the Garden Wall. Both very nice sets of sibling characters to be reminded of.

Susan and Lucy

Wirt and Greg

The most interesting new addition to the ensemble hasn’t even shown up yet. Remember Alexei, son of Alexandra? When he died, she went mad with grief and forced two Daedalus-like geniuses to rebuild him as an automaton, only for Alexei to figure out what he really was and destroy himself. Well, Prue has been told by the Great Tree that her task is to revive Alexei somehow, that only this can save the Wood.

Some reviewers think this refers to an act of dark magic, and while it might, I can see another possibility: Prue must descend into this universe’s Land of the Dead, find Alexei, and help him “return to the Sunlit Lands” (h/t The Silver Chair ). I really hope this is what Meloy means: the descent and return of figures like Persephone, Dionysus, Orpheus and Psyche are some of the most potent stories in all of mythology.

Leighton Persephone Returns

All told, this was a decent book, much better than I expected one in this series to be, and my curiosity is piqued for the third and final installment.
May 12, 2020
“Sometimes, when the world is falling apart around you, all that's left to do is dance, right?”

When I finished reading the first book in this series, I wasn't very involved with it, and actually found it pretty dry. However, I recognized the talent of the author and thought the second book was worth a try. I am so glad I did! This might be one of those rare cases in which book number two in a series is actually better than the first one. Even though the characters and setting are pretty much the same, the pacing in this one is much faster, the action is less about battles and more about adventure, and there's a whole "orphans doing cool things" trope that gave me Lemony Snicket's vibes. I guess this is a series worth finishing, after all!!
Profile Image for Ingrid.
450 reviews38 followers
November 18, 2020
My goodness Colin Meloy turned this series around! At the end of the last one, I was pleased. It seemed like a good, happy way to wrap things up (ignoring the fact that Curtis never went home. I didn't agree with that.) However, in this second book, he takes the book to a much darker level. People die. Hands are cut off. Both of these things I tend to appreciate in books.

Anyway, despite (or perhaps because of) the darker feel to this book, I really enjoyed it. It was exciting, it was unique, and I adore the setting. The Wildwood has such a Narnia feel to it that gives me warm fuzzies.

The main thing that annoyed me with this book was the loong interlude in the middle.I definitely think that Meloy could have cut down some of the parts and made it a bit shorter.

However, this was still a good book. And still a good series to read aloud to perhaps an nine or ten year old (it wasn't that dark, just darker than the last one.)

I certainly look forward to the last book. (Wonder what it will be called: Over Wildwood? Through Wildwood? Wild Wildwood?)
Profile Image for Serap.
692 reviews72 followers
April 3, 2019
Ilk kitaba göre çok daha iyiydi fakat yine aynı şey söz konusu;bizim çocuklarımıza uygun değil(meyve şarapları içenler,tütün filan içenler ki bunlar 10-12 yaşındalar, ailelerini bırakıp habersiz ormanda yaşayanlar,okuldan kaçanlar vb), bizim için ise basit kalıyor.görseller güzel ama yanlış sayfaların arasına konmuş, söz konusu olan olaylardan 10 sayfa filan sonra...tasarım ve çizimler güzel...
Profile Image for BookishStitcher.
1,105 reviews46 followers
December 9, 2017

A rare second book in the trilogy that is better than the first. This book benefited from having more characters than the first. This novel has beautiful pictures just like the previous. I thought this novel was a lot more interesting in it's plot as well.
Profile Image for Ashley.
800 reviews442 followers
Want to read
September 25, 2019
Hyped! Have to love any creation from the man (& woman) behind the magic, music, sound, artistry, etc, of the band the Decemberists !
(HS Indie Girl Throwbackkkk) <3

FYI Ew I hate how I sound rn lol

HAH- side note- I just realized I’m wearing a Decemberists shirt in my profile pic!(which is Present day, not back in hs lol).
😂. How freakin’ weird!!
Honest to goodness it’s purely coincidental haha. This prob seems waaaayyyyy more interesting to me than it does to you guys- I already truly want to apologize for this nonsense. I’m so sorry;
It’s 6:30 AM, and I haven’t been able to sleep alllll night.
I’m obv. wonky AF.

