For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten

For the Wolf
Wilderwood, book 1
by Hannah Whitten

As the second daughter, Red must serve as a sacrifice to the Wolf in the Wood in hopes of ending a curse. But the Wolf is a man, and the curse isn’t what she thinks.

For me, this one was just fine. I liked the idea of everything, but I never clicked with the story or the characters. We have a bold heroine, a gloomy man in the scary woods, and a bond between sisters. This is a dark fairy tale that combines elements of Little Red Riding Hood and Beauty and the Beast into something new.

The problem was, although the story as a whole felt like something new, the elements within the story didn’t. The mysterious curse, the sacrificial daughter, the old guy who everyone’s afraid of but is actually attractive and protecting everyone, the will they won’t they relationship between the two – but we all know they will. They’re not elements that I love on their own and when they’re all in a room together it’s not a party I’m likely to enjoy.

Something about the writing style made it feel like it was intended to be very lyrical and atmospheric, but it read too direct to deliver that and everything felt shallow. It’s definitely not bad writing, I just personally prefer a less direct style. I do think this level of directness will appeal to a lot of people that want all the magic and atmosphere, but with things spelled out just enough that you don’t have to work to get the meaning out of every page. If you’re transitioning from YA fantasy to adult fantasy this might also hit that sweet spot for you.

So, although I was disappointed by this one, I do think it would work better for a lot of other people. If you’re looking for a new take on the fairy tale genre that’s both atmospheric and straightforward in its narration, this one’s worth giving a try.


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