Reader Reviewed The Beginning Woods by Malcolm McNeill
  

The Beginning Woods

Written by Malcolm McNeill

13+ readers   Debuts of the Month   YA readers   eBooks   
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September 2016 Debut of the Month

In a Nutshell: Unfathomable mystery | Timeless fairy tale quest

An elegantly atmospheric page-turner that will have readers rooting for main character, Max, and intoxicated by its exquisite style.

When people start vanishing from all corners of the globe, leaving only a puddle of clothes, the world is thrown into utter shock and confusion. But, while the scientist Seekers research this chilling phenomenon, and people continue to disappear, “children did not vanish.” And one child in particular might just hold the key to understanding – and stopping – the Vanishings…

After spending years working within the research programme, former Seeker Boris is alerted to the fact that the cause of the Vanishings might be a boy who was abandoned in a bookshop at birth. No one wants to adopt this “spooky baby” until the Mulgan’s come to the Orpanab Centre and name him Max. After discovering that he’s adopted, Max is haunted by dreams of his genetic mum and dad, his “Forever Parents”. Max’s fractured life begins to make a strange kind of sense when a man in a bookshop remarks, “when you read you discover who you really are”. This turns out to be entirely true when Max discovers a storybook brimming with enticingly disturbing tales of the Beginning Woods. While his adoptive parents implore him to “start living in the real world”, Max knows that his reality lies within the world laid bare in this book: he is of the Beginning Woods, and to the Woods he must return. The question is, can Max survive its terrifying magic and solve the mystery of the Vanishings?

At once visceral and philosophical, this impressive debut is suffused with the wit and timelessness of The Princess Bride and will surely be relished by Neil Gaiman fans. ~ Joanne Owen

A Piece of Passion from Adam Freudenheim, Publisher, Pushkin Books 'Malcolm McNeill's stand-alone fantasy is an exceptional book, I believe. This is a book for anyone - child, teenager or adult - still in love with stories and enchanted by the power of stories. With its beautifully designed cover and part-title pages thanks to the amazing Helen Crawford-White I hope you also find it a pleasure to hold! You have a real treat in store - enjoy!'

Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can read their full reviews by clicking here.

  • Mariam Ahmed - 'There is a lot of creativity behind this book which I really liked. Some sentences were so brilliantly written and sad at the same time that they really pulled my heart strings.'
  • Celeste Phelan, age 14 - 'Be transported to a world like no other full of magic, dragons and wind giants where anything can happen.'
  • Khadijah Ahmed - 'It has eccentric characters, quirky prose, relaxed pacing and quite an abstract, philosophical plot.'
  • Amelia Corrick-Gough, age 14 - 'A wonderful tale of a lost child and a different world that drags the reader into its pages and keeps them there. While reading this book, Max was all I could think about. I needed to know everything.'
  • Rebekah Marsh, age 13 - 'The Beginning Woods is a fantastic book; however, it wasn't for me.'

Synopsis

The Beginning Woods by Malcolm McNeill

A MYSTERY NO ONE CAN SOLVE.

The Vanishings started without warning. People disappearing into thin air - just piles of clothes left behind. Each day, thousands gone without a trace.

A BABY NO ONE WANTED

Max was abandoned in a bookshop and grows up haunted by memories of his parents. Only he can solve the mystery of the Vanishings.

A SECRET THAT COULD SAVE THE FUTURE

To find the answers, Max must leave this world and enter the Beginning Woods. A realm of magic and terror, life and death. But can he bear the truth - or will it destroy him?

A STORY THAT WILL TAKE YOU TO ANOTHER WORLD

Greater than your dreams. Darker than your fears. Full of more wonder than you could ever desire. Welcome to the ineffable Beginning Woods...

Reviews

McNeill has created a fabulous universe packed full of wonder and terror. The Beginning Woods has earned its place on a shelf with Gormenghast and The Princess Bride. I loved every word and was envious of quite a few. It opened my eyes wide and quickened my heart. A modern classic rich, funny and terrifying Eoin Colfer

The world is incredible, and highly fascinating. It's weird, peculiar, scary but so so so charming! Where are the books? (blog)

Captivates with its wealth of ideas and multilayered plot Debutliteratur It's the fantastical characters and details, which make this book so compelling Tages-Anzeiger

About the Author

Malcolm McNeill

Malcolm McNeill was born in England in 1976 and grew up in Scotland. Since then he has travelled widely in the world, but recently decided it would be best to return to his roots. The Beginning Woods is his first book.

Photo credit © Nhung Luu

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Other Formats

Book Info

Format

Paperback
464 pages

Author

Malcolm McNeill
More books by Malcolm McNeill

Publisher

Pushkin Children's Books

Publication date

1st September 2016

ISBN

9781782690900

Categories

Publisher Profile

Pushkin Children's Books is an imprint of Pushkin Children's Books

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Pushkin Children's Books was launched in 2013 to share tales from different languages and cultures with younger readers, and to open the door to the wide, colourful worlds these stories offer. From picture books and adventure stories to fairy tales and classics, and from fifty-year-old bestsellers to current huge successes abroad, the books on the Pushkin Childrens list reflect the very best stories from around the world, for our most discerning readers of all: children. Twitter @PushkinPress www.facebook.com/PushkinPress

Publisher's Website

pushkinchildrens.com


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