Member Reviews

This middle grade fairytale story is full of sci-fi, fantasy, and horror. It’s a little bit of everything that I enjoy reading. I will say that this leans more toward dark horror than I thought it would, so it would be more suitable for middle graders and up, not elementary kids, in my opinion. It got pretty creepy and eerie for a kid’s book. The kids face danger around every corner, and they constantly have to work together to defeat the evil witch.

Overall, I found the story very creative and imaginative, dark yet hopeful, and suspenseful yet heartwarming. I’ll admit, it took me until about 25-30% before I fully committed to this story and could get into it. But, then it really took off and was quite the action-packed, magical adventure. The writing is rich with details and really immerses you in the different worlds.

When Jake, Willow, and their parents moved to New Marburg, I was shocked to see how sci-fi the town is (reminded me a little of the old cartoon, The Jetsons), but it was fun to see the weird and bizarre scenes and people. It made me curious about this place and I wanted to know and see more. I wished they explored the town a bit more.

The first part of the book is in our world, and it kept me guessing the whole time. I was very curious to know more about this strange new town as well as what was going on because there was a lot of strange behavior happening with most of the adults, including their parents. It was definitely a page-turner once I got into it.

Then, in the second part of the book, we’re in Grimmworld, which is a very magical and fantastical place. However, the explanations about the different universes and all the science talk were a bit of a brain teaser. It was a little confusing and hard to understand for me as an adult, so I could see a child having a bit of a difficult time with those scenes. But it was still very intriguing and creative.

I enjoyed learning how the two main kids were descendants of the Brothers Grimm and how it turned into a family adventure. There is a lot of care and love between the two siblings. The character development goes pretty deep into their feelings and struggles in their daily lives, but then we see how much they both look up to each other and focus on each other’s strengths when they both focus on their own weaknesses. There were some very touching moments between brother and sister that tugged at my heartstrings. There is definitely familial bonding during this adventure. I loved seeing their relationship grow stronger.

While in GrimmWorld, we see a unique take on the fairytale, Hansel and Gretel. We meet the witch, who keeps the children as prisoners in her candy house. The challenges the witch puts the kids through are interesting, but I wish there was more to them. I wish they were bigger and more action-packed. But I enjoyed the puzzles, riddles, and games they had to play. They really made you think. In fact, this entire book really makes you think!

I also wish we explored the forest and GrimmWorld more, but hopefully, there will be more adventures in this universe. I had a good time with this book. It looks like it’s the first book in a series. I would be interested in reading book two if it comes out. Definitely recommend this book!

Thank you to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this advanced reader copy in exchange for an honest review. These are my own thoughts and opinions.

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When their scientist parents move to jobs in the hi-tech town of New Marburg, twins Willow and Jake Grimm are in for a shock with respect to just how many changes this move is about to bring into their lives.

As if senior citizens welding lightsabers were not strange enough, the kids discover that they are descended from the original Brothers Grimm, whose inspiration from the stories came from their role as Grimmwalkers, involving travel to the actual location of Grimmworld, a parallel universe of sorts, and a place where witches and danger abound.

When Willow and Jake unexpectedly find themselves transported there, they are drawn into a perilous adventure that involves rescuing their best friends Pearl and Hank, who have morphed into Hansel and Gretel, and are facing great danger at the hands of the witch...

This is a dark adventure story with a horror vibe. There is plenty of action and a lively set of characters. Kids who like a creepy cast to their stories will probably find the most enjoyment in this creative and well-crafted tale. It gets 3.5 stars.

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This is a great book.

My two pre teens and I read the book together . They were on the edge of their seats wanting to know what would happen next. It had the same vibe as the series “land of stories “ .

The story follows two children who are moving to Idaho (which the kids loved as we live in Idaho ) . Their parents got new jobs and are ready to take their family out of the big city.

Strange things begin to happen - the biggest is that an old man appears to them with a light saber and seems to attack them. They tell their parents and it’s as if their parents can’t hear a word about the experience .

When they arrive in the new town they find magical things begin to happen , and not all great (like their picture frames falling off their walls constantly). They make friends quickly but they also make enemies , including their teacher .

The kids loved the naked mole Krat mascot. They laughed throughout the book. There were a few scenes that seemed to go on a few extra pages and a few parts that were a bit scary for my kids .

Hansel and gretel and the witch play a big role in the book. The kids loved hearing about the candy on the house. Good thing we had some left over halloween candy as both said “this is making me want candy”. They loved the challenges the witch gave to the children. We are hooked ! This was a great read for pre teens and probably teenagers as I’m an adult and enjoyed it too ! Again it had a couple parts that were a little scarier for children but all in all an excellent read . We will be getting the book when it comes out (because the kids have already asked to read it again).

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for a download in exchange for an unbiased review. This was a fantastic read !

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Fairytale meets horror in this epic middle-grade novel. You can tell that Michaelbrent Collins has experience in the horror genre because the witch was a thing of nightmares. But first things first.

Blurb:
Twins Willow and Jake Grimm are not prepared for the bizarre gadgets and scary changes in their new home of New Marburg, the location of the top-secret Think Tank where their parents now have jobs as scientists. In this town, people jetpack to work, robots direct traffic, and senior citizens duel with laser swords.
Yet nothing compares to what happens the day after lightning strikes the twins' house. Their school building transforms around them, becoming a medieval castle--complete with a moat, drawbridge, and a dangerous giant who looks strangely like the school's overly aggressive hall monitor.
Willow and Jake learn that their ancestors, the original Brothers Grimm, were more than storytellers. They were Grimmwalkers, able to travel from our universe to Grimmworld: the universe where all fairy tales are born.
Somehow, Willow and Jake have been transported to Grimmworld as well.
But before the twins can figure out how to get back to their own universe, they discover that their best friends, Hank and Pearl, have morphed into the fairy tale characters Hansel and Gretel and been captured by a candy-obsessed witch deep in the Cursed Forest.
Now, the twins must trust in each other, believe in themselves, and find the courage to face their darkest fears in order to save their friends, return to their family, and maybe--just maybe--save the world.

Mindexplosion! But not at first. Initially, I was confused about the focus on science in this book. I thought: “How can this story turn into the tale of fighting a witch?” But then lightning struck and everything changed. This story was an epic tale, wonderfully and scarily told by Michaelbrent Collins. I loved the twin dynamic, the love-hate between the two of them. Although sometimes I thought Jake went a bit overboard with his affirmation for his sister. They had each other’s backs and couldn’t have survived a second without each other in Grimmworld. The story was packed with suspense and riddles, that made me turn page after page till late into the night. I can’t wait for the Grimms to continue their tale in book two.

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I really loved the beginning of this book. I thought the explanations of each twin's personality, talents, and experiences were really engaging.

There are other characters including the parents and mysterious people/creatures who were pretty interesting.

I thought the move to the new city and explanation of where the parents work was clever. The book sort of lost me when it got to the fairy tale portion. I felt like there was a lot of attempt at build up but not a lot that kept the story as an interesting or unique from other tellings of these tales.

The actual writing mechanics and style are good and I am interested in checking out other books by the author.

Thanks to Netgalley and publishers for the ARC of this book. I enjoyed the chance to read and review it.

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Thank you to NetGalley for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinions.

My son absolutely loved this book!

This book followed two siblings who are forced to move when their parents get a mysterious job in another state with a very mysterious company. Then the whole way though strange things keep happening to them.

Very cool Grimms Fairy Tale vibes throughout the whole story.

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Michaelbrent Collings created a great concept for a fairy tale children’s book. I enjoyed the idea of people disappearing and becoming fairy tale characters. It kept me invested and I enjoyed how good everything was done. The characters were overall great and worked in this world. I hope to read more from the author and this world.

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What a fun book to read with kids! I think it’s be a perfect read a loud.

Willow and Jake are twins and with their parents they move to a new eccentric town where most people work for a company called Tank and Dad has a new job there that he won’t talk about. The kids go to a new school and with a mean teacher. The kids are having a hard time adjusting when odd things start happening and they are thrust into a land of fairytales and need to defeat the witch and find a way back home.

This was very fun and full of puns. There were a few chapters that suffered from telling not showing world building but it was a great time and I think kids would get a kick out of reading it.

Thanks to NetGalley and Shadow Mountain Publishing for an eARC.

