The Phantom Forest
By: Liz Kerin
Overall Rating: ★★★★
*Thank you Liz Kerin and Inkshares for providing an e-book for my honest opinion!
Seycia’s father told her this story as a child — a story of the most holy place in the Underworld, The Forest of Laida, where all souls go to rest before embarking on a new life. But Seycia’s father is dead now, and his killer has put a target on her back.
After being chosen for her village’s human sacrifice ritual, Seycia is transported to the Underworld and must join forces with Haben, the demon to whom she was sacrificed, to protect the family she left behind from beyond the grave. In this story of love, survival, and what it means to be human, Seycia and Haben discover that the Underworld is riddled with secrets that can only be unlocked through complete trust and devotion, not only to their mission, but also to one another.
The Phantom Forest has a bit of every good fantasy story weaved into it – Gods/Goddesses, a post-apocalyptic setting, evil overlords, premonitions of the future, and a brave heroine to tie everything together. The dark & haunting mood sets this story about the nature of humanity and what we’d do for love apart. I can’t wait for the sequel!
Seycia believes that all souls are either good or evil, and that they all come from the Forest of Laida. Simeon believes Dohv, the ruler of the underworld, wants him to rule over his land with an iron fist, and sacrifices innocent youths to keep his power. Haben is a demon, cursed by and bound to Dohv. Miko is a 12 year old boy, destined for greatness. They all come together in a battle between good and evil, living and dead, and it does not disappoint. If you love mythical lore, magical beings, and epic journeys, you’ll love this book!
*Don’t mind me, I’ll just be heavily researching Hades/Underworld lore for the next year.*
I found myself forgetting that half the characters in this book are children. So many brutal, soul-crushing things happen and yet Miko, Minari, and Seycia all manage to pull through and revolt against their captors and torturers. They are stead-fast in their beliefs and still manage to make the mistakes you would expect of younger characters. I also love that there are multiple villainous characters to contend with. It keeps action coming from every angle. My only wish is that character growth and the relationships between them would have had more time to evolve and blossom. The relationship between Haben and Seycia seemed a bit rushed into, and it has so much potential!
Liz Kerin’s writing is solid. Also, shoutout to the editor. I’m so glad I didn’t have to read through a mess of typos and grammatical errors! If you like dark, eerie moods and questions about humanity and what come after death, you’ll enjoy The Phantom Forest.
I Need More (And I Have to Wait For Book 2)
I read an advanced e-copy of Phantom and I just want to know what happens! I needed the conclusion like yesterday.
The Ugly Truth
If you love stories of survival, haunting moods, and are in need of a new fantasy world to get hook on, grab The Phantom Forest when it debuts on July 16th!
Talk To Me
Will you be adding The Phantom Forest to your TBR list? How do you feel about the concept?