Cover Image: The Waking Forest

The Waking Forest

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Member Reviews

This was not what I was expecting. The beginning was one time period, and the main was hard to tell. I’m thinking it was modern day. I liked the idea of her having a connection to a witch in the woods and fox boy, but it was just hard to get into story wise.
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Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher, and the author for an audio ARC of The Waking Forest in exchange for an honest review!
I enjoyed the way this story was told and the way that it unfolded with all of the different details coming together. While some parts felt rushed, it was overall a very cute and whimsical. My true rating would be 3.5 for some of the details and depth I felt were missing, but Rhea's story is still one I would recommend, especially for younger readers.
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This is a unique YA fantasy filled with atmosphere. In one POV, we follow Rhea, who is plagued with visions including a forest behind her house that no one else can see. The story also showcases another POV - that of a witch who grants wishes. 

Unfortunately this book didn’t work for me, but I think there are many who would absolutely love this. I never felt connected to the characters and just couldn’t get invested in the story as much as I wanted. I also wasn’t keen on the magic system - I found it to be too vaguely described for my liking. However, there are plenty of things that this book does well.

Firstly, the writing. The two POVs have very distinct narrative styles - that of the witch is fairytale-esque, with lovely prose and evocative descriptions. Rhea’s POV has more of a modern feel. 

In my opinion the biggest hit of this book is the atmosphere - the vibes are haunting, weird, quirky, spooky and magical. There is really a fairytale quality to the writing. To get the most out of this book I think it would benefit from being read in a single, or very few, sittings, ideally in a cosy setting with a good cup of tea, so that you can immerse yourself in the story. I think reading this book is small pieces does it a disservice and would really affect the enjoyment. In other words, this is a “sit down and enjoy” type of book, and definitely not a “I’ll read a few pages while I wait for the doctor” type of book.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
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The Waking Forest is a YA fantasy novel that had all the right elements to grab me by the throat- unexplained visions, fairytale elements, and the collision of two simultaneously running stories. I'm sad to say that's where the excitement ended for me. This book had valiant goals and they all fell flat because of dense narration. Purple prose doesn't even begin to cover it- this book is technicolor prose. I feel like the author is better suited as a poet than a novelist- she knows how to weave a beautiful verse. But the in the context of a novel, it takes me out of the story. To be perfectly honest, I got lost so many times, I can barely describe the story's main points. I would have loved richer characterization too because I feel like the plot and how prettily everything sounded got in the way of me getting to know the characters.
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This was a very fairytale like book. I thought it was beautiful. The MC finds herself having these vivid dreams, then she starts sleepwalking and opening doors. Her dreams start becoming more and more destructive and she begins losing people she loves. But not all is as it seems, because there is more to the story, and that part of the story is where the fairytale like story begins. I really enjoyed listening to this audiobook. The narrator was great and really brought the story to life.  I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. Thank you to Netgalley for this audiobook.
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For anyone who enjoys dark fairy tales, fantasy, and surrealism, this would be a great read.  I had a hard time following, and was less invested than I should have been, so I don't think I'm the right audience for this book.  However, I know readers who love this style, and I will recommend it to them!

The book actually reminded me of We Are All So Good at Smiling, and would be a great read-alike.  I will be sure to recommend this for anyone looking for a modern fairy tale.
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The Waking Forest
by Alyssa Wees
Dreams and fantasy, magic and gods. The beautiful world where magic is held captive by the king. The users use iron to chain and control those denizens of magic. Making slaves of those who have magic. His struggle to control the world has destroyed his family. The princess moves to the forest to sleep through the problems. It is amazing beautiful, that the combination of the dream and fantasy. Showing the nature of acceptance, the love of souls that accept each other.
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Whilst the narrator was lovely to listen to, the plot of the novel was ruined for me by the overuse of description - I found myself bored while waiting for the next scene to happen. 
Having said that, the narrator does a great job of giving characters expression and life, and I appreciated the voice differences she used for each character.
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While I received a copy of this audiobook in exchange for a review, all opinions remain my own. Thank you NetGalley and Dreamscape media for the opportunity to read this story. 

The way this book started out, I never expected it to twist the way that it did but boy am I glad. It ended up being adventurous and magical and beautiful. I love how the author weaved in the element of anxiety, that even magical creatures can have it, that it affects them and they have to learn to live with it and manage it. Might have just been a small part, but as someone who deals with it on the daily, it was big for me. I loved the characters, the family. It all felt so very real to me. Even the magical part that is so very not real, felt as if it could have been, just lurking beyond our world. I love books like this, where we can set aside our perception of reality and pretend, even for just a little while, that magic might just really exist and how would that happen. This is just one of those possibilities.
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Skye, My Skye (IYKYK) is cursed and is working out how to break that curse, all while figuring out who the darkness 
is that seems to haunt her attic and her dreams, and what the 
story is with this imaginary forest only she can see!
The witch in the woods, with the fox that isn’t a fox who tells 
her stories of the world beyond the woods is such a whimsical character and I loved the way things wound up for her. 
I liked this story and honestly would recommend it to read but, 
I can’t say I’m obsessed, there is heart breaking moments in this story, 
I gasped out loud at one point with the maculates and immaculates! 
All in all this story has all the right elements that had me powering 
through this audiobook and kind of wishing it hadn’t ended.
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Thank you Netgalley for this arc in exchange for an honest review. 

