I like to keep with a theme, whether it be kids in space, dystopian youth gangs fighting the man, or scary birds. So naturally, after reading The Aviary, I wanted to read another book about birds that may be plotting to kill you.
Wildwood starts at a brisk pace, with the kidnapping of Prue’s baby brother Mac. This kidnapping, like most, happens in a split-second when Prue’s attention is diverted at the park. However, unlike the usual America’s Most Wanted kidnapping stories, Prue’s baby bro is snatched up by a flock of crows. A veritable, murder of crows if you will.
This large swarm of birds carry the child off into the distance, into the Impassible Wilderness, the large, imposing forest that no one in Portland (yes, Oregon) ever ventures into (or if they do, never returns from, natch). Prue, obviously not a shrinking violet, strikes off on her own to rescue her brother. She is joined at the last minute by her hapless, bespectacled (they always are bespectacled aren’t they?) neighbor, Curtis.
Not long after they enter the woods (and are immediately lost), Prue and Curtis almost stumble upon a crowd of arguing coyotes. Coyotes wearing tattered uniforms and carrying rusty muskets. Unfortunately, they are sniffed out quickly, and only Prue escapes. Curtis, unfortunately, is marched back to the warren to meet the Dowager Governess.
While Curtis is getting drunk on homemade spirits, while getting acquainted with the Dowager, Prue is almost flattened by a mail truck. The kind mailman escorts her to the South Wood, marvelling that an Outsider has made it into the woods, and gently letting her know that her friend Curtis and baby brother Mac have most likely been killed and dismembered by now. Continue reading