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The white forest by Adam McOmber
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The white forest (edition 2012)

by Adam McOmber

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1612374,103 (3.28)5
Member:aerobama
Title:The white forest
Authors:Adam McOmber
Info:New York : Simon & Schuster, 2012.
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:rbcl, fantasy, gothic, Victorian England, historical fiction, missing persons, supernatural

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The White Forest: A Novel by Adam McOmber

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» See also 5 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
This book was, well, different. Something about it pulled me in and devoured my attention. With the sudden disappearance of Nathan Ashe, his close friends, Maddy and Jane are on a mission to find him. In the process they discover more about Nathan and his cult involvement that included Jane and her curious abilities. Jane can be very relatable as someone who is much the introvert, and sort of a third wheel. Her understanding of her past and her future becomes essential in truly discovering and utilizing her "talent."

"Only Nathan and Maddy knew my secret. I was familiar with realms of the unnatural, for I myself was an unnatural. Not a monster in appearance; I look like other young women, though perhaps not as primped and manicured. But I wasn't the same as other girls. My friends believed I was sick or gifted. Either way, I was unfortunate. Something entirely new upon the earth." (24)

For some reason I wanted to not like this book, and I felt like at any moment I would become uninterested, but for some other reason I was intrigued and wanted to know more about the book. The plot was different from anything I've ever read. With a wonderful writing style, I appreciated the author's research and translation of that era's conflicts, technology and refinement. It's Victorian allure and gothic paranormal attributes took my imagination on a grim flight to a place of mystery and transcendence.

First Line: "When nathan Ashe disappeared from the ruined streets of Southwark, I couldn't help but think the horror was, at least in my part, my own design." (1)

Last Line: "Yet the child herself was silent and lovely upon the earth." (303)
----------------
Quotes

"When Nathan began to change, everything was thrown off balance. We lost our careful orbits and began to fall." (2)

"'The only way to cure a city,' he said, 'is to make it stop being a city.'
'And what do you expect that to look like?' Maddy asked.
'A garden,' Nathan said, 'untouched by human hands.'" (19)

"If my friend hadn't come into my life, perhaps I would have remained that melancholy creature who walked in shadows, keeping balance between earth and aether merely by existing. But being drawn out of Stoke Morrow had changed me. The flesh and blood part of me had grown strong. I'd learned to love the world, to love the people around me. I'd become almost human for a time." (292)

( )
  Dnaej | Mar 14, 2014 |
This book was, well, different. Something about it pulled me in and devoured my attention. With the sudden disappearance of Nathan Ashe, his close friends, Maddy and Jane are on a mission to find him. In the process they discover more about Nathan and his cult involvement that included Jane and her curious abilities. Jane can be very relatable as someone who is much the introvert, and sort of a third wheel. Her understanding of her past and her future becomes essential in truly discovering and utilizing her "talent."

"Only Nathan and Maddy knew my secret. I was familiar with realms of the unnatural, for I myself was an unnatural. Not a monster in appearance; I look like other young women, though perhaps not as primped and manicured. But I wasn't the same as other girls. My friends believed I was sick or gifted. Either way, I was unfortunate. Something entirely new upon the earth." (24)

For some reason I wanted to not like this book, and I felt like at any moment I would become uninterested, but for some other reason I was intrigued and wanted to know more about the book. The plot was different from anything I've ever read. With a wonderful writing style, I appreciated the author's research and translation of that era's conflicts, technology and refinement. It's Victorian allure and gothic paranormal attributes took my imagination on a grim flight to a place of mystery and transcendence.