Again I apologize, sincerely, for my nonsensically nonsensical nonsense :-)
Profile Image for Jan.
810 reviews28 followers
January 31, 2017
This series just keeps getting better. I honestly had to force myself to go to work this week. I just wanted to stay home so I could continue reading this story that I was so caught up in. Were Prue, Curtis, and the Children from the Unthank Orphanage ever going to get out of the very dire situations they had found themselves in? Would Curtis be able to find his way back to his bandit family? Would Prue be able to complete the seemingly insurmountable task she was given and be able to save Wildwood? Were Curtis' sisters ever going to find out the truth about happened to him? And would they all get out of this alive? Very excited to read the third and final book very soon.
Profile Image for Noa.
190 reviews8 followers
October 17, 2018
Just imagine being the lead singer of an awesome band and also being a great author and also having a wife who makes the most beautiful art for your books and albums and also living on the edge of a forest that is big and mysterious and beautiful enough to inspire several books. Yeah.
Profile Image for Sandy.
321 reviews2 followers
March 6, 2014
Ugh. to be fair, I didn't finish the book. I couldn't make myself. The writing is just so overwrought. I got to one short section where a thicket of scotch broom was described as "rackety fauna" (shouldn't plants be flora?), a feathery texture was described as a goose-down pillow "giving up its dander" (dander is sloughed SKIN, has nothing to do with feathers), and douglas firs were described as "leafy". Seriously? Sorry, the story might be wonderful, but I could NOT get past the writing to enjoy it, if it was.
Profile Image for Jacq.and.the.readstalk.
291 reviews10 followers
March 15, 2022
We’ve gone through the Wildwood, and now it’s time to go under. The sequel in the Wildwood trilogy.

I felt this one dragged a lot more than the first, especially during the middle, but the beginning and end were engaging and flowed seamlessly from the first story. The new characters are a delight and it was an joy to see old ones return and expanded upon. The dialogue organic and witty, creating very memorable and lovable quotes. There is no shortage of adventure in the sequel, albeit a tad long-winded at times. I think the sequel could have been shortened rather than it be 500+ pages. It is slightly darker than its predecessor but still light in its wildness.

The books have a whole rustic/folk aesthetic from the storyline, illustrations, and characters. A vibe that I instantly fell in love with…and so began my addicted journey into folk music, thank you Mr Meloy! It has an urban Narnia feel to it.

Meloy is a wonderful storyteller, employing rich and evocative words and has a vast imagination. Carson Ellis’s illustrations are fabulous and quirky. Together they make a dynamic duo.

Leads to the exciting conclusion thanks to the epic cliff-hanger.

IG Post: https://www.instagram.com/p/CBtqM9JA50c/
Profile Image for osoi.
789 reviews38 followers
March 17, 2016
Спустя два года я вернулась в Дикий лес, и это было одно из самых прочувствованных погружений в давно полюбившийся мир Мэлоя. Я познакомилась с ним в те времена, когда впереди была целая вселенная открытий и приближение старости казалось глупостью. Сейчас, когда меня постоянно мучают мигрени (и кажется, что жизнь неотвратимо катится к закату >:->), а лирика The Decemberists безнадежно пропитана особенным сортом горечи, возвращаться в Дикий лес – это вскрывать слой за слоем мечты, которым уже не суждено осуществиться. Bittersweet as hell.

