Wildwood by Colin Meloy
Meloy put together a fun adventure tale for middle grade readers. The plot seemed right for this age group - enough twists to keep them interested, but not so many as to lose them along the way. The first of a planned trilogy, he wrapped the story up neatly - no cliffhangers - but left plenty of room to develop future stories.
The back cover promised part fairy tale, part coming of age story. I agree only with the former. Meloy fell short in character development. This is not unusual in a children's book, but I lament it anyway. Wildwood could have been so much more if Colin and Prue had been treated less as stock characters and more as real children.
For me, the most outlandish circumstances are made believable when the characters are believable. Meloy did not achieve that. Prue's parents, in particular, defied belief, but Prue herself lacked the depth one wants in a heroine. I hope in future tales, Meloy develops more depth in his writing, because his storytelling is quite appealing.