"The Waking Forest" by Alyssa Wees follows Rhea a girl who can see this forest and wants to reveal its secrets and the witch of said forest. 

I would give "The Waking Forest" by Alyssa Wees a 2-star review because, I liked the concept of the story but it feel short on executing the story.
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This was so beautifully written, it transports you to this magical world of reality mixed with old fairy tales and magic. I loved reading this and seeing the relationships between Rhea and her family, especially her sisters and seeing how this developed into the story. I also thought it was really unique how the two storylines merged and I was really curious to how that would happen. The only downside was at the end of the book I felt it did begin to drag slightly and it slowed down a bit after the reveal/big twist. However this was so unique and wonderfully written I would highly recommend and check out more by this author.
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Thank you to NetGalley and Dreamscape Media for the ARC of The Waking Forest!

This book is hard to summarize without spoilers but I’ll try. Rhea lives with her close knit family in a house by the sea. Her parents and three sisters are incredibly supportive as Rhea’s visions grow more and more frequent. One night her dreams allow her to go farther than she has gone before with staggering consequences.

Meanwhile the Witch of Wishes holds court in the forest every night, granting wishes to the children who visit her. One night two teenagers visit with unusual wishes and everything changes as a new story unfolds.

I loved this book! I was hooked from the very beginning and the world building and imagery were incredible. This book is so beautiful I want to listen to it again and again.

The narration was excellent as well and really enhanced the story.
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Big thanks to Alyssa wees and Netgalley for the audio ARC in exchange for a review.  

The narrator was good, giving distinction to each character and the flow was well paced. 

This definitely falls into the YA category with a touch of gore. 
A lot of other reviews mentioned the prose being fairly metaphorical and I heard that in some phrasing, but I don't think it was over the top.  

It starts out fairly dark but doesn't really continue throughout the story, with things getting more light.  
I enjoyed it and would likely recommend to a anyone looking for some clean YA looking for a magic vibe with a sleeping beauty adjacent story line.  

4 stars
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This was a great listen. Just like a fairytale of old with an evil king and magical beings. Not everything was as it seemed and I didn't even know until towards the end. I don't want to spoil anything, because this is a story best experienced for yourself. It follows the kings granddaughter throughout the book. Absolutely loved this book. Will buy it in the future soon!
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a copy of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review. 

This was an interesting fantasy story. I enjoyed the concept of a story within a story. I loved the fox who was not a fox telling a tale to the witch and could not wait for those chapters. There was a lot going on in this story, but overall it was an interesting fantasy.
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At first, I thought this book was too full of purple prose to capture my attention. It was hard to see past, kept clouding my vision. But eventually when I got further into it the book settled and drew me in.

This book is about family and it isn’t, it’s about saving the world, and … it also isn’t. It’s about loving yourself the way you are and keeping the ones you love close. Ultimately I think the prose did serve to set the tone at the beginning, maybe we could have done with a little less but maybe it wouldn’t have held as tight without it? I honestly can’t be sure. 

I liked this book a lot and if there was a sequel I’d read it. I didn’t love it, but it did have a modern day fairy tale feel I really enjoyed. 

Our narrator was lovely and perfect for the role. I’ve listened to books with her before and would always choose her, knowing she is the teller of the tale. 

Thank you to Dreamscape Media and NetGalley for providing me with a copy to read in exchange for my honest review.
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This book was very lyrical and atmospheric. It made you believe you were there in the forest, witnessing all that was unfolding. The audiobook was very well done, and you get to meet our very interesting protagonist, Rhea. 

Rhea seems like she has an ordinary life, but her dreams tell her otherwise. She's always had strange and unusual dreams. When she starts believing that her forest behind her home starts to call her, everything will change. When a strange entity shows up in her attic, she senses that she knows him. Rhea names him the darkness, and he promises to tell her all the forest's secrets if she is willing to play his game. I really liked the flow of the book, I especially liked the unraveling of Rhea's secrets and the woods.
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Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with this ARC.
I need to start off my review by addressing the cover of this book. This must be one of the most stunning book covers ever. 
The chapters in this book alternate between two different characters and situations, Rhea and the Witch, which made it feel like I was reading two different books in one and was kind of confusing at times.
Overall, I wish I enjoyed this book more but I didn't. The concept was great, the execution was not.
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A dark tale involving found family, overcoming injustice and discrimination, with a splash of a love interest. Rhea and the witch face a long difficult journey in this novel. Watching these stories intertwine was beautiful. I highly recommend this for anyone interested in dark stories with magic twists.
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