Прю и Кертису до сих пор не хватает некоторых важных качеств для того, чтобы превратиться в полноценных ярких персонажей, ведущих за собой читателей вдоль сюжетной линии. Для Кертиса это consistency – чувства пацана по отношению к настоящей семье остаются загадкой, а к новой подвергаются испытанием несоответствия слов делу. В глубине души он беспокоится о них и хочет спасти, но упорно тащится следом за своей неугомонной подружкой, которой явно нужна помощь. Или, во всяком случае, он таким образом себя успокаивает. И почему проблески совестливости по отношению к разбойникам возникают у него так редко? Пускай бы пацан уже отправился в диктуемый чувством вины квест, чем всю дорогу ныл, что он этого не сделал. И Прю – наивная и чувствительная, неспособная даже ранить заклятого врага. Как можно после всех приключений оставаться такой невинной душой – мне не понять. К ней у меня никаких претензий, но я очень жду, когда же случится хоть что-то, что заставит ее повзрослеть и обрести уверенность в себе.

Зато все остальные персонажи и сюжетные арки бесцеремонно роскошны. Чего стоят одни только слепые подземные друзья в доспехах верхом на нетривиальных скакунах. Когда повествование наконец завело героев в подземный мир, я готова была прослезиться – мучительно тянувшиеся страницы подготовки к спуску были с лихвой возмещены. Темная и грустная история про сиротский приют, находящийся в здании завода, заставляла меня подпрыгивать на месте от сочетания жуткой одержимости, человеческого безразличия и вселенской несправедливости. Предыстория, раскрывающая безумие губернаторши в новом свете, выставляет ее отъявленной маньячкой. Ну а сопутствующие антагонисты удивительно жестоки и целеустремленны, их не победить сочетанием смекалки, быстрых ног и везения – они душат, калечат и убивают без угрызений совести, догоняя свою добычу с легкостью необыкновенной. В Wildwood вообще трудно найти хоть одну опушку Добра и Счастья. Везде война, разорение, распри, предательства и несправедливость. И там же – неожиданная дружба, взаимопомощь, отчаянная храбрость и преданность, от которых сердце ненадолго согревается.

Получился мрачняк, хотя в творении Мэлоя наверняка можно найти и ласковые отголоски сказочной морали, и тихие похлопывания по спине после принятия верных решений, и вся история учит чему-то хорошему... Но как по мне, так она лишний раз предостерегает от зачастую опасной наивности в отношении окружающего мира. Возможно, это все идиотские магнитные бури, но мне совсем не хочется весны, обещанной Диколесьем – смена времен года говорит т��лько о смене декораций. Груз нерешенных проблем и совершенных ошибок все так же нависает камнем над душой, только теперь под веселые напевы солнышка и птичек, вот и все.

Profile Image for Candace Jean.
25 reviews5 followers
June 1, 2016
The overall feeling/aura/context of Under Wildwood matches it's cover: dark.

Dark places, dark emotion, and very dark verbiage. Meloy definitely took this story to depths not seen in the first book, and he approached bloodshed with zero fluff.

Somehow the entire 559 pages are spent merely aligning things for the third book, though a hearty amount of new characters are introduced and new places explored.

Unfortunately I was turned off almost immediately by WAY too many "hold ups" in the book.. meaning.. characters kept saying the phrase "Hold up" instead of "wait a minute", "hold on" or even "just a second", and for some reason it really irritated me. It seemed Meloy tried too hard to find a "tween" voice at parts in order to relate to pre-teen readers, but it wasn't necessary as he pulled off Wildwood (book 1) in his own words and it worked wonderfully.

Also too many "could only be described as"es and backpedaling paragraphs to defend a thought or situation that the reader probably already remembered from previous narrative.

In the end and all negatives aside, Meloy's written style won me over again. I prefer the first book to this one, but Under Wildwood still craftily carried me off to the magic places and characters of the series that I love reading about.
Profile Image for Sam.
2,095 reviews32 followers
March 1, 2013

It's weird to be saying this, but I did not enjoy Under Wildwood as much as I did the first book. It just didn't capture me the same way, and while I didn't mind that this book was a little darker, it was lacking a spark that kept me wanting to read it every day. I did finish it, and while the prose is lovely and Prue was still a great protagonist, everything in terms of the story fell flat and didn't keep me engaged. Also, why did the moles speak in caps lock? That got really irritating after while.

