Monday, February 11, 2019

Review: What the Woods Keep by Katya de Becerra

What the Woods KeepWhat the Woods Keep by Katya de Becerra
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Hayden has just turned eighteen, and she's living on her own for the first time, when she gets a call about the will her mother left. Though her mother is technically missing, not dead.

My mother remains elusive, in the periphery of my vision—there and not-there, dead and alive, like Schrödinger’s theoretical cat, its state altering the moment I focus on it. It’s been a decade since I last heard Mom’s voice …”

The dreams of her wearing full body armor and riding a horse while leading an army through the fog and ravaged cities, crying We’ll rise again have returned, and what’s with the white ravens that keep appearing in her dreams and real life? Hayden has a lot of questions.

It’s suggested that she keep mum about the will and not mention anything to her father, which may not be difficult considering he’s a physicist with his head buried always in his work. Even though he’d lost his tenure, due to outrageous claims about Nibelungs and multi-dimensional pathways and string theory.

Thank goodness, for her roommate, Del Chauvet, French-Senegalese Brooklynite, and her constant determination to give her a makeover or find her a date, especially since the last one left Hayden stranded. But Del has something special planned for her 18th birthday.

Memories and whispers in a foreign tongue, and Hayden’s mother watching from behind the dark trees surrounding her childhood home wearing a sad smile, as if she knows what’s coming. Hayden’s therapist, Dr. Erich reminds Hayden that those memories are long gone. But Hayden needs answers.

Hiding the will from her father, Hayden and Del leave their Brooklyn apartment to visit her childhood home in Promise, Colorado, and search for the gifts her mother left with the cryptic message:
She needs to listen with her blood. My second condition is that Hayden uses my gifts to destroy my darkest secret—my hidden treasure, my heaviest burden.

When Hayden struggles to understand she interprets things using theoretical physics, and the author does this beautifully at the start of each chapter with musings of the metaphysical, the forces of gravity, and Murphy’s Law and how they relate to Hayden’s life.

My kind of genre-mash-up, that twists urban fantasy and science fiction with the creepy factor that comes with a dark woodland mystery along with a gripping pace and self-sacrificing friendships. Quite unlike anything I’ve read before. I’d probably recommend this book for mature YA readers.

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