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Eyes of the Forest

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After a bestselling fantasy author disappears, only his biggest fan believes he’s in danger and has the courage to uncover the truth in this fast-paced mystery with a chilling psychological twist. Bridget is RM Haldon's biggest fan. His epic fantasy series, Swords and Shadows, created a lifeline between Bridget and her mom as she lost her battle with cancer. When Bridget me After a bestselling fantasy author disappears, only his biggest fan believes he’s in danger and has the courage to uncover the truth in this fast-paced mystery with a chilling psychological twist. Bridget is RM Haldon's biggest fan. His epic fantasy series, Swords and Shadows, created a lifeline between Bridget and her mom as she lost her battle with cancer. When Bridget met Haldon at his only book signing, she impressed the author with her encyclopedic knowledge of the fantasy world he'd created. Bridget has been working for him ever since as he attempts to write his final book. Now, Haldon is missing, and Bridget is the only person who seems concerned. Can Bridget piece together Haldon’s clues and save him before it’s too late? Master mystery-writer April Henry weaves another heart-stopping young adult thriller in this story that seamlessly blends suspense with fan culture. For readers of Courtney Summers and Karen McManus.


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After a bestselling fantasy author disappears, only his biggest fan believes he’s in danger and has the courage to uncover the truth in this fast-paced mystery with a chilling psychological twist. Bridget is RM Haldon's biggest fan. His epic fantasy series, Swords and Shadows, created a lifeline between Bridget and her mom as she lost her battle with cancer. When Bridget me After a bestselling fantasy author disappears, only his biggest fan believes he’s in danger and has the courage to uncover the truth in this fast-paced mystery with a chilling psychological twist. Bridget is RM Haldon's biggest fan. His epic fantasy series, Swords and Shadows, created a lifeline between Bridget and her mom as she lost her battle with cancer. When Bridget met Haldon at his only book signing, she impressed the author with her encyclopedic knowledge of the fantasy world he'd created. Bridget has been working for him ever since as he attempts to write his final book. Now, Haldon is missing, and Bridget is the only person who seems concerned. Can Bridget piece together Haldon’s clues and save him before it’s too late? Master mystery-writer April Henry weaves another heart-stopping young adult thriller in this story that seamlessly blends suspense with fan culture. For readers of Courtney Summers and Karen McManus.

30 review for Eyes of the Forest

  1. 4 out of 5

    Darla

    Like Ajay's cooking, this book is a combination of a great recipe and attention to detail. It is a combination of 'Misery,' 'Game of Thrones,' and Nancy Drew. There is a kidnapping, a little romance, LARPing, fantastic Indian food, a treadmill desk, visits to the dark web, and so much more. The author is conflicted, the talented teens are a bit quirky in the eyes of their peers, the villains are cold and calculated yet still mainstream. This is an entertaining read and I don't want to spoil the Like Ajay's cooking, this book is a combination of a great recipe and attention to detail. It is a combination of 'Misery,' 'Game of Thrones,' and Nancy Drew. There is a kidnapping, a little romance, LARPing, fantastic Indian food, a treadmill desk, visits to the dark web, and so much more. The author is conflicted, the talented teens are a bit quirky in the eyes of their peers, the villains are cold and calculated yet still mainstream. This is an entertaining read and I don't want to spoil the experience by giving away too much. If you haven't picked up an April Henry book yet, what are you waiting for? Thank you to Henry Holt, and Co. and Edelweiss+ for a DRC in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    여리고

    Seeing this 'pitched as GoT' is enough to trigger my hunger to get this book in my hands ASAP. Gimme gimme gimme this! Come on, 2021, I'm trying to be stoical while waiting for you. Seeing this 'pitched as GoT' is enough to trigger my hunger to get this book in my hands ASAP. Gimme gimme gimme this! Come on, 2021, I'm trying to be stoical while waiting for you.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Celia McMahon

