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Publisher's Summary

From rising star Melissa Albert comes a fantastical story of mythic proportions.

Welcome to The Hazel Wood - a fiercely stunning contemporary fantasy audiobook.

Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice's life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice's grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: Her mother is stolen away - by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother's stories are set. Alice's only lead is the message her mother left behind: "Stay away from the Hazel Wood."

Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother's cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother's tales began - and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.

©2018 Melissa Albert (P)2017 Macmillan Audio

Critic Reviews

 “A dream of a book I cannot recommend highly enough.” —Seanan McGuire, author of Every Heart a Doorway

"The Hazel Wood starts out strange and gets stranger, in the best possible way...Albert seamlessly combines contemporary realism with fantasy, blurring the edges in a way that highlights that place where stories and real life convene...a captivating debut." — New York Times Book Review

“The Hazel Wood will be your next obsession.” —Stephanie Garber, author of Caraval

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    282
  • 4 Stars
    210
  • 3 Stars
    106
  • 2 Stars
    27
  • 1 Stars
    11

Performance

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    176
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    52
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    17
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    3

Story

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    195
  • 3 Stars
    108
  • 2 Stars
    38
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    15
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

dark and modern fairytale

I really enjoyed the descriptive language used by the author. A very unique and captivating story and I finished it one day.

However, I was left unfulfilled with the ending. I hope there is a sequel to come that provides more resolution for the main character and another character.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes faiytales but it's definitely on the dark side. Think "Jenny Green Teeth and Black Alice" and I might go so far to say some parts really could be on the horror side of things.

It's good. Definitely worth the time and money. Great narrator as well.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Absolute Perfection.

The most beautiful, magical, and wondrous book I’ve read (listened to) in a very long time. Lovely, enchanting, and practically ethereal. I can’t stop thinking about it; and the narration was fantastic!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The Hazel Wood

I found this to be a very good book! I was surprised at how well this was read. The involvement and emotion in the narrator’s voice pulled me in and made it seem like I was living the same story as Alice! I absolutely love and recommend this book!

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Was a 4 Star Until...

This would have been such a 4 stars for though I didn't really like Alice but enjoyed the secondary characters. Also though the story was a bit slow I still really enjoyed how the story went and seen the twist but could get behind it. Even all that it would still be a 4 stars read, until the ending.

The secondary characters are what makes this book, because Alice is annoying. How she was hot and cold so fast and was just a brat for the most part. Yes her mother was missing, yet don't be a bully to the person that is trying to help you. Flinch is the rich popular boy who isn't shown any attention at home, so the magically world of the Hinterland is such a wonderland for him. Which is why he started helping the granddaughter of his favorite book.

Again I don't want to spoil the ending, but I cannot get over how the author decided to write it. There was some build up and it just crashed and I couldn't help but be upset. Something I didn't realize is that this book is book one and I don't know how Melissa is going to continue on with this story. Just hoping that the next book isn't Alice, but maybe another of the characters of the Hinterland. That I would totally read.

Lastly the audiobook was really good and Rebecca Soler made the story very fairytale like which made the slow bits not that hard to get through. Which if you ever heard her do the Lunar Chronicles series know how smooth she makes story telling.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Dark and twisted, but very good.

This book was more than I expected. I got it because it looked liked something interesting to pass the time or listen to in my car on the way to work. I ended up with a book that I listened to in one day. I can honestly say that I don't think I've read anything like it before. Not the other fairy tale stories or anything that I can think of.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Underwhelmed.

Poorly written. Clumsy, obvious and juvenile metaphors, similes and instances if alliteration that are frequent and terrible. Example: “

“Me eyelids dropped like she’d anchored then with stones”

“My mouth tasted like dead coffee”

“The walls of my mind were painted with his blood, it stained my palms and stiffened the sleeves of my sweatshirt”

“Terror chipped my rational mind into a furious glitter”

And they weigh down every sentence by their frequency and eye-rolling fatuity. The plot is also a tired rehash of better written novels like “the children’s book” by AS Byatt and “The Book of Lost Things” by John Connolly among others. The narrator managed to save it to some extent but the writing frequently impeded her effectiveness.

10 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Halfway Okay

I wasn't impressed by Soler's narration of the book, dialogue was difficult to follow most of the time, as there was no difference in the sound of each character's voice. This annoyance however was made up for with the suspense and intrigue the story itself had. At least at first. I was sucked into the story and genuinely unnerved by the first half of Albert's story, but the second half of the book was weak. I didn't enjoy the resolution and it just felt like halfway through everyone gave up. I still enjoyed my experience listening, but I don't know if I would recommend the book to anyone else.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Fun


This was a fun book. Dark fairy tale mishmash which put me in mind of Ready Player One and the Thursday Next books. Some clever ideas and very entertaining.

The narrator on the audio was really good. Nothing obnoxious, which is always a bonus.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderful!

I am a huge fan of fairy tales, probably way more than I should be at my age haha, and this one was wonderful! I can honestly say this is my favorite fairy tale book as of yet! Worth the read, and the audio performance was very well done. I didn't want to finish reading

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Enjoyed

I saw a review of this book and thought it looked very interesting. I hadn’t read a fantasy book in ages, and this one is half modern half fantasy. I could not put this book down, and when I did it was painful having to wait to get back to the book. I wasn’t the least bit bored. I look forward to book #2.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful