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The beginning woods by Malcolm McNeill


TITLE: The beginning woods
WRITTEN BY: Malcolm McNeill
HOW I GOT IT: NetGalley
PAGES: 448



(PLOT BY GR) 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 is 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..
REVIEW: Thank you Pushkin Press for sending me an advance copy through netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

“The Beginning Woods is bigger than the best of dreamers could ever imagine,
darker than they could ever fear,
full of more wonders than they could ever desire.”

This book got my interest because they were people who disappeared leaving just their clothes behind and it was so similar to ‘The leftovers’, I mean I haven’t read the book but I’m a huge tvshow fan.. It’s so peculiar. I’ve found out already in the first chapters that this was a story completely different from what I’ve expected. The storyline focused on Max, a baby different from any other infant who suddenly pops up from nowhere; after Max gets adopted people stars to disappear.. logically, it seems that he has something to do with it.

This story is a mix of fairytale, fantasy and mistery. There are witches, wizards, dragons and of course a mysterious wood.. Also, there are references to the original fairytales, i.e. The beginning woods was called in so many different ways in the past and between them there was NEVERLAND.

I loved how they compared reality and dreams, in fact the theme of dream is actually really important in the narration.

I wasn’t really thrilled about a few things: first of all, the story is pretty damned slow at the beginning and you need to find your interior strength in order to keep going with the story, at start I was wondering if the narration was supposed to going somewhere; second of all, the french and german languages… there are a few sentences that are written in these languages, I think they should come with a little note at the end of the page. It’s pretty annoying jump some sentences because you don’t know their meaning. I know they’re not essential for the storyline, but still.

I have to mention Marta who I think is my favourite character in the story. She is such a badass and ‘lives’ (I can’t tell you more) in the beginning woods, she is a sidekick for Max. Sometimes she just pops up with sentences like “Well, I’m sorry I didn’t give you every piece of information about everything that has ever happened in the history of EVERYWHERE!”. Without her the story couldn’t have happened.

“The beginning woods” is a story about a boy who’s looking for his real parents, a boy who won’t stop his quest not even in front of dragons and witches. It’s an odd magical story that you don’t want to miss.


“People who prefer dreams to reality Vanish and never come back. The world they dream about doesn’t exist, but they spend their whole lives in that world. And they stop existing.”

RECOMMEND THE BOOK: If you love fairytales and fantasy you have to give a try to this magic story. A story about Real World and Fantasy World. A story about a boy who is willing to do everything in order to find his Forever Parents.


2 thoughts on “The beginning woods by Malcolm McNeill

  1. Ohhh I am really really intrigued! I LOVE fantasy and I love fairy tales and I like them combined.😂 I’m a teeny bit worried about how slow it is though, because I honestly get very twitchy when books are too slow..but I’m going to have to add this on goodreads at lest. 🙂 A wonderful review!!


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