Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Happy Book Birthday, Eyes of the Forest by April Henry with Giveaway!

 Sometimes, a reader needs a good mystery, and today's review fits that bill. The eerie title and cover caught my attention on this one. Plus, I was in the mood for a bit of a thriller

Eyes of the Forest
by April Henry
Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
YA Mystery


After a bestselling fantasy writer disappears, only his biggest fan believes he’s in danger. Instead of re-reading his books, she must venture into the real world to uncover the truth in this fast-paced mystery by New York Times-bestselling author April Henry. For readers of Courtney Summers and Karen McManus.

Bridget is RM Haldon’s biggest fan. She and her mom sought refuge in Haldron’s epic fantasy series Swords and Shadows while her mom was losing her battle with cancer. When Bridget met Haldon at one of his rare book signings, she impressed the author with her encyclopedic knowledge of the fantasy world he’d created. Bridget has been working for him ever since as he attempts to write the final book in his blockbuster sword and sorcery series. But Haldon has gone missing, and Bridget is the only person who seems concerned. Can Bridget piece together Haldon’s cryptic clues and save him before it’s too late?

Master mystery-writer April Henry weaves another heart-stopping young adult thriller in this story that seamlessly blends suspense with an exploration of fan culture.

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With amazing smoothness and weaving, this tale places tension high and keeps the reader wondering how it will all work out by the end.

Bridget has been a fan of a famous author since she was eight, and by a wonderful chance, she even has become his assistant and offers advice on the details he's built into his series. Unfortunately, he's suffering from writer's block, and millions of fans have been waiting for the last novel in his series for over three years. When he suddenly goes missing, nobody seems to notice. Not even Bridget until she receives a very strange email.

Every moment and every step is very well laid out in this mystery. I'm not always a fan of those stories, where the reader already knows who the kidnapper is, what their motive is, and even where they are hiding their victim, but this author makes it work and more. Every step of the way, the characters are left open, allowing the reader to know exactly what they are thinking and why. It makes each one personal and more realistic...even when their logic is flawed. 

Bridget is a character to root for from beginning to end. She's got a very good head on her shoulders, tons of heart, and is willing to do what she needs to. She has some difficulties from her past to overcome, but it doesn't make her weak. I also appreciated the warm relationship with her father. While there is a bit of romance hinted at...maybe, it's more of a forming friendship and doesn't go anywhere from there. So, that was refreshing, too.

The tension in this one builds slowly and remains high until the end. There is a little bit of violence and a slightly gruesome accident scene, but none of this is over the top. Everything is done open for the reader to see and know, and it's the expectation of Bridget, hopefully, figuring things out, which make this one so entertaining and grabbing. I especially enjoyed the way the villains grow and change, as it adds depth and unexpected twists. 

It was no problem to read this one in a single sitting, and I, luckily, didn't have to put it down until I'd read all the way from the beginning to the end. 

And here she is...

April Henry is the New York Times bestselling author of many acclaimed mysteries for adults and young adults, including the YA novels Girl, Stolen; The Girl I Used to Be, which was nominated for an Edgar Award; The Night She Disappeared; and Body in the Woods and Blood Will Tell, Books One and Two in the Point Last Seen series. She lives in Oregon.

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Giselle said...

Thanks for being on the tour! Glad you liked it!

Natalie Aguirre said...

I just saw this book on someone else's blog today and thought I'd like it. Now I'm super excited about it since you read it in one sitting.

Heather N. Quinn said...

Geat when you can read a whole book without being interupted. What fun!