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I was drawn to this cover. It's very pretty.
This is a fun portal adventure with a lot of Grimm fairy tale influences. It has a slow pace for me and sometimes the dialogue slows the action even more but I guess it's because the goal is to add some humor. I appreciate the main characters are twins, a girl, and a boy and they have their individual personalities. This novel also addresses the fact they move to a new home and school, different from what they were used to on top of that they learn more about who they are. The constant references to pop culture and learning from Jake and his insights are also fun.
My favorite thing was the three trials. That helped towards the end.
Thank you Netgalley and publisher for this e-ARC.

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This book is an excellent twist on the Grimm fairytales! To be more exact, it's a twist on the twisted tales.

"This is how the story began: not with 'once upon a time' or in a castle in a far-away land, but in a living room..."

Willow and Jake are the twin protagonists of the story, and it certainly takes both of them. The book takes an archetypal hero's journey, a twin bildungsroman if you will, and adds a creepy tint to everything. Chapter 12 announces there are no happily ever after in Grimmworld, and it's probably right. "The forest was a thing of terror and shadow." (136)

In many ways, this story has the feeling of a more chilling version of Into the Woods. You know, without singing and dancing. But there are riddles - and music. Mixed into the darkness.

"Worse? What could be worse than doomed?"

I believe this is the start of a series, so it should be interesting to see where the tales take the twins next.

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You can find the best stories in children’s books and that is what I discovered in Grimmworld: The Witch in the Woods. I could not begin to tell you of the fantastical adventures I went through with Willow and Jake without giving out spoilers, so suffice it to say that it was one heck of a ride.

They found a friend in what they thought was their assassin, got assistance from a naked mole rat, and almost became candied children along with their friends. And, the journey they took to overcome all of these was nothing short of exhilarating and, of course, magical.

So if you’re looking for an astounding and compelling read that will make you gobble the pages up, then this book is for you. Although meant for kids 8-11 years old, who’s to say we can’t read this, too.

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This is a very descriptive fairy tale with tie-ins to Grimm. It had all the elements of a good story; it was full of action, strong friendship and family ties, adventures, near peril, using your strengths and believing in yourself, punny humor, and fantastic characters and creatures.

I wanted to love it, I really did. It started out slow and I struggled to get into the story. It improved for me about 1/3 in, which got me to finish it. There were some amazing scenes and characters- it just didn't seem to flow or come together smoothly.Almost too much description- which I never thought I’d say. I can't pinpoint exactly- but it was his okay for me.

"Some people get a family tree, I get Frankenstein's shrub.'
"She wondered suddenly if he might be the bravest person she knew, because he did what he had to, even when so much if it scared him."
" might suggest that facing a real monster has made you slightly less afraid of the ones you imagined."
I appreciate the ARC from Shadow Mountain. The opinions are my own.

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Review Copy

THE WITCH IN THE WOODS is Michaelbrent Collings newest offering in the YA genre. If you're a lover of sf/fantasy/fairy tales and teethed on Robert Heinlein, Alan Dean Foster and Peter Pan, this is for all you adults as well.

It's full of puns and tons of fun. He brings a mention of everything from Avatar to Star Wars and Former Guy to Xanth and Utopia. They are all mashed together into (major change in the middle of the book a la RAH) .Grimmworld.

It's an exciting, fun and challenging reading experience. He gently tries to teach the right way of living life. He sets up book 2 at the end of the book and includes some suggested questions for reading groups. This is one book you will definitely want to give your kids to read - or read with them. And start a book club for the kids if there isn't one.

I loved WITCH and am sure to read it again.

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Grimmworld, The Witch in the Woods, introduces the reader to a place where fantasy and science meet. Grimmwalkers have the ability to walk between worlds, in a multiverse setting. Willow and Jake are twins, who are also descendants of the Brothers Grimm, the original grimmwalkers.
Their father has just started a new job and moved the family to New Marburg. Here, the threshold between worlds is thin. Scientists are trying to bridge the gap and being magic to New Marburg. But this has dangerous consequences they are ignoring. Jake and Willow are pulled into Grimmworld, along with new friends from school and other citizens. They now have to find their way back home, but must help others as they go. They must solve riddles and complete tasks to stay on the correct path to set things right.

