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3.73  ·  Rating details ·  640 ratings  ·  113 reviews
Lucy Darrington has no choice but to run away from boarding school. Her father, an expert on the supernatural, has been away for too long while doing research in Saarthe, a remote territory in the Pacific Northwest populated by towering redwoods, timber barons, and the Lupine people. But upon arriving, she learns her father is missing: Rumor has it he’s gone in search of d ...more
Hardcover, 333 pages
Published June 12th 2014 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons
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Average rating 3.73  · 
Rating details
 ·  640 ratings  ·  113 reviews

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colleen the convivial curmudgeon
This book was definitely just ok for me. I don't know if it's the writing style, or just the sheer predictability of the story, but I just never got invested. I never felt any real sense of danger or mystery or awe or anything, and more often than not I neded up frustrated with Lucy who, while presented as being a strong and intelligent character, often misses that which is in front of her face. Also, all of the obstacles and whatnot just seemed too easy, ultimately - and I was disappointed in t ...more
Portia Abbott
Jun 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I just finished this book this morning, two days after buying it, and I absolutely love it! I love the characters and especially all that was put into the world; the First People, the dreamwood, the little cottage with the toy maker. I also loved the feelings and the writing and everything- so much so that I stayed up quite a bit later than I should have to finish it. When I finished, I had this sort of energy that made me want to jump and smile. That's the energy you get from finishing a good b ...more
Munro's Kids
Apr 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book was phenomenal! I picked it for the cover, and wow, the story inside was amazing. Lucy runs away from the boarding school her father left her in, and takes a train up the coast to find him. When she arrives at the tiny town he was staying at, however, she is told he disappeared weeks back. Together with a boy named Pete, she must travel into a forest that many consider cursed or evil to find him. Not only must she save her father, but she must save the town and forest from Rust, a myst ...more
Dec 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
I loved every second of this book until it got to the resolution of the climax. Personally, it just fell a little flat, but I cared so much for the characters at that point that I merely shrugged a bit and continued onwards. I'm not a huge reader of such fantastical stories, but this one made me fall in love.
Another great middle grade fantasy, Dreamwood takes the reader on a fascinating journey into the heart of a most unusual forest. Lucy makes for quite a character, she's strong-willed, courageous, and loyal. She's also a bit of a know-it-all and her pride and impulsivity causes problems all over the place. Once Lucy determines where her father has gone, she will stop at nothing to get him back, even facing the unknown terrors of Devil's Thumb, a peninsula that no one has come back from in years. ...more
Jemima Pett
I enjoyed reading Dreamwood. Lucy was believable, if a little slow on the uptake in some things, for all her cleverness. She had a little bit of the Hermione Granger about her, without the understanding of people. The characters and communities were well put together, ranging from outback towns, through native people’s communities (more ‘modern’ than the settler’s outpost), to wild woods and plains.

I felt the plot held up most of the time, although I was distracted by the scale of the forest she
Jan 10, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
This author has great storytelling abilities and great ideas, but something about the execution of Dreamwood left me underwhelmed. I just didn't care about anything. About the characters, about Rust, about what would happen to the town. It was missing a sense of urgency, missing the emotion I need to REALLY make it a memorable book. It wasn't the worst thing I have ever read, and yet, I know I will forget it very soon.

That's a shame as the cover is one of the most stunning I have EVER seen.

Jun 26, 2014 marked it as gave-up
Shelves: kids-books
I wanted to like this, but I couldn't get into the writing style. Plus, do we really need this "she's not like all those OTHER girls, who only care about silly yucky girl stuff like hair ribbons" stuff in a book published in 2014? I submit that we do not. I don't know. Maybe it gets better later on but I have too many other books I want to read and I think kids' books can do better than this. I'm calling it quits.
Jan 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
If are between 8 and 13 and related to me, guess what you are getting for Christmas?

Heather Mackey hit this one, her first, out of the park, with a beautifully realized fictional setting, characters with grit and spunk, and an ecological/environmental mystery/problem to solve.

On top of that, she writes some really lovely sentences.

Essie-Marie W.
Realistically it should be three stars BUT I'm feeling generous so here's four stars to a book that was genuinely fun from start to finish.

I loved the setting this story was placed in. Old Western settlement, seeking wisdom from First Nations people, and entering a magical forest with a set of commandments to follow to avoid death? It was the perfect blend of unusual, classic, and original that I didn't know I needed. It starts out as whimsical, but as the story moves on it takes a sinister and
This book was the May choice for the Great Middle Grade Reads group. I probably wouldn't have chosen it on my own and I was a little disappointed with the choice and started it reluctantly. My usual problem with fantasy is the intense investment that must be made at the beginning of a book to figure out how the fantastical world is arranged and works. Some fantasy novels have elaborate geographies and societal structures that make it difficult for me to get immersed in a story. I think this is w ...more
Mar 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I ended up bailing on this book, mostly because I didn't have enough interest in continuing to read. I really feel that Mackey really missed the mark on a lot of things with this book.

Mackey I think was really trying to appeal to a pleathora of different young readers, which made the book far too scattered. There was a mix of historical fiction, fantasy, and pacific northwest. That being said I think she fell short. There were so many things that she could have picked up on in each of these cat
Sep 03, 2014 rated it it was ok
genre: fantasy

summary: Lucy Darrington has been left at a finishing school for girl in San Francisco. She hates it and she doesn't fit in. She wants to be with her father helping him with Ghost Clearing. She sneaks away and takes a train to the small town of Petland where her father is working on his latest case...only to find that he has disappeared. A small but prosperous lumber town, Petland is under the grip of a new disease called Rust. It's destroying the trees. Lucy discovers that her fat
Ellyn Oaksmith
Jan 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing
From the first scene on a train when we meet Lucy Darrington, we can tell she's made of stern stuff, determined to find her missing father in the deeps woods of Sadaarthe. At every step of the way Lucy encounters great obstacles -- giant sea snakes, native people who zealously guard the land, animals with dangerous magical powers. The closer Lucy gets to her goal the more dangerous and complicated her world gets. Will she find her father? Will she survive even as grown men are dying on this expe ...more
Jul 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book is a fun, intelligent, adventurous read. The heroine, Lucy, is a spunky young girl in search of her scientist/inventor father on the dangerous "Devil's Thumb" amidst the Saarthe territory in the Pacific Northwest. Lucy encounters many mythical beings along the way with her willful sidekick Peter. I especially loved hearing Jennifer Grace's perfectly cued narration of Lucy's logical, rational, scientific thoughts throughout this story and Heather Mackey's rich, vivid descriptions of the ...more
Siobhan Nash
Jul 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: finished-reading
Heather Mackey weaves a wonderful tale with Dreamwood. Imaginative and beautifully written, the characters and story line are engaging. I found the book a refreshing change from insta-action books such as The Hunger Games. I liked how the pace of Dreamwood mirrored the pace of Lucy’s journey to find her father, increasing in suspense and making the story ever-more engrossing. I also loved some of the lessons that Lucy learns along the way—lessons valuable at any age. Beware of those who flatter ...more
Daphne Desser
Jan 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This review is by my daughter, Zoe (age 13):

Dreamwood was a remarkable book, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. The characters were much more developed than those in many other similar books. The relationship between Lucy and Pete was very complex. Also, there were a number of twists and turns in the plot. This was not a predictable book. Dreamwood was fascinating from start to finish.
Oct 06, 2015 rated it liked it
This is quite a good book. Not on par with The Chronicles of Narnia (but then again, what is?), it's still refreshing, set in a world that's both believable and otherworldly. I rated it a 3, not because it's mediocre, but because I'm dreadfully picky about rating books highly. 3, to me, means " it was a good, enjoyable read. Check it out if you get the chance."
Laura Albert
Jul 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
As Stephen Colbert said, 'A young adult novel is a regular novel that people actually read' ! This is a book for any age to read and savor! Original, sweet, funny, exciting - and excellently crafted, everything anyone wants in a book. Perfect!
Jan 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Amazing story that draws you in and keeps you there the entire time. Compelling characters and a wild, wholly original world you won't forget.
Jun 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
LOVED it! I'll be coming back for another read in the actual book. So lovely!
Ellie Geisenheimer
Aug 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Sorry it took so long. Really just got into the book in March. It is a great young reader's book. I really enjoyed it. This book is good reading, with some scary parts, and with lots of mystery.
Gabriella Reeves
Jan 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Great book; nice twists and turns.
Mar 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a great fantasy book with a little bit mystery and adventures. A girl, Lucy, escaped school and goes on a complicated adventure to find her father.
May 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A spellbinding ecological tale steeped in lush prose and teeming with atmosphere and suspense. Gorgeously written with characters that seep humor and heart, grounding the fantastical.

Dec 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is a great book with a sweet and satisfactory ending. It is a page-turner and I am definitely hoping for a sequel!!
Meh. Too slow, very predictable, and I never felt like I cared for the characters. Big plus for the environmental message.
Jun 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Amazing book! I picked it because of the cover and title. It is an awesome choice of book if you love action, adventure, and suspense.
Oct 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
AMAZING! A must read!
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