★ ★ ★
This was a unique concept with an intriguing premise. The cover is stunning, with a wolf made out of leaves. I thought that was cool and fitting into the story-line, and have to say it is one of the best covers I’ve seen this year. It is a different view of a post-apocalyptic world, and as someone who enjoys novels of the genre, I couldn’t wait to read what was in store with The Trees. The beginning is strong with vivid world-building, and an introduction to the characters to get an idea of who they are when it first begins. Within the first 100 pages or so, I was lost and overwhelming in the world that was becoming consumed by trees. Can you imagine an end to the world coming not from a plague of some-sort or global disaster… but by trees breaking through the ground everywhere, destroying anything in their path?
That is an eerie and frightening thought, and Shaw’s writing places you in the story as it all unfolds. It was interesting as the characters attempted to cope with what was going on in the world and come together to find their path through the destruction and chaos. To have a character who is a mother with an odd and different view on what was going on, that was unexpected. Adrien wasn’t an easy character to find relatable, and he certainly wasn’t always one that I rooted for, but I thought it was interesting to read this story with the contrast of characters and still being realistic-you never know how a person is going to react in such a bizarre and otherworldly situation.
Come just over half of the book, the pace and story-telling began to shift, and it was just difficult to get through it because it felt clunky, and as if the author didn’t know where to take the story and characters from there into the end At times it couldn’t keep me engaged so it took me a while to read the entire book. While that was the only downfall, I did really enjoy this suspenseful, haunting novel.
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.
Hardcover, 496 pages
Published August 2nd 2016 by Bloomsbury USA
I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review. All opinions are my own.