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Wildwood | [Colin Meloy, Ellis Carson]

Wildwood

Prue McKeel’s life is ordinary. At least until her brother is abducted by a murder of crows and taken to the Impassable Wilderness, a dense, tangled forest on the edge of Portland. No one’s ever gone in – or at least returned to tell of it. So begins an adventure that will take Prue and her friend, Curtis, deep into the Impassable Wilderness. There they uncover a secret world in the midst of violent upheaval - a world full of warring creatures, peaceable mystics, and powerful figures with the darkest intentions.
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Publisher's Summary

Prue McKeel’s life is ordinary. At least until her brother is abducted by a murder of crows and taken to the Impassable Wilderness, a dense, tangled forest on the edge of Portland. No one’s ever gone in – or at least returned to tell of it.

So begins an adventure that will take Prue and her friend, Curtis, deep into the Impassable Wilderness. There they uncover a secret world in the midst of violent upheaval - a world full of warring creatures, peaceable mystics, and powerful figures with the darkest intentions. And what begins as a rescue mission becomes something much greater, as the two friends find themselves entwined in a struggle for the very freedom of this wilderness. A wilderness the locals call Wildwood.

Wildwood is a spellbinding tale full of wonder, danger, and magic that juxtaposes the thrill of a secret world and modern city life. Original and fresh yet steeped in classic fantasy, this is a novel could have only come from the imagination of Colin Meloy, celebrated for his inventive and fantastic storytelling as the lead singer of the Decemberists. Wildwood is truly a new classic for the 21st century.

©2011 Unadoptable Books LLC (P)2011 HarperCollinsPublishers

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.4 (82 )
5 star
 (13)
4 star
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3 star
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1 star
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Overall
3.8 (75 )
5 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
3.1 (76 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Ashley Los Angeles, CA 09-15-11
    Ashley Los Angeles, CA 09-15-11 Member Since 2011

    AS

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Read it Yourself"

    About five chapters in and I just can't stand the narration performance. Amanda Plummer sort of sings all the dialog and makes every character sound like they're high on some sort pharmaceutical. I'm liking the story so far, I just think I'd like it better without hearing crazy Amanda read it. I also realized that by not buying the actual book, I'm missing out on some beautiful illustration work by Ellis Carson.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Kyle 10-11-11
    Mary Kyle 10-11-11 Member Since 2003

    Muggie

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I think I would prefer the print this time"

    The reader seems to be putting pauses in sentences rather oddly. It tends to leave you feeling that the story makes little sense. However, I did try rethinking the sentence without the misplaces pauses and they make perfect sense so I suspect it is the reader not the writer.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Clare 03-05-14
    Clare 03-05-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Distracting performance"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    The book, yes. The audiobook, no. The book is fun and not quite what you'd expect from the Talking-Animal genre. But the performance is a real distraction.


    What did you like best about this story?

    To be honest? The best thing is the illustrations, which you can't partake of in an audiobook. The next best thing is probably the fun of the details, which aren't quite what you'd expect. This isn't Narnia. In some ways though it does come a bit too close, with a witch-like character as the central villain. But there is much to delight in that feels fresh and inventive.


    What didn’t you like about Amanda Plummer’s performance?

    Very eccentric narration. It sounds as though she's inserting full stops where there shouldn't be any (as if the author had put a period in the middle of a sentence) -- this is a very consistent flaw. In addition, the "expression" of many of the characters' words is unexpected and just sounds "wrong". Words that are insignificant may be given a great deal of expression as if they are significant, for example. There are some attempts at accents (bad fake Irish accent mixed with what sounds like Southern "drawl" stands out) which fall flat and are unnecessary. The sections where there is no conversation suffers from similar problems, such as it sounds like the narrator is trying to make those sections very exciting by putting in far too much "expression." The narration was so irritating that I did not finish the book.


    Was Wildwood worth the listening time?

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    It's better to get the physical book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michelle Eveleth, MN, United States 10-14-12
    Michelle Eveleth, MN, United States 10-14-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Distracting narration"
    If you could sum up Wildwood in three words, what would they be?

    Fantastical, lyrical, gripping


    What did you like best about this story?

    The concept of another world nestled in reality


    What didn’t you like about Amanda Plummer’s performance?

