I first became aware of The White Forest at a Simon & Schuster preview where its editor spoke about her passion for this book. She called it her Night Circus.
You can see Adam McOmber speak about his work in the book trailer, and The White Forest made The Book Smugglers’ Top 10 Most Highly Anticipated SFF Reads for Fall/Winter 2012 over on Kirkus. (Fun to see what else made this list — including two books by Juliet Marillier — the students in my school would definitely approve.) The Smugglers also interview McOmber on their own site.
Adult/High School–Lord Nathan Ashe, recently returned from fighting in the Crimea and possibly suffering from what is now called PTSD (but then was merely “stress” or “battle fatigue”), has disappeared. Since his return, he has been drawn to The Temple of the Lamb, led by charismatic Ariston Day. Exactly what goes on in the temple is unknown to most, as Day only admits male members of the nobility to his flock, but it’s clearly to do with the occult and some type of transformative journey. It’s also troubling that the temple is based in Southwark, a part of London that no reputable person would willingly visit. After his disappearance, his two best friends–both young women, neighbors of the Ashe family in Hampstead–are drawn into the search. Madeline is rather proper (although not too proper–the last time she and Nathan were together, things went a little too far and she’s now “with child”), and her mother is interested in the occult. Maddy wants nothing to do with it. And there’s Jane, whose mother died when she was young, leaving Jane with an interesting legacy: when she touches something man-made, she can hear its soul. Nathan knew of her gift and wanted to share in it. He even told Ariston Day, who tries to coerce Jane to use her talents to open up the gateway to the White Forest. A highly recommended read for fans of Libba Bray’s “Gemma Doyle” series (Delacorte), Henry James’s The Turn of the Screw, and other Victorian Gothics.–Laura Pearle, Venn Consultants, Carmel, NY