The Forest: Lisa Quigley
Reviewed By Steve Stred
Straight up – if I was forced to only read a single storyline for the rest of my life – it would be books centered around towns that sacrifice things to the forest so that they have security and safety from what lives within those woods.
You can take all other storylines and subgenres and have ’em – for me the absolute most chilling stories are these. And you can even see a lot of that in my own writing.
With ‘The Forest,’ Quigley gives us just that, and adds on a layer of mother-son survival that really rams this one home to the reader.
What I liked: The story is set in Edgewood, a town that has a tentative agreement with something in the woods. The stewards of the town sacrifice things to keep the peace and have continued safety.
Because of this agreement, most citizens never leave the small town and it is this aspect that rears its head frequently. We follow young mother, Faye and her son, as Faye discovers that her son is to be sacrificed. As most mothers would do, she flees, running into the woods and trying to find safety.
This book gallops along and parts reminded me of ‘The Village’ by Shyamalan, where we know there’s something going on and something out there, but we’re not sure what. I will say this does not end like that movie, just to make sure you don’t get turned off!
Quigley really does a great job making Faye a stunning character and one that you’ll root for throughout the entire story, even when a few things get revealed and ultimately a decision is made at the end.
What I didn’t like: This was a story where we get a lot of hints that there is something in the woods but ultimately we barely see it and when we do I felt it was far too brief and not as frightening as I’d made it out to be in my head. I still liked it but the reveal wasn’t as impactful as I expected.
A lot of the story is told before Faye enters the forest. It felt it went on far longer than necessary.
Why you should buy this: This book will grab you and hold you and make you race through it. I read it over two nights, and was captivated the entire time, wanting to see just what happened.
If you love “what the heck is going on” in forest stories – this one is for you.
Everyone in Edgewood believes their annual tithes at the fall festival are what purchase Edgewood’s safety, but as Faye and her husband prepare to take over as town stewards-a long tradition carried out by her family for generations-they learn the terrible truth: in order to guarantee the town’s safety, the forest demands an unthinkable sacrifice.
In the midst of everything, Faye is secretly battling debilitating postpartum anxiety that makes her all the more terrified to leave the safe cocoon of her enchanted town.
When everyone turns against her-including her own husband-Faye is forced to flee with her infant son into the forest. She must face whatever lurks there and, perhaps most frightening of all, the dark torments of her own mind.
Steve Stred writes dark, bleak fiction.
Steve is the author of a number of novels, novellas and collections.
He is proud to work with the Ladies of Horror Fiction to facilitate the Annual LOHF Writers Grant.
Steve has appeared alongside some of Horror’s heaviest hitters (Tim Lebbon, Gemma Amor, Adrian J. Walker, Ramsey Campbell) in some fantastic anthologies.
He is an active member of the HWA.
He is based in Edmonton, AB, Canada and lives with his wife and son.
You can follow Steve on Twitter @stevestred
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You can visit Steve’s Official website here