If Meloy keeps Wildwood going, I know I'll still check it out. I just feel like this book may be mis-marketed in a lot of ways, as it's labelled middle grade, yet it makes references to things from the late 70s, early 80s, something I don't think this middle grader generation would pick up on or understand. I get that Meloy has some very older roots (it's very prevalent in his music, which I adore), but I feel like his style and his desire to tell a very old fashioned fairy tale with a hipster twist didn't quite pan out the way I hoped it would.

We shall see, I love the universe Colin Meloy has created, so for all I know it could have been a "it's not you, it's me" situation. :/
Profile Image for Lydia Therese.
298 reviews2 followers
October 27, 2015
Stopped reading after of the Mystics said to "re-animate the true heir, the twice-died boy". I could tell there was going to be some creepy dark magic spells so I didn't finish. It wasn't the greatest book in the first place. I recommend Wildwood much more than Under Wildwood.
Profile Image for Anne Secher.
293 reviews31 followers
November 6, 2021
4.5 stars.

This being a sequel, I thought it would seem to be a second version of the first story, but it wasn't. I enjoyed the new characters and how they all added to the main story and characters, not giving space to any confusion. I could even imagine each character's voice and accent.

Prue still feels the calling of the forest while his friend's family are looking for him everywhere without anybody really knowing. This new adventures made the plot much more interesting to me and the illustrations were stunning!

I'd highly recommend this series whatever the length of its books.
Profile Image for Yasmin.
57 reviews1 follower
October 12, 2022
Perfeitooooooo. Esse se tornou um dos meus favoritos. Gostei ainda mais do que do primeiro, simplesmente apaixonada por Elsie e Rachel e as crianças do Lar Unthank. As aventuras de Prue e Curtis mais misteriosas e interessantes. Quero muito o terceiro volume. ♡
Profile Image for Ana Abreu.
103 reviews14 followers
March 31, 2023
The level of sarcasm in this book definitely made me chuckle! I Love this book even more than the first. Theres alot of loose ends so I hope the 3rd can keep up.
Profile Image for Audra.
159 reviews1 follower
March 5, 2015
I should have reread my review of the first one before buying the second. Geesh.

Once I started reading, I remembered a vague sense of not loving the series, but couldn't remember why. So, I kept reading. After about 300 pages, the "why" became clear.

In Middle Earth, Frodo undertakes an overwhelming odyssey, to save Middle Earth from a great evil: total domination and destruction by Sauron.
In Narnia, the four children, never before trained in battle, arm and prepare to fight a great evil: the White Witch, the curse of eternal winter, and her tyranny over all Narnians.
In Harry Potter, Harry is challenged again and again to over come the most evil wizard of all time, in order to save not just his friends and family, but all Muggles and Muggle-born wizards, everywhere.

In Wildwood, Prue and Curtis (and apparently his sisters) must use their wits, wiles, and resources to fight a great evil: Industry and Capitalism. Because the Five Titans of Industry want to use the trees in the Impassable Wilderness to make money.

I get that some people do see that as a great evil; I, too, love and support the National Parks, conservation, and wisdom with our resources. But is that a compelling basis for a 1500-page trilogy? No.

Furthermore, and RELIGIOUS PARENTS OF CHILDREN WHO LOVE FANTASY FICTION, TAKE NOTE: This book is written from an animistic perspective, but takes the religious debate a step further: I would argue that it is anti-organized-religion. The above-mentioned critically-acclaimed and historically-beloved fantasy series all feature magic and sorcery, and conveniently ignore any question of religion, or attempt to reconcile religion with the content of the story. They also all rely heavily on animistic elements and some religious typing, with a savior-figure who either has deity and sovereignty (Aslan), or on whom the salvation of the known world relies (Harry and Aragorn). That's all ok with me, because it allows a religious person to read and enjoy the story without having to reconcile "magic" and "religion." But Wildwood takes a different tack: It's clear that Meloy has no use for a monotheistic god ('"Gods rest her soul," he said'), or for religion in general ("I know she wouldn't go in fer that claptrap, the gods and all, but I says it anyways." [p.255]). It takes a special disdain for religion and the religious to so infuse that tone into one's work that it's actually insulting to the reader, and he manages to convey that disdain.

