The Forest Beyond the Earth
Matthew S. Cox
Publication date: February 6th 2018
Genres: Post-Apocalyptic, Young Adult
Under the watchful eye of the Mother Shrine, twelve-year-old Wisp ekes out a simple, but challenging life with Dad, foraging for food and losing herself in old books from the world that came before. She loves the Endless Forest ― except when the Tree Walkers come for her.
In ages past, the great rain of fire and ash destroyed the Earth, wiping out the ancients and everything they had made. Nature has reclaimed much since then, spreading out in a vast forest full of wonder and dread. Ever in fear of being taken away, she follows Dad’s rules without question while learning to survive off the land.
No longer a small child, she accompanies Dad on one of his treks, her first time more than a few steps away from the cabin. A day exploring with him is the happiest time of her life, but joy is short-lived.
A monster follows them home.
Safe in her Haven, she hides while Dad goes outside to confront the beast. She wakes alone the next morning, and waits. Alas, her hope of his return fades with the daylight. Desperate, she breaks his strictest rule and goes outside alone. Not far from the cabin, she discovers his rifle abandoned next to the monster’s strange footprints.
Afraid but determined, Wisp sets off on her own into the Endless Forest to find Dad ― before the Tree Walkers catch her.
This is a YA Post-Apocalyptic novel that follows a young girl called Wisp, who is kept hidden away from the outside world other than the surrounding lands nearest her Haven which are known as the Endless Forest. Now that Wisp is twelve, she can have some extra freedom. But when that does happen, and a scary monster follows them both back to the Haven. When the sun rises, Wisp discovers that her Dad hasn’t returned. The only way to find him, is to break all of the rules and forget being safe. She has to venture out, and use her Dad’s rifle to defend herself against the so-called Tree Walkers, enemies that could kill her.
This was an adventurous story as Wisp has to survive on her own, luckily the lessons her Dad taught her how to make some difficult decisions throughout the novel, as she tries desperately to find her Dad. The ending of the novel was what shocked me the most as a reader, a plot twist that I didn’t see coming at all. It was a visual journey, with the visual settings my favourite part of the experience. I loved the pictures at the top of the page lent themselves to the charm of the story. This is a written very well as the story unfolds from Wisp’s understanding on what goes on around her. This is very easy to read as it is aimed at YA market, sometime the imagination is so interesting that even adults enjoy it.
Born in a little town known as South Amboy NJ in 1973, Matthew has been creating science fiction and fantasy worlds for most of his reasoning life. Somewhere between fifteen to eighteen of them spent developing the world in which Division Zero, Virtual Immortality, and The Awakened Series take place. He has several other projects in the works as well as a collaborative science fiction endeavor with author Tony Healey.
Hobbies and Interests:
Matthew is an avid gamer, a recovered WoW addict, Gamemaster for two custom systems (Chronicles of Eldrinaath [Fantasy] and Divergent Fates [Sci Fi], and a fan of anime, British humour (<- deliberate), and intellectual science fiction that questions the nature of reality, life, and what happens after it.
He is also fond of cats.
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