Saturday, September 8, 2012

Review♥Giveaway: The White Forest by Adam McOmber

In the bestselling tradition of The Night Circus and Sarah Waters’s The Little Stranger, Adam McOmber’s hauntingly original debut novel follows a young woman in Victorian England whose peculiar abilities help her infiltrate a mysterious secret society.

Young Jane Silverlake lives with her father at a crumbling family estate on the edge of Hampstead Heath. Jane has a secret—an unexplainable gift that allows her to see the souls of manmade objects—and this talent isolates her from the outside world. Her greatest joy is wandering the wild heath with her neighbors, Madeline and Nathan. But as the friends come of age, their idyll is shattered by the feelings both girls develop for Nathan, and by Nathan’s interest in a cult led by Ariston Day, a charismatic mystic popular with London's elite. Day encourages his followers to explore dream manipulation, with the goal of discovering a new virtual reality, a place he calls the Empyrean.     

A year later, Nathan has vanished, and the famed Inspector Vidocq arrives in London to untangle the events that led up to Nathan’s disappearance. As a sinister truth emerges, Jane realizes she must discover the origins of her talent and use it to find Nathan herself, before it’s too late.     
Brilliant book! This book contained this chilly Victorian atmosphere that I just adored to bits and pieces. The book was twisted and contorted in a way like what The Night Circus did to me. It was like a complex mix of flavors as if I just taken a bite of a rare fruit on some fantasy land. It seemed like there were layers after layers of story and flavors within the novel. I was desperately trying to identify each flavoring as if I was trying to figure out a recipe by taste. And like a fancy restaurant dish, The White Forest was in so many way exquisite and brilliant in every single possible way. The mystery within the book seemed to add a little crispness to the dish, the romance added a little spice, while the jealousy added sweet bitterness.

Jane has a special ability which I found really original (but did remind me of the Fullbring in Bleach). I loved Jane. She was lonely, and knew little emotions. At first I thought of Sai (due to the lack of emotions) but Jane was actually really different from Sai. Jane craved every ounce of attention from her friends, Maddy and Nathan. It was so weird. (I like to furrow my bows a lot and trust me, this book didn't help me undo that habit). She was not your girl with a perfect heart (and you don't know how much I loved that). Jane craved attention from her friends and in return Nathan yearned for more knowledge of Jane's gift. The obsessive desires in this book really reminded me of some crazy mad scientist with a peculiar experiment, this in turn made me feel somewhat uncomfortable (in a good way) and perhaps thought that Jane was a little "dangerous". And odd doesn't even cover Jane, the world need to invent a word just to describe her. The complex levels within Jane herself was already mind boggling, imagine a mystery and  relationship with friends. She was so different from all the other characters out there, so rare that you just want to treasure her forever. Jane just tugged at my heartstrings.

I do have to say the lyrical style of this book was hard for me to get into. I was confused in the beginning and had to adapt to the style. Moreover, by having the narration going from past to present, it also confused me to a certain degree. But this book in some way was perfect for me right now. It brought something different for me to the table and I needed a change. :) I didn't want a nice simple story that a five year old can predict. I wanted something deep, something that can slowly seep into my skin and chilled my bones. This gave me that and beyond. I will definitely read this book over to just experience the feelings once again furthermore perhaps I had missed something. ;)

Release date: September 11th 2012
Publisher: Touchstone
Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

Adam McOmber’s novel, The White Forest, will be published by Touchstone, an imprint of Simon and Schuster, in September 2012.  He is also the author of a book of short stories, This New & Poisonous Air(BOA Editions, 2011).  His work has appeared in ConjunctionsStoryQuarterlyThe Fairy Tale Review, Third CoastQuarterly WestThe Greensboro Review and Arts and Letters .  He has been nominated for two 2012 Pushcart Awards and received an AWP Intro Award.  He lives in Chicago and teaches at Columbia College where he is also the associate editor of the literary magazine Hotel Amerika. 

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  1. Book looks great. Thanks.
    magic5905 at embarqmail dot com

  2. Awesome review. Glad you enjoyed it!

    Thanks for participating.

  3. Ooh this book looks really good! Awesome giveaway! :)

  4. I love books- thanks for the chance to win

  5. Thank you for this giveaway! The book looks like an awesome read!!!


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