    Way too distracting; her voice has an odd quality to it that I can see might be considered a match for this uniqu tale but I found it to detract from the story as I found myself thinking about her voice and wondering why she made certain inflection choices rather than the story she was telling.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Thompson 02-22-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Into the wildwood"

    When twelve-year-old Prue McKeel???s baby brother is abducted by crows and taken into the Impassable Wilderness outside Portland, Oregon, an adventure begins that takes Prue and her classmate and sometimes friend Curtis into the forest of Wildwood. Prue and Curtis are separated almost immediately upon entering the wood: Prue meets Richard, the shotgun carrying Post Master General, driving his mail van, while Curtis is abducted by coyote soldiers wearing civil war garb and carrying sabers.
    Separately, Prue and Curtis meet a range of humans and talking birds and animals. Divided into factions, the people and creatures of Wildwood work to either befriend or manipulate Prue and Curtis. Prue follows the advice of Owl Rex, the Prince of birds, and seeks out the Mystics, the oddly Zen wise-ones of the forest, who might be able to help Prue find her baby brother Mac. Curtis, however, is taken by the coyote soldiers to the beautiful Alexandra, the Dowager Governess of Wildwood. It is Alexandra who is at the centre of Mac???s abduction and is the reason Prue is able to enter Wildwood in the first place.
    Wikipedia compares Meloy???s Wildwood to Tolkien???s Middle-Earth, but don???t pay attention. This is a secondary world fantasy, and it is populated with talking birds and animals, but it???s in no way Tolkienesque. Not even C. S. Lewis uses eighteenth-century style coyote riflemen and cannoneers. The book is a good read and the characters engaging. If anything, it is more like Brian Jacques??? Redwall books than it is like Tolkien or Lewis.
    With the narrative evenly divided between Prue and Curtis, the book rolls along, although it takes a while for the true nature of Wildwood and Prue???s presence there to become clear. Like Prue, you have to wait for it, but it is worth the wait. The book does try to be political, epic, and contemporary all at once. It mostly works. If you want something in a similar vein, try The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens. These books are perhaps the beginning of something new in American children???s fantasy.
    Four stars of five for Meloy???s Wildwood. Four stars as well for Amanda Plummer???s reading of the book. Plummer offers a good performance with a challenging cast of characters, but she has trouble keeping her accents in order. Nonetheless, a good pick for any age.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carina M Long Beach, CA, United States 02-02-14
    Carina M Long Beach, CA, United States 02-02-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Colin Meloy please narrate"
    How could the performance have been better?

    Amanda Plummer's performance is slightly clumsy and distracts from the story. Characters are made to seem cartoonish and lack realism with her voice. Colin Meloy does an excellent job on the second book and the story just flows. I would highly recommend a second version of the first book with Colin as narrator, and I would purchase the audiobook again to have the superior performance.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    MAK Chicago 06-20-13
    MAK Chicago 06-20-13 Member Since 2013

    MK

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Loved it and loved Amanda Plummer's performance!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would definitely recommend this.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Wildwood?

    The humor, imagination, and complexity of the story


    Which character – as performed by Amanda Plummer – was your favorite?

    I disagree with the other reviewers who found fault with her performance. I felt her narration and character voices were varied and nuanced. I'm disappointed she wasn't the reader for Under Wildwood.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes!


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sharon 09-22-14
    Sharon 09-22-14 Member Since 2007
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    "Glad Colin narrates the next two!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I echo the sentiments of other listeners. The narrator's hesitations and emphases in the wrong spots nearly got in the way of my finishing!


    What did you like best about this story?

    Portland, Oregon setting and compelling story line.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Amanda Plummer?

    Anyone


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    E Wagner PORTLAND, OR, United States 07-30-14
    E Wagner PORTLAND, OR, United States 07-30-14 Member Since 2010
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    "Talking Animals and Blood-Hungry Invasive Species!"

    At first, I was skeptical. I enjoyed Meloy's music, but could he write a YA novel? And it took me a little bit to get used to Plummer's quirky narration. However, once I settled into it, I was delighted! Meloy pays tribute to Brian Jacques and C.S. Lewis! It's an odd adventure story that sometimes meanders, but it includes plenty of swashbuckling rescues and dark twists. I'm an 8th grade teacher, and although this certainly isn't a general crowd-pleaser that I would recommend to just any teen, it will be perfect for just that right kid who wants something special to read in between "Princess Bride" and "Wrinkle In Time." And although Plummer's Irish accent could use a little practice, I actually found her narration fit the story nicely.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elle in the Great NorthWest Beaverton, OR, United States 07-18-14
    Elle in the Great NorthWest Beaverton, OR, United States 07-18-14

    I LOVE books. And dogs & quilting & beading & volunteering.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Magical-ESPECIALLY if you live in PORTLAND"

    What a wonderful novel. I purchased the large mass market book at the Portland, OR. Audubon Bird Society in "Wildwood" one day when I ws taking my grand daughter for a hike. When we read about the adventures of sprue and Max in the very area we were hiking, grand kid got very excited..my reading wasn't fast enough!

    I really prefer the paper version of Meloys fascinating story, however having someone else read it was just fine. You miss the wonderful drawings however, so I'd encourage your purchasing copies of the book if you plan to share this with your children.

    As a Portlander, knowing the Forest Park trails as I do makes the read even more fun..you might read this with a map of the ares--Maloy is spot on with his descriptions of the area. We were on Swan Island last week and I pointed out the Bluffs to grand kid and she was excited to see that it was real! I predict a "Wildwood" Tour one of these days

    Great to share-but do buy the book too. Drawings and not to be missed!

    Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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