I won this book through the Good Reads First Read Giveaway on 04/01/2011 and received it on 05/27/2011!
I haven't read a book this fast since my last Twilight binge. I LOVED this book. But I'm going to be brutally honest. I hope that you take my opinion as just that, an opinion. You may read this and completely disagree because you brought something different away from The Forest of Adventures. But ... at this point, this is what I think. I don't think that I included any huge spoilers here ... but beware!
Like I said, I loved this book. Absolutely adored it. It was such an intoxicating story. BUT. Yes, there are some buts. If you didn't already know this, The Forest of Adventures is written by someone from London. I'm in no way saying that this is a bad thing. But, if you're American, there are bunches of words that may be unfamiliar to you - you can usually figure out what Katie John means by reading the rest of that particular sentence ... I thought I would point that out in case you didn't know. Also, the drinking age in England is different than in the US. This book does portray what American's would consider underage drinking - just wanted to get that out there in case someone was thinking of buying this for a child and they are uncomfortable with this fictional scenario.
Another thing is that I wish that Blake's character had been explored a little more. I understand a little about him and how he is, but I would have liked more in depth info since he's the hero of the book. You get that he is this amazing looking man with perfect manners and a sordid past and he's very mysterious, maybe that is what Katie John was going for - very mysterious for this first book and then she'll explore him a little more in the next one. If that is the case, she totally hit this out of the park. It left me wanting more info about him, his past, his family and everything in between.
I feel like all I'm doing is pointing out all of the bad things. I just wanted to get these out of the way before I jump up on my pedestal and gush about the book some more. Okay. The Realm. Gosh, I don't know where to start. I have so many questions!!! This may be another one of Katie John's ploys to get you to read the next book - it will definitely work for me! It will leave you asking why and how and why again.
Okay, now that that nastiness is done with, this book reminded me of a mixture of Twilight and Harry Potter with a heaping of something extra that made it amazing. Katie John just has a way of writing that really pulls you in and grabs you. I stayed up until 4 am reading it the day that I got it and then fell asleep with it in my hands. I didn't want to put it down.
I would really recommend this book to anyone that enjoyed Twilight and/or Harry Potter or if you're just looking for a great book on a rainy day. I'll definitely read this again. And again.