Overall, I just found the book disappointing (especially because his prose is still lovely and readable - Meloy IS actually a good writer). I don't expect a book to cater to me, and I enjoy reading different perspectives. If he'd simply wanted to write a book glorifying nature and vilifying industry, and encapsulate that philosophy in a fiction work, it would probably have been enjoyable. But that isn't this book, and this book left me completely dissatisfied.
Profile Image for Madeline Knight-Dixon.
171 reviews20 followers
June 12, 2013
This book is just as magical and intriguing as the first one. It continues the story of the world right on the edge of our world, but this time shows the grittier side of both. Children being used for free labor, assassins of some fanatic religious group, overcoming tyrannical leaders, abandoning your family to live the life you want and the consequences that come with that. I mean I can’t think of a young adult book that does ALL this at once besides this one.

My favorite part is still the illustrations though. They’re so charming, and they help bring the story to life without forcing you to imagine everything a certain way. Every few pages there will be this small image to help guide you, which makes reading it so much more fun.

Not to mention the lessons about growing up in this book are completely unreal. I felt like I grew up just reading it, and I’m 23. No matter how old you are, you’re never too old to get slapped in the face by the reality that you’ll always have to make hard decisions, even if you run away from them. That in itself makes this book worth reading, but the awesome story (and cliffhanger!) make it a must.

Profile Image for Mevia.
103 reviews27 followers
August 11, 2017
There's something about this series that brings me back for each book. I love them and hate them. They fascinate me and bore me at the same time. This book is over 500 pages and it took me almost a year to finish reading it once I had started. It's very descriptive and almost slow until suddenly it isn't. I felt that way about the first book as well. I had to make myself sit down to read it only to discover by the time I was done reading that day, I'd finished a good portion of the book.
This book sets up for the third and I hated that realization because I wanted to be able to leave the series behind and read something faster. I might still hold off on book three.

Overall, the world is fun. The characters are many and interesting. The language is a little mature and not too childish for adult readers. Honestly, I don't know if a child would much like the books. They are a bit complicated.

Random review and I feel like I'm spiraling, but that's kind of how reading the book was for me as well. So, fitting?
Author 35 books93 followers
July 13, 2013
I'm so upset that the next book doesn't come out until February. SO UPSET.

I recommend the audiobook, especially if you're a Decemberists fan. Nice to hear Colin's voice reading his own work!
Profile Image for Alec Longstreth.
Author 25 books56 followers
September 15, 2015
I liked this one more than the first one. It ends with a bunch of different cliff hangers - looks like I gotta track down a copy of book three!
Profile Image for twicebaked.
442 reviews
June 4, 2018
Probably better than the first. But I cringe every time I think of how much money their parents wasted trying to find Curtis.
Profile Image for Allison.
64 reviews
January 14, 2023
Reading the nearly 600 pages of this second book in the Wildwood series, I felt like I probably could have just stopped at the first one and left the rest of the trilogy behind. The first builds the world of the Wood very well and nicely wraps its storyline at the end. This second book opens up many more storylines and character arcs that were not always the most interesting and now without any conclusion to the book leaves you forced to read on to the third.
Profile Image for Ellie Wyatt.
477 reviews1 follower
August 8, 2018
i feel like this took me 28 years to read. these books are extremely long considering they are children’s books. and also prue is a major brat in this one and totally inconsiderate to her friend. those are my two issues with this book, but other than that, i enjoyed it. it’s a very creative story, just takes awhile to get through.
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