Book Reviews

Review: Woodcutter by Kate Danley

A blend of fairy tales, folklore and magic, The Woodcutter takes you on a magical walk through the forest of your dreams, allowing you to meet all your fantastical heroes. While you may get a little lost in the middle, listening to this audio book will make the time fly, wherever you are.

Summary

The woodcutter is on to something. There’s something a foot in the woods, something that will threaten the entire foundation of the world. But what initially tips him off is the disappearances of other maidens, a missing hellhound, and a pixie dust drug trade. However, who is the enemy and what exactly is the motivation? His quest will take him into many other stories, meeting other heros, and encountering a particularly nefarious enemy.

Review

This is my first audio book review! Can it really be? I guess I’ve read other audio books, but never reviewed it before on my blog. Anyway, the reviewing format will be a little different than a normal book because I will be writing a section on the actual reading of the book. Let’s start with that, shall we?

I was blown away by the accents that the narrator, Sarah Coomes, can do! It inspired me to repeat after her on the subway and I got plenty of strange looks. I cannot do a Russian, French, or any accent except my own come to think of it. But listening to her different voices was absolutely another level of magic. I am a complete sucker for different voices, although the Harry Potter cassette tapes will forever be my favorite .

The Story

Now let’s get onto the actual story. This was my childhood wrapped up into one story in terms of characters. We have Odin, Queen Titannia, Rapunzel, all of these well-known story figures all in one story and it was absolutely magical. That being said, if you love these tales, you need to go get this. But somewhere in between Baba Yaga and the Crone, I got sidetracked because where all these colorful and evocative characters, and villains, meet, the plot follows each of them on little tangents. The entire thing was like a name drop on an episode of Fairy Tales Finest (although who is with me on wanting this show?) and the plot escaped me entirely.

It was incredibly descriptive and wonderful to listen to, but after a while it left me feeling a little confused. Don’t get me wrong, the Woodcutter, as the main character, is plenty compelling. He is incredibly committed to being the ultimate hero, till the very last pages, and that makes for a cookie cutter good guy, but I didn’t feel like I knew him at the end. He seemed heroic, but not remarkable, if that makes any sense. Is he an early riser? Does he like his green beens boiled? I don’t mean to make fun of characterization, but what always gets me is a compelling, motivated hero/heroine who doesn’t have any personality aside from their quest. Insert the Woodcutter here.

Overall,

This meant I was just missing some spice to his dedication, for I am in love with flawed characters. Would I read it again? Maybe, but would I listen to it again? Probably. Coomes brings a layer of excitement to the story, where reading it might have grown repetitive. But I absolutely recommend this story in its audiobook form, AND for listening to it with children. I can imagine it being a great read for children who already know these classic heroes and have ever wondered if they may meet them some day in the woods.

You can pick up the audiobook on Amazon(US) and add it to Goodreads.

Discussion

What’s your favorite fairy tale? Also who else listened to the Harry Potter stories on cassette tapes?

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