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The Witch in the Woods was a mostly fun read but I did have a few problems with it. I felt it had too much unnecessary information within, especially explaining about the worlds. Good editing could cut it down to make the pace move along quicker. The chapters were way too long for a middle grade book.
The beginning I found the pov to be all over the place. It did come good, but it reminded me too much of The Land of Stories which I stopped reading. I persisted with TWITW and I’m glad I did, although I thought there was too much in the way of ‘explaining’ why things were happening and maybe even trying to moralise.
I’m sure children will enjoy the different take on the land of fairytales. There’s some fun lines and the main characters of Jake and Willow were likeable and relatable.

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This was a fun fantasy story. It had a simplicity about it that I enjoyed - nothing elaborate or fancy, just an entertaining story. I really liked the general design of the book too - the fonts, and the striking cover. This did remind me a little bit of a Neil Gaiman book, so I wonder if fans of his books would like this.

Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for a free copy to review.

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Fun and interesting read! I loved reading this with my daughter who really got into the plot line and characters.

I just reviewed The Witch in the Woods by Michaelbrent Collings. #TheWitchintheWoods #NetGalley
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Not the best middlegrade book I’ve read but still pretty good. The story is familiar with a family who moves to a new town where things are a little bit strange and the children are thrust into an adventure surrounding the town and the people in it.

The connection to the Brothers Grimm and their fairy tales was a nice twist.

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What a great tale! "The Witch in the Woods: Volume 1" by Michaelbrent Collings is a wonderful middle-grade fantasy story corresponding with the Grimm's stories. I love the Grimm's stories, so I was sold on the premise of this book. This is the first book in the series and a great start to it.

The book follows the adventures of the almost eleven-year-old twins, Willow and Jake Grimm, in the Grimmworld. When the twins' parents are offered a job at the Think Tank Company based in New Marburg, Idaho, they relocate there, but the kids aren't happy with the move. Meet the family:

* Pun-loving father named Phil, a quantum physicist.
* The mom, Dorothy, is a mechanical engineer and a genius inventor.
* Willow - a social kid. She loves to read fantasy and Sci-fi, easygoing, smart, athletic, artistic, and advantageous to boot.
* Jake - the quiet one and lacks confidence. He is kind, full of book smarts and science smarts, and has a good memory.

Even before they start the long drive to their new home, odd things start to occur. The twins are attacked by a weird man spitting garbage words. When they try to tell their parents, their parents ignore them. There are bizarre things in the new town as well, such as flying cars, talking robots, and other wonderful inventions they haven't seen before.

The twins start a new school and have to deal with a mean teacher who hates them for reasons unknown (at first) and makes their life a living hell. They befriend two kids, Hank and Pearl, and try to make the best of a worse situation. The plot thickens when their school turns into a medieval castle, the horrible hall monitor turns into a giant, and they are whisked into the world of tales, Grimmworld, into the story of Hansel and Gretel, no less. Thus starts a fantastic adventure featuring neat tidbits, a mysterious wizard, an evil witch, and a talking naked mole rat.

This book is the perfect example of why I love children's novels so much. It is creative and full of imagination, and, as with all fables, there is a moral at the end. I loved the puns and riddles and the twist the author took on the original tales. I also enjoyed the way the main characters grew and developed as the tale unfolded.

It is a beautifully written book with great world-building that captures the imagination of the reader from the first chapter. The technical explanation of the worlds slows up the pace a bit and should be shortened, as it interrupts the flow of the story. That was my only issue with the book.

Although written for children, it is also a delightful read for adults who are young at heart. The author certainly knows how to capture your imagination. I loved the book although I am not the target audience. The author ties most of the loose ends, but he ends the book with a cliffhanger. I would love to read the second book in the series when it is out. Anyone who loves fairy tales with a twist or fantasy adventure will enjoy reading this book.

* Thank you NetGalley and (publisher) for the opportunity to read this arc. All opinions are my own.

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This had a feel of 'Coraline' in which two kids move to a new and odd town with their scientist parents. I loved the mystery ANF strangeness. It was fun and so intriguing. There were parts that slowed the story and were unnecessary.

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