    A big fat sloppy kiss to NetGalley who continues to stress me out with my review percentage, but still finds a way to make me happy as clam with ALL THE BOOKS. I was first introduced to April Henry while on a tour for PLAYING WITH FIRE. If you guys haven't read that one, check it out because it is non stop insanity. Henry is a pro at tension and I'd like some pointers please. EYES OF THE FOREST is less intense, but interesting all the same. Bridget is a HUGE fan of R.M Haldon's work so much that A big fat sloppy kiss to NetGalley who continues to stress me out with my review percentage, but still finds a way to make me happy as clam with ALL THE BOOKS. I was first introduced to April Henry while on a tour for PLAYING WITH FIRE. If you guys haven't read that one, check it out because it is non stop insanity. Henry is a pro at tension and I'd like some pointers please. EYES OF THE FOREST is less intense, but interesting all the same. Bridget is a HUGE fan of R.M Haldon's work so much that he hires her as a research assistant aka keeping track of the details in his massive series. Haldon is our Martin in this book, and I found myself grinning with all the talk about the last book of the series being delayed. I mean, as a writer, i get it, but enough with the SUSPENSE, MARTIN. I digress... Haldon's idea of locking himself away to write backfires and he ends up literally getting kidnapped and forced to write against his will. He's starved and made to pee in a chamber pot. I mean, it's not a pretty existence, but it's less painful than Misery that's for sure. All the while, Bridget is sharing her love of Haldon's work with Ajay, a classmate when she gets a strange email from Haldon that baffles her so much that she begins to look into what's happened to him. This is a quick read that will pull you into the world of obsessed fans and how far they will go to see a book published. I mean, it's not far-fetched. I've read a lot of what fans have been saying about Martin and it's not something I want to repeat on this family friendly site. Bridget is a determined and smart gal whereas Haldon is a meek guy who's just suffering from writer's block. He's created a world he can't control. But I loved seeing both sides of fandoms, and how intense some people can be, and how low-key nerds others become. I love what Henry did with giving us a book unlike any I've ever read. I will continue to be a fan of her writing, even if i am working backwards through her catalog.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Katherine Paschal

    Overall I found this to be a fast, easy and enjoyable read. I guess this could be listed as a mystery, but you already know who and what from the beginning, the book was more focused on the resolution of the issue. Eyes of the Forest was a YA modern/digital age version of the book/movie Misery where the beloved author is kept locked up by a fan mixed with the fan base/fantasy world building of Game of Thrones. I don't have a lot to say about the book besides I found it pretty entertaining and it Overall I found this to be a fast, easy and enjoyable read. I guess this could be listed as a mystery, but you already know who and what from the beginning, the book was more focused on the resolution of the issue. Eyes of the Forest was a YA modern/digital age version of the book/movie Misery where the beloved author is kept locked up by a fan mixed with the fan base/fantasy world building of Game of Thrones. I don't have a lot to say about the book besides I found it pretty entertaining and it was a quick read, even if at times it was very far-fetched. The author was even able to add romance as well as delicious food to the story (neither of which are very important or crucial to the plot), just a random FYI. This is a YA contemporary standalone so no need to wait for another book to be released and there was a satisfying wrapped up conclusion to tie all loose ends.

  5. 5 out of 5

    ☀︎El In Oz☀︎

    let's see, i may read this let's see, i may read this

  6. 4 out of 5

    Chessa

    3.5, but rounding up. This is a fun, fast read featuring a Misery-like set up, but subbing in a George RR Martin for the author, and adding in a quiet but smart teenage girl as a heroine. The chapters are short, the pace is very propulsive, and the tension is well-maintained throughout - I could really see this being a great pick for middle grade+ reluctant readers in your life! That said, I have some weird, icky feelings about the weight loss/forced diet stuff that appeared in this. Like I get t 3.5, but rounding up. This is a fun, fast read featuring a Misery-like set up, but subbing in a George RR Martin for the author, and adding in a quiet but smart teenage girl as a heroine. The chapters are short, the pace is very propulsive, and the tension is well-maintained throughout - I could really see this being a great pick for middle grade+ reluctant readers in your life! That said, I have some weird, icky feelings about the weight loss/forced diet stuff that appeared in this. Like I get that it would happen as a result of the circumstances, but I hate that it’s somehow tied to the success/health of a main character and their recovery. Just...kind of why was this necessary. This isn’t an area that I am super well-versed on, but I feel like it could be really hurtful to folks I love and just...wasn’t needed. There was also a moment that I found VERY hard to believe concerning a missed detail on the part of the extremely detail-oriented Bridget - that really took me out of the story. That was hard for me to swallow, but it’s fairly minor and might not bother everyone. Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for a chance to read this in exchange for an honest review.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Paula Phillips

