book review, fantasy

Into the Forgotten Forest by River J Hopkins

Prepare to enter an engrossing fantasy world where wereanimals exist and magic reaches back into the mists of ancient legends.

Eighteen year old twins, Oli and Xander, move from Boston back to their family home of Birch Hollow for their final year of school. Their cousin and childhood friends live there and they quickly fall back into easy friendship with them.

However, strange things start happening to the twins, like their eyesight magically improving. Huge wolves keep turning up dead in their back yard. Both Oli and Xander are plagued by odd dreams.

Little do the twins know that they are limmikin, werewolves, and the subject of an ancient prophecy. As wizards, elves, vampires and the Shadow Queen move into place around them, will the twins fulfill their destiny or destroy the world?

There is so much to love about this book. I couldn’t put down the first half. Each chapter was filled with so much new information. There are a lot of characters and a lot to take in but, for the most part, the author handles it well.

Celtic mythology plays a strong part in this novel, and as an Irish person living a stones throw from Newgrange, I absolutely loved it all. Add werewolves to the mix and it’s practically my perfect book!

Arthurian legend, Greek mythology and the seelie and unseelie courts are also present. Expect familiar faces such as Queen Mab, sun god Lugh, Merlin and the lady of the lake to make appearances in unusual ways. Native American lore is also mentioned, and it’s an aspect I would have liked to see explored further.

The characters were done well and I immediately liked the main characters of Oli and Xander. They were realistic and relatable and I liked that they weren’t angsty teens. They used their brains and communicated with each other, which made me like them even more.

Queen Mab was a wonderful antagonist, and I loved the descriptions of her appearance. I look forward to how her character develops in later books in the series.

I’m afraid I disliked Lugh as the love interest. Partly because I am not fond of the character from Irish mythology and partly because he was a vampire in this book and I’m fed up of vamps as boyfriend material. I hope the author subverts this storyline in future books.

The pacing in the second half of the book lagged for me with unnecessary details and slowed progression. Even though this is the first in a series, I had hoped for more ground to be covered by the end of the book.

I was also confused how one limmikin, who were shown to have extraordinary healing abilities, was vanquished by a broken neck, but perhaps this is a tease from the author and the character will return in the second book.

I award Into the Forgotten Forest

Into the Forgotten Forest is available for $4.67 ebook on Amazon.

I received a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

6 thoughts on “Into the Forgotten Forest by River J Hopkins”

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