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Samuel Blink and the Forbidden Forest (2007)

af Matt Haig

Serier: Samuel Blink (1)

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214694,761 (3.68)5
Accompanied by his aunt's Norwegian elkhound, Ibsen, twelve-year-old Samuel ventures into a weird forest filled with strange and dangerous creatures to rescue his younger sister, Martha, who has been mute since their parents' recent death.

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From what I've read so far I'm reminded of a mixture of [b:Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone|3|Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)|J.K. Rowling|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1343118752s/3.jpg|4640799] and [b:The Fairy-Tale Detectives|176327|The Fairy-Tale Detectives (The Sisters Grimm, #1)|Michael Buckley|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1349272153s/176327.jpg|1142385]. I have been fairly amused by it. I like the writing style.
I can also see a lot of influences from Spiderwick Chronicles as well. I don't know which was written first, but it seems whoever wrote theirs first influenced the other. Either that or publishing companies are giving out topics to write about like high school English class. Is that the case hmmmm I wonder?????? ( )
  wickedshizuku | May 12, 2014 |
Matt Haig is a very crafty and clever author, even if his books seem to change their titles! I read this one as "The Shadow Forest" but since that title on GR has no cover and is not linked with his name, I found out that this is actually it's alternate title.

And it's fun, and funny, a very clever children's adventure book about a boy and a girl who run into a strange and mysterious forest filled with dangerous creatures (like pixies that like to watch your head explode). The beginning was rather dramatic and quite distubring in some ways - sure, children's parents die in books all the time - but there was something frightening realistic in the way Samuel and Martha's mum and dad died. It wasn't quite like getting run over by a rabid rhino or something equally ridiculous and OTT.

Anyhow, there are a few twists, a few turns - not quite as many as in Haig's books for adults, but enough to keep me entertained. One thing that I did find a bit interesting was that Haig did not keep the identities of certain people hidden - from early on you knew who the Changemaker really was, and also had my theory confirmed re: a certain other, four legged, character.

Still, for kids aged 10 , this book is a real lark. And for big kids (like me) it's pretty damned good too! ( )
  LemurKat | Sep 12, 2013 |
Amazon Product Description
When Samuel and Martha are sent to Norway to live with their Aunt Edna after their parents' deaths, they soon learn her most important rule: NEVER-UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES-GO INTO THE FOREST. She doesn't offer an explanation, but Samuel suspects it might have something to do with a strange guidebook he finds in her attic: The Creatures of Shadow Forest. And when Martha wanders into the trees and is captured by some of the creatures described in the book, Samuel has no choice but to go in after her. What he finds there is an eerie world populated by trolls, truth pixies and other fantastical creatures.

I have to say I loved the narrator for this audio book. Simon Vance does an excellent job of bringing each character to life. He has a wonderful accent that draws the listener into the story. Yet, I must say that at first I had a hard time with the story. I found it hard to like Samuel in the beginning. He was not a very likeable character. Granted he has just lost his parents in a terrible car accident. He has a right to be angry at the world. However, he seemed to be that way before the car accident. The charm of this story is that Samuel’s character grows. He becomes concerned about something other than himself and eventually, the anger falls away to reveal a rather likeable young boy. The subject matter is a little scary. Haig is an excellent story teller and tells a truly scary and somewhat gruesome story. Shadow Forest is a dark and scary place. Yet the reader/listener can’t help but feel sympathetic toward all the characters that have been forced to give up their good natures to become as evil as the “Change Maker.” However, I would not recommend this story for the very young. It is perhaps a little too dark and scary.

Recommended for 3rd Grade and up. ( )
  Booklady123 | Nov 14, 2010 |
My daughter, who is nine, and I loved this book. It is a great read aloud with short chapters and lots of excitement. ( )
  delmas_coulee | May 14, 2010 |
This was an enjoyable adventure for younger readers - albeit with a rather sad start. Samuel and Martha Blink are left orphaned when an accident kills their parents on the way to a 10th birthday treat for Martha. After this they must travel to Norway to live with their mysterious aunt, who has some odd rules - the oddest of which is that they must never enter the nearby forest. It is no surprise when this rule is ignored. The adventures that follow are imaginative and will especially appeal to younger readers. The author provides humourous asides, and the book has a slightly quirky feel that will again appeal to younger readers.

The asides reminded me of Jonathon Stroud in his Bartimeus trilogy. Not quite as well done though, and for this reason adult readers would enjoy this book less than they would enjoy Bartimeus, but that is fine because adults are not the intended audience, and I would recommend this book for children aged say 9+ (younger too maybe, but with a strong caution about the sad start). ( )
  sirfurboy | Aug 1, 2009 |
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Accompanied by his aunt's Norwegian elkhound, Ibsen, twelve-year-old Samuel ventures into a weird forest filled with strange and dangerous creatures to rescue his younger sister, Martha, who has been mute since their parents' recent death.

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