    One of my must-read YA thriller authors to read is April Henry as I have found I always enjoy her stories. So, when I saw Eyes of the Forest ready to read and review, I jumped at the chance and read it as soon as it arrived on my kindle. What makes this book more intricate than her previous books is that it is like two books in one. The story starts with a reclusive hermit author called Robert Haldon who is like this world's George RR Martin who has written an amazing fantasy series but his last One of my must-read YA thriller authors to read is April Henry as I have found I always enjoy her stories. So, when I saw Eyes of the Forest ready to read and review, I jumped at the chance and read it as soon as it arrived on my kindle. What makes this book more intricate than her previous books is that it is like two books in one. The story starts with a reclusive hermit author called Robert Haldon who is like this world's George RR Martin who has written an amazing fantasy series but his last book still years later is unpublished as he has really bad writers' block. His fans are angry and some have sent death threats. One crazed fan and his mother end up kidnapping him and locking him in a cabin with only a typewriter and paper as they think if he is in the middle of nowhere with no distractions, he will write. The book then takes on a Misery storyline by Stephen King and reminded me of a modern YA Twist of Stephen's book. The other storyline is of Bridget who is Robert's PA and fact-collector as she is his biggest fan and has worked for him since she was 12 years old. When he goes deadly silent and then sends her a weird message, she knows something is up but when she goes to the police and they laugh her off like a stalker, she is the only one who can save him, but what happens when she might just end up kidnapped too? Find out in this YA Thriller intertwined with Fantasy by April Henry today.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Brown

    I thought this was an interesting take on Misery and maybe another certain author that is taking forever to come out with another book! Is this author a fan of GOT and this is her way of threatening what would happen?? 🤣🤣 Anyways, the story was good. I did skip some of the story and LARP stuff. Not a huge fan of that stuff so it was boring. Other than that, the characters were likeable and there was even a few things thrown in about a certain culture (which I thought was odd at first but explain I thought this was an interesting take on Misery and maybe another certain author that is taking forever to come out with another book! Is this author a fan of GOT and this is her way of threatening what would happen?? 🤣🤣 Anyways, the story was good. I did skip some of the story and LARP stuff. Not a huge fan of that stuff so it was boring. Other than that, the characters were likeable and there was even a few things thrown in about a certain culture (which I thought was odd at first but explained how he was feeling). I had wondered how it was going to end and I thought it tied it all together nicely. Thank you NetGalley for a copy of the ARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jenni

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Another thriller from April Henry--this one is my favorite of the last few years. Incredible book that is the young adult equivalent of King's "Misery" but without the blood and gore, which I appreciated. In this book, we have different characters telling the story from their own point of view. Bridget is a teenager who loves a certain fantasy series by an author known as RM Haldon. It seems that everyone loves that series, and ts spinoff tv series. There are even LARPs (live action role playing Another thriller from April Henry--this one is my favorite of the last few years. Incredible book that is the young adult equivalent of King's "Misery" but without the blood and gore, which I appreciated. In this book, we have different characters telling the story from their own point of view. Bridget is a teenager who loves a certain fantasy series by an author known as RM Haldon. It seems that everyone loves that series, and ts spinoff tv series. There are even LARPs (live action role playing games) based off of the book, for the very hardcore fans who can't seem to get enough of it. But Bridget has a secret: she works for the author, helping him keep continuity in his series, which spans several books. When Bridget can't get in touch with him easily, she worries that something has happened to RM Haldon. How will she figure out whats going on? And who is going to believe her anyway?

  10. 4 out of 5

    Alyson Kent

    Solid four stars. Thank you, Edelweiss, for the ARC. Fast paced, though a few characters and their stories were a tad one dimensional, it didn’t take away from my enjoyment.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Mandina

