February 02, 2022

#BookReview: Eyes of the Forest by April Henry

Synopsis: After a bestselling fantasy author disappears, only his biggest fan believes he’s in danger and has the courage to uncover the truth in this fast-paced mystery with a chilling psychological twist.

Bridget is RM Haldon's biggest fan. His epic fantasy series, Swords and Shadows, created a lifeline between Bridget and her mom as she lost her battle with cancer. When Bridget met Haldon at his only book signing, she impressed the author with her encyclopedic knowledge of the fantasy world he'd created. Bridget has been working for him ever since as he attempts to write his final book. Now, Haldon is missing, and Bridget is the only person who seems concerned. Can Bridget piece together Haldon’s clues and save him before it’s too late?

Master mystery-writer April Henry weaves another heart-stopping young adult thriller in this story that seamlessly blends suspense with fan culture. For readers of Courtney Summers and Karen McManus.


Rating: 2 Stars
My Review: The multiple POVs in this one just didn't really work for me at all. It was confusing and just ugh.  I have liked her books in the past but this one just didn't work out for me at all. 

From School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up-Henry immerses readers deep into obsessive fandom in this fast-paced thriller. Seventeen-year-old Bridget, described as having "milk-pale skin and russet colored hair," is a huge fan of RM Haldon's epic fantasy series "Swords and Shadows." She knows the entire series backward and forward and can remember the smallest details, from the complicated relationships between characters to how many times specific items have been mentioned or used in the series. When Haldon goes missing, Bridget and her companion Ajay, who is Indian American, explore the dark side of fantasy world enthusiasts. The book uncovers the ins and outs of LARPing (live action role-playing). Tension mounts as Henry's short chapters, which alternate focus between characters, add suspense and plunge readers into the darker side of fandom. Mentioning some of today's popular social media sites and the harm of the dark web makes it more realistic, all the while still maintaining a Misery-type vibe for today's readers. VERDICT An edgy, quick read for folks who love fantasy novels and authors.-Kharissa Kenner, Bank Street Sch. for Children, New York City╬▒(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


"Eyes of the Forest by April Henry (The Lonely Dead) is a suspenseful, captivating look at what may happen when a fantasy world becomes too real for some of its fans. Henry's engaging and often thrilling narrative is told from multiple points of view, allowing readers close access to the motivations of all her main characters. She expertly examines the darker side of the culture of fandom, including pressures it puts on creators, and how fans themselves get out of hand." ―Shelf Awareness

"When the police do not believe that Portland, Oregon, author R.M. Haldon has been kidnapped, it’s up to his young researcher, Bridget Shepherd, to save him. . . [E]xcellent pacing, shifting between the perspectives of the main characters, adds to the suspenseful feeling of a ticking clock, and readers come to understand everyone’s motivations . . . Offers a suspenseful and dastardly plot entwined with fan culture and mystery." ―Kirkus Reviews

In this mystery with a clever twist by Henry (Playing with Fire), a George R.R. Martin–esque author is forced to write in captivity, his only hope of rescue lying with his teenage Portland, Ore.–based assistant. . .its brisk pacing and sensational premise will have wide appeal." ―Publishers Weekly

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