First Line: "When nathan Ashe disappeared from the ruined streets of Southwark, I couldn't help but think the horror was, at least in my part, my own design." (1)

Last Line: "Yet the child herself was silent and lovely upon the earth." (303)
----------------
Quotes

"When Nathan began to change, everything was thrown off balance. We lost our careful orbits and began to fall." (2)

"'The only way to cure a city,' he said, 'is to make it stop being a city.'
'And what do you expect that to look like?' Maddy asked.
'A garden,' Nathan said, 'untouched by human hands.'" (19)

"If my friend hadn't come into my life, perhaps I would have remained that melancholy creature who walked in shadows, keeping balance between earth and aether merely by existing. But being drawn out of Stoke Morrow had changed me. The flesh and blood part of me had grown strong. I'd learned to love the world, to love the people around me. I'd become almost human for a time." (292)

( )
  Dnaej | Mar 14, 2014 |
Seriously? ( )
  picardyrose | Feb 27, 2014 |
The White Forest is a Gothic wonder that draws one to the outskirts of London and into the lives of Jane, Maddy, and Nathan; this novel reminds me of another novel - Of Bees and Mist by Erick Setiawan. I appreciate the way McOmber slowly unravels Jane's world through mysterious prophecies and leads the reader toward the netherworld or, in this case, the Empyrean. ( )
  KarenRinn | Nov 2, 2013 |
From my blog:


The White Forest by Adam McOmber is a novel in its own league. From the tone to the characters to the magic, I honestly can’t compare it to anything else I’ve read. I don’t think I’ll be forgetting about it any time soon, and it has high re-read potential just so that I can try to make sense of all the blissfully odd pieces. I honestly haven’t read a lot of gothic stories and only a few historical fantasies, but I definitely liked my introduction!
Note: I received The White Forest from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Strengths:
The premise of The White Forest is quite original. A girl can hear sounds and see colors from man-made objects that seem to be the souls of the objects. In most YA this would have a direct use and she would solve the mystery with her power and go on her merry way. The White Forest is not that story. There are trees that aren’t trees and goddesses that may or may not be goddesses. Nothing follows the direction you expect it to and it was so much fun to explore.
The tone of The White Forest is very classic. I immediately was reminded of English countryside and tea ;-). It just fits the setting so perfectly and really sets the mood.
The main character, Jane, has a very unique personality. She is not very good with people and just seems to be odd. I was delighted to realize that this made complete sense in the end!
I had to look up what a heath was, but once I did I quite enjoyed the setting. The White Forest is set in London and there were several clever uses of various historic sights during the book.
Wow, that ending…. You’ll guess some of it sure, but I don’t think anyone will be able to guess all of it. The perfect end to such a trippy ride, hehe.

Weaknesses:
While Jane is an interesting character, her personality made it so that there weren’t very strong relationships even with her best friends. I was left feeling that the other characters had only existed to assist Jane’s forward momentum.
To go along with the very appropriate tone, The White Forest lags at times. I ended up mostly enjoying drifting around the peaceful parts, but it definitely wasn’t an edge-of-your-seat experience for me.
There are frequent jumps between the past and the present to fill in information, but there aren’t any indicators of when time jumps are happening. You can generally tell from the context, but it was a bit disorienting at times.

Summary:
The White Forest might take you several days to read due to its pacing, but they will likely be very enjoyable days. If you are looking for something fresh and original, you’ve come to the right book. Even as a long time fantasy reader, I was surprised and delighted at the creativity shown in The White Forest’s plot and world. If all gothic books are like this, then I’ll have to start reading more of them!
( )
  anyaejo | Sep 7, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
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When Nathan Ashe disappeared from the ruined streets of Southwark, I couldn't help but think the horror was, at least in my part, my own design
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Young Jane Silverlake lives with her father in a crumbling family estate on the edge of Hampstead Heath. Jane has a secret{u2014}an unexplainable gift that allows her to see the souls of man-made objects{u2014}and this talent isolates her from the outside world. Her greatest joy is wandering the wild heath with her neighbors, Madeline and Nathan. But as the friends come of age, their idyll is shattered by the feelings both girls develop for Nathan, and by Nathan{u2019}s interest in a cult led by Ariston Day, a charismatic mystic popular with London{u2019}s elite. Day encourages his followers to explore dream manipulation with the goal of discovering a strange hidden world, a place he calls the Empyrean. A year later, Nathan has vanished, and the famed Inspector Vidocq arrives in London to untangle the events that led up to Nathan{u2019}s disappearance. As a sinister truth emerges, Jane realizes she must discover the origins of her talent, and use it to find Nathan herself, before it{u2019}s too late.… (more)

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