    I’ve heard a lot about April Henry, but this is my first book by her. And it was a good one! I loved the whole idea of an author somewhat modeled after the author of Game of Thrones. An author that fans are waiting for that next book in the series and getting so frustrated on not getting it. Not to mention how the tv series is stuck and in real life it had to go on without the last book. But this story also took on a bit of the feel of the book Misery by Stephen King. In several ways. First, you I’ve heard a lot about April Henry, but this is my first book by her. And it was a good one! I loved the whole idea of an author somewhat modeled after the author of Game of Thrones. An author that fans are waiting for that next book in the series and getting so frustrated on not getting it. Not to mention how the tv series is stuck and in real life it had to go on without the last book. But this story also took on a bit of the feel of the book Misery by Stephen King. In several ways. First, you know kidnapping the author to get him to write a book. Then the typewriter part as well. I do have to say that I kind of felt when I’d originally read the synopsis that there would be more of the story where Bridget knew Haldron was missing and that she would be searching for him longer. While that part of the story was pretty good, it felt a little short, or maybe rushed to me, based on how I’d assumed from the blurb the story would go. Really though this was a good book, and I will definitely be recommending it for my own students to read. Review first posted on Lisa Loves Literature.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Aja

    ~2.5 stars~ I'm a bit torn on this book. It's supposed to be a mystery-thriller but....I didn't really get either. That being said I found some of the chapters slow and they dragged on a bit to the point where I was like "can we be done now?" I do have to say it picked up close to the end, but throughout the whole book the pacing was very off. However, I loved the writing aspect and found the fact that books play a really big part in the story very on my vibe. Really enjoyed those parts. This was ~2.5 stars~ I'm a bit torn on this book. It's supposed to be a mystery-thriller but....I didn't really get either. That being said I found some of the chapters slow and they dragged on a bit to the point where I was like "can we be done now?" I do have to say it picked up close to the end, but throughout the whole book the pacing was very off. However, I loved the writing aspect and found the fact that books play a really big part in the story very on my vibe. Really enjoyed those parts. This was the first book by April Henry that I've ever read and I look forward to trying out a few more.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    Many thanks to EdelweissPlus and the publisher for providing me with a DRC of this title for review. All opinions are my own. April Henry is on a HOT streak. The last few books from her (Girl in the White Van, Playing with Fire, Run Hide Fight Back have all been stellar. This book is no different. I KNOW the students in my building will be excited to read it and that it will easily be passed around from person to person. If you are needing mystery/thriller type books for students in grades 7-10, Many thanks to EdelweissPlus and the publisher for providing me with a DRC of this title for review. All opinions are my own. April Henry is on a HOT streak. The last few books from her (Girl in the White Van, Playing with Fire, Run Hide Fight Back have all been stellar. This book is no different. I KNOW the students in my building will be excited to read it and that it will easily be passed around from person to person. If you are needing mystery/thriller type books for students in grades 7-10, she is my go to author. The books are "edgy" enough to satisfy those wanting YA, while also being "tame" enough to fly under the radar pretty easily in my middle school collection. Bridget is a HUGE fan of the Swords and Shadows series. So much so that she got a job working for Bob (RM Haldon) as a researcher. She created a database of his books and the characters, landscapes, realms, creatures, everything that can be cross-referenced as he works his way towards completing the series. Except Bob has been stuck. He's had writer's block for years, and with the books' popularity, and the television shows production schedule, people need him to finish the book. So, one fan decides to give him a little incentive by kidnapping Haldon and keeping him chained to a treadmill and a typewriter in an abandoned cabin. With nothing else to do, of course Haldon will finish his book. His only hope is that Bridget will notice that he gone and somehow find a way to help. Before it's too late.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kathy Martin

    This is a story told from multiple viewpoints. Bridget is high school student who has read RM Haldon's fantasy series Swords and Shadows and is an expert on the world the author created. She was introduced to the series when she was young. She and her mother read the stories together while her mother was dying of breast cancer. Bridget met Haldon at one of his rare signings and impressed him enough with her knowledge that he hired her to keep track of the details and answers his questions. RM (Bo This is a story told from multiple viewpoints. Bridget is high school student who has read RM Haldon's fantasy series Swords and Shadows and is an expert on the world the author created. She was introduced to the series when she was young. She and her mother read the stories together while her mother was dying of breast cancer. Bridget met Haldon at one of his rare signings and impressed him enough with her knowledge that he hired her to keep track of the details and answers his questions. RM (Bob) Haldon is the author who is stuck trying to write the final book in the series. He is getting pressure from his publisher, his agents, the people who turned his story into a television series, and many, many fans. It has been some years since the last volume was released. Derrick is another teenage fan whose mother works as Bob's personal assistant and housekeeper. Derrick is big into LARPing and the world he and his dad live in is based on Haldon's world but the names have been changed at Haldon's lawyers insistence. Derrick is obsessed with getting the final story. While chatting with his housekeeper, Bob floats the idea of being kidnapped and forced to write the final book. He didn't believe that the housekeeper and Derrick would actually kidnap him and refuse to release him. Derrick plans to sell chapters on the Dark Web but his mother has more extensive plans. She has always resented her ex-husband and son's obsession with living in a fantasy world. So she forces Bob to do a number of things on the spy cam which they are publishing to the Dark Web which are designed to humiliate him. The fourth viewpoint character is Ajay who is Indian-American and who becomes Bridget's friend. He is introduced to Haldon's Swords and Shadows epic by Bridget as she reads him the stories during their lunch period where he supplies Indian food that he has cooked. Bob convinces Derrick to let him send an email to Bridget which is an encoded cry for help. It takes her a while to decode it but no one, including Ajay, believes her when she tries to tell people that Bob is in trouble. The local police are sure that she is just one more obsessed fan. She's on her own to try to locate and rescue Bob. This was an intriguing story with lots to think about. It was brought home to me that a story and a world created in an author's mind can take on something like reality in the mind of an obsessed reader like Derrick. I could also understand Bridget's deep interest in the story because of memories of her mother that the stories recalled. And I could also understand Bob's difficulty with finishing up a series because of the sense of both finality and responsibility to his readers.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tonja Drecker

    With amazing smoothness and weaving, this tale places tension high and keeps the reader wondering how it will all work out by the end. Bridget has been a fan of a famous author since she was eight, and by a wonderful chance, she even has become his assistant and offers advice on the details he's built into his series. Unfortunately, he's suffering from writer's block, and millions of fans have been waiting for the last novel in his series for over three years. When he suddenly goes missing, nobod With amazing smoothness and weaving, this tale places tension high and keeps the reader wondering how it will all work out by the end. Bridget has been a fan of a famous author since she was eight, and by a wonderful chance, she even has become his assistant and offers advice on the details he's built into his series. Unfortunately, he's suffering from writer's block, and millions of fans have been waiting for the last novel in his series for over three years. When he suddenly goes missing, nobody seems to notice. Not even Bridget until she receives a very strange email. Every moment and every step is very well laid out in this mystery. I'm not always a fan of those stories, where the reader already knows who the kidnapper is, what their motive is, and even where they are hiding their victim, but this author makes it work and more. Every step of the way, the characters are left open, allowing the reader to know exactly what they are thinking and why. It makes each one personal and more realistic...even when their logic is flawed. Bridget is a character to root for from beginning to end. She's got a very good head on her shoulders, tons of heart, and is willing to do what she needs to. She has some difficulties from her past to overcome, but it doesn't make her weak. I also appreciated the warm relationship with her father. While there is a bit of romance hinted at...maybe, it's more of a forming friendship and doesn't go anywhere from there. So, that was refreshing, too. The tension in this one builds slowly and remains high until the end. There is a little bit of violence and a slightly gruesome accident scene, but none of this is over the top. Everything is done open for the reader to see and know, and it's the expectation of Bridget, hopefully, figuring things out, which make this one so entertaining and grabbing. I especially enjoyed the way the villains grow and change, as it adds depth and unexpected twists. It was no problem to read this one in a single sitting, and I, luckily, didn't have to put it down until I'd read all the way from the beginning to the end. I received a complimentary copy and read it in one, exciting sitting.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    First sentence: The gun looked real. No orange tip, no obvious seams where molded plastic pieces had been glued together. Premise/plot: BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU ASK FOR. Bestselling author, R.M. Haldon has writer's block. He has a long, long list of excuses for why he hasn't written the last book in the Swords and Shadows series titled, Eyes of the Forest. One quip being is that he's so blocked that he won't be able to write it unless he's kidnapped and held at gunpoint. One fan takes this literally a First sentence: The gun looked real. No orange tip, no obvious seams where molded plastic pieces had been glued together. Premise/plot: BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU ASK FOR. Bestselling author, R.M. Haldon has writer's block. He has a long, long list of excuses for why he hasn't written the last book in the Swords and Shadows series titled, Eyes of the Forest. One quip being is that he's so blocked that he won't be able to write it unless he's kidnapped and held at gunpoint. One fan takes this literally as an invitation... Bridget, our heroine, is Haldon's biggest fan--well, one of them. She's been working with him on an official capacity helping him with research. A LOT of details go into world-building, character development, and plotting--Bridget pulls it all together. Bridget, of course, is not Haldon's only fan. She's one of many... but she may be his only chance at getting rescued... My thoughts: I'm not happy with how the jacket copy reads. And I'm not satisfied with my summary attempt either. Really I feel this is one of those books where it's best if you know as little as possible. It offers a little of everything for readers--a glimpse at the fandom of fantasy, a mystery, a thriller, a tiny bit of romance. (Bridget is introducing a classmate to Haldon's series by reading them aloud to him at lunch. The two have grown close. Bridget knows she likes-like him, but does he like-like her? Readers are never really sure that he's equally interested in her in that way.) There are multiple narrators. It can be a bit dark, bleak, and creepy. Eyes of the Forest is best at being a fast-paced thriller. I was so swept up into the suspense/thriller aspects of it that I didn't really slow down enough to notice any flaws and weaknesses.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Tien

    I loved April Henry's Girl, Stolen duology. With such strong female protagonist and thrilling psychological page turner, I was keen to explore her other books so I jumped at the chance to join in this blog tour. Eyes of the Forest is told in multiple point of views which, as always, confuses me in the beginning but when you got your characters straight, it flew very quickly as each chapters were quite short and snappy. The story itself, I found, however, was rather show. There was a lot of settin I loved April Henry's Girl, Stolen duology. With such strong female protagonist and thrilling psychological page turner, I was keen to explore her other books so I jumped at the chance to join in this blog tour. Eyes of the Forest is told in multiple point of views which, as always, confuses me in the beginning but when you got your characters straight, it flew very quickly as each chapters were quite short and snappy. The story itself, I found, however, was rather show. There was a lot of setting up / background stories to all characters and that took a big part of the book while the actual 'mystery' was actually quite short. It was still quite satisfying. Because the premise of this novel is of a famous author with a popular series who is supposedly writing the last of the book in the series that is overdue for a very long time (uh, hm, I'm waiting for a few myself irl); we were given snippets of this popular series book and it really does sound so very intriguing, I really would love to read these books! While Eyes of the Forest didn't quite meet my expectations as a page turner, I was drawn into the story. The characters were well-developed and I was riveted by the connections these characters have with each other. It is an easy novel to read & relax with. My thanks to Xpresso Book Tours for having me on this tour and  copy of ebook in exchange of honest review

  18. 4 out of 5

    Brianna:)

    Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an eARC! For a main character in a teen mystery horror novel, Bridget was pretty smart and I loved it. The YA world needs more smart heroines. With that out of the way, I’d like to talk about RM Haldon, the author of Bridget’s favorite fantasy series. Other readers have compared Haldon to George R.R. Martin, but as I have not read the Game of Thrones series, I do not know how accurate this comparison is. RM Haldon, whose real name is Bob, Thank you Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with an eARC! For a main character in a teen mystery horror novel, Bridget was pretty smart and I loved it. The YA world needs more smart heroines. With that out of the way, I’d like to talk about RM Haldon, the author of Bridget’s favorite fantasy series. Other readers have compared Haldon to George R.R. Martin, but as I have not read the Game of Thrones series, I do not know how accurate this comparison is. RM Haldon, whose real name is Bob, is kidnapped by a super fan and forced into writing the last book in his hit fantasy series, which has laid dormant without any additions for a few years. If I were to describe “Eyes of the Forest” in just a few words, I would call it chaotic Stephen King meets Karen McManus. “Eyes of the Forest” is a little bit genre bending as well. Between the fantasy world of RM Haldon’s book series, to the mystery of his disappearance,April Henry knows how to write an enveloping story with compelling characters. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed April Henry’s “Eyes of the Forest” and will definitely be adding more of her books to my TBR! Overall Rating: 4 Stars

  19. 4 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus Bridget is a superfan of R.M. (Bob) Haldon's Swords and Shadows fantasy series. Even though they are long and for older readers, she was introduced to them by her mother, and read them to her mother as she fought a long battle with cancer. Now, she finds comfort in the fictional world. She also has an encyclopedic knowledge of the world and the details of the book. After pointing out an error at one of Haldon's book readings, she was approached by the troublesome E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus Bridget is a superfan of R.M. (Bob) Haldon's Swords and Shadows fantasy series. Even though they are long and for older readers, she was introduced to them by her mother, and read them to her mother as she fought a long battle with cancer. Now, she finds comfort in the fictional world. She also has an encyclopedic knowledge of the world and the details of the book. After pointing out an error at one of Haldon's book readings, she was approached by the troublesome and reclusive author to be his continuity expert. After meeting with her father to make sure he isn't inappropriate, Haldon has been e mailing Bridget questions, and she has constructed a cross referenced database with information about characters, weapons, and plot lines. This is the best part of her life, since high school is just generally unpleasant and socially difficult. Haldon, on the other hand, is struggling with his made up world and suffering from tremendous writer's block. The last book in the series is overdue, and he is not having any luck with his writing. After a random comment from Derrick, the son of his housekeeper, Joanne, he has an idea. He arranges to have Derrick kidnap him and take him to a remote cabin to work. Things don't go quite as planned, with Derrick whacking Bob a bit too hard on the head, and provided much healthier food than the author is used to eating, but the things that Bob needs to write are all in place-- a typewriter, a treadmill desk, quiet, and the threat to his safety if he doesn't produce that Derrick provides. Bridget has gotten in trouble for listening to an audiobook in class, and Ajay, who sits by her, asks about this. The two have lunch, share Ajay's amazing Indian food, and start a tentative friendship. Bridget reads the books aloud to Ajay and his suggestion, and he shares his cooking. Bridget is concerned, however, about strange messages that she gets from Bob. Unable to write, Bob wants to be free, but Derrick has his own plans. Since he recorded the conversation he had with the author about kidnapping him, he feels he has free reign to exploit the captivity. He arranges to sell chapters of the book on the dark web, and also starts to publish some of the web cam surveillance videos he takes to keep an eye on his captive. Bridget shares her concerns with Ajay, and the two try to get to Bob's house, only to be met by Joanne, who tells the police that they are rabid fans, and that Bob is traveling. Bridget works on the clues, but Ajay is reluctant to believe her, even though the two move closer to a romance. Bob writes pages for Derrick by day but gets to work on the actual novel at night, hiding the typewritten pages. When Joanne thinks that there isn't enough money, she starts making Bob do silly things for the camera, and posts those to get more money. Even after Bridget breaks a coded message, the police don't believe her. Will she be able to save the author as well as his much anticipated new novel? Strengths: Wow. There's a lot going on here, but it's all intricately constructed and so fast paced that I stopped taking notes about halfway through the book. (Although I did remember what went on; I really wanted to describe more of the ending because it's so clever, but didn't want to ruin the suspense!) Bridget and Bob's separate lives are described really well, and it helps to make their relationship seem feasible. The details are interesting-- Bridget's father works for a plastic manufacturer, and is not happy when she tells him about Ajay's reusuable lunch packaging, and Bob has an unhealthy lifestyle that is run on junk food, but slowly gets in shape in captivity. The whole subculture surrounding Swords and Shadows is fascinating, and Derrick's involvement with LARPing based on the books gave an unsettling edge to his actions. This definitely felt almost like an adult mystery novel, and I could just see it being made into a Movie of the Week in the 1980s with Nancy McKeon as Bridget! Weaknesses: The cover should have had more cabin and less face. Perhaps a typewriter. It's fine, just not that appealing to my students. What I really think: Definitely looking forward to having this one to hand to my students! The tie to a fantasy world might help hard core fantasy readers branch out into mystery, and it's also one that my teachers might enjoy reading.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    3.5 Stars Note: I was provided with an ARC by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions here are my own. There have been a significant amount of YA thrillers this year, and this book is far from the worst. I like that this book is less melodramatic than its contemporaries. That is, it toys with real life consequences more than big-ticket thriller typecasts. There's no crazy, aesthetic-pleasing psycopath(s). There's no over-emotional friend fights and/or roadtri 3.5 Stars Note: I was provided with an ARC by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions here are my own. There have been a significant amount of YA thrillers this year, and this book is far from the worst. I like that this book is less melodramatic than its contemporaries. That is, it toys with real life consequences more than big-ticket thriller typecasts. There's no crazy, aesthetic-pleasing psycopath(s). There's no over-emotional friend fights and/or roadtrips to put the main cast in peril. It is much more down-to-earth than that. Not the best thriller this year. Not the worst. My full review will be available at Gateway Reviews on September 3.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Nancy (The Avid Reader)

    We get to see the Eyes of the Forest through several different sets of eyes. First, there is RM Haldon a fantasy author then we have Bridget a teenager in high school who is RM Haldon’s biggest fan and then there is Derrick who is also a big fan of RM Haldon and then we have Ajay, whom Bridget met at school. Bridget and Ajay become fast friends when she introduces him to RM Haldon's fantasy series Swords and Shadows. Bridget began reading Swords and Shadows when she was around eight years old whe We get to see the Eyes of the Forest through several different sets of eyes. First, there is RM Haldon a fantasy author then we have Bridget a teenager in high school who is RM Haldon’s biggest fan and then there is Derrick who is also a big fan of RM Haldon and then we have Ajay, whom Bridget met at school. Bridget and Ajay become fast friends when she introduces him to RM Haldon's fantasy series Swords and Shadows. Bridget began reading Swords and Shadows when she was around eight years old when her mother was dying of cancer. She has been reading his books over and over ever since. She met RM Haldon at a book signing once. After their meeting Bridget began working for him as he was so impressed with her knowledge of his fantasy series. When RM Haldon goes missing Bridget is the only one who believes he is in trouble. She tries going to the police but they only think she is just a crazy fan. Left with no choice Bridget begins her own search for RM Haldon. Can Bridget find RM Haldon before it is too late? Where is RM Haldon? What has happened to him? I am a big fan of Stephen King. He is my favorite writer of all time. Eyes of the Forest reminded me so much of Stephen King’s Misery. We have a kidnapped author who has a big case of writer’s block. We have a kidnapper who tries to force his favorite author to write a book from his favorite series. Eyes of the Forest is a fun, fast-paced read that grabbed me from the first page. The suspense alone was enough to keep me hooked not to mention our great cast of characters. I can’t wait to read more of April Henry’s work in the future. I would like to recommend Eyes of the Forest to all those mystery fans out there. The time has come to one-click your copy of the Eyes of the Forest!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Shelley

    *Source* Publisher *Genre* Young Adult / Mystery / Thriller *Rating* 3.5 *Thoughts* April Henry's Eyes of the Forest is a mashup of Misery, and Games of Thrones. 17-year-old Bridget Shepherd is author R.M. Haldon's Swords and Shadows series biggest fan. She was hired when she was 12-years-old to work with the author to make sure he was keeping his storylines straight and not taking unnecessary side trips. Bridget is literally a walking, talking, encyclopedia of the authors King of Swords series. She *Source* Publisher *Genre* Young Adult / Mystery / Thriller *Rating* 3.5 *Thoughts* April Henry's Eyes of the Forest is a mashup of Misery, and Games of Thrones. 17-year-old Bridget Shepherd is author R.M. Haldon's Swords and Shadows series biggest fan. She was hired when she was 12-years-old to work with the author to make sure he was keeping his storylines straight and not taking unnecessary side trips. Bridget is literally a walking, talking, encyclopedia of the authors King of Swords series. She created a database of his books and the characters, landscapes, realms, creatures, everything that can be cross-referenced as he works his way towards completing the series. *Full Review @ Gizmos Reviews* https://gizmosreviews.blogspot.com/20...

  23. 4 out of 5

    Patti Sabik

    Another great thriller from April Henry! When an obsessed fan kidnaps a well known author (think George R. R. Martin) to force him to conclude his series, it’s left to a teenage girl to save him. I know my middle school audience will love this fast paced nail biter.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    Meh

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lindsey

    Not my fave April Henry book, but my students will love it, especially fantasy readers who may be willing to branch out a bit.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Meagan

    What do you do when your favorite author pens a massive series, finishes the last book on a cliffhanger, and then doesn’t write for 3+ years? Hopefully not anything illegal. But when Haldon goes missing and his teenage research assistant is gets worried, she starts looking for clues to his whereabouts…. But clues can be misleