As a child, Caleb was helplessly drawn to the woods behind his family's house—a deep forest that became a friend, a sharer of secrets, even a protector. On the night Caleb was stranded by a blizzard, a mysterious figure saved his life and kept him from harm.
But all too soon his family moved away, and Caleb set the mysterious stranger aside as a figment of his imagination. Now, more than fifteen years later, Caleb returns to the woods he left behind and encounters a familiar face...
This one felt a bit like part one of a trilogy. If it was part of a larger work, then I'd probably recommend it, but would have preferred if I had gotten more of the overall story line in the first installment.
At 9 years old, Caleb is a rule follower. He's obedient and stays where he's supposed to stay, playing within the family's fenced back yard in rural South Dakota. Until he doesn't.
The lure of the ominous woods behind his family home finally becomes too much and he makes his escape. Daily.
However, his last time in the woods, he becomes lost and stranded in the forest during a heavy snow storm, only to be rescued by a man named Eli, carrying a floating ball of light in the palm of his hand.
Then the next morning Caleb wakes up under a tree, just as his parents, paramedics and the police are closing in on his position.
Was it all just a dream? Or was the mysterious man real?
For the time being, that doesn't matter, since his freaked out parents move the family away from the dark, mysterious woods and into the heart of the city.
Over the years, Caleb can't seem to forget about Eli and as Caleb grows older, his dreams of Eli transform into something much more.
At 24, Caleb takes a pay cut for a job back in his old hometown, then returns to the forest, where he once again happens upon Eli.
The rest of the story is about the connection between Caleb and Eli, plus freeing Eli from his century-long imprisonment.
I didn't really feel like I got to know Caleb very well, with more telling than showing for a large portion of the book.
Also, I got the feeling that there is a *lot* that Eli should still divulge to Caleb. What precisely has Caleb gotten himself into?
That's the main question that I had, which has me hoping that there's more to come. Only vague hints have been provided to this point.
While the story was entertaining, I couldn't help but to feel two particular words as the story ended.
"And then...?"So yes, I hope that this was the first part of a larger work, which I would most likely recommend to readers.
But if this was the entire story, I'd be more likely to pass, so 3 *off-to-a-good-start-but-keep-going* stars for this short read.
My copy of the book was provided by the publisher through NetGalley for a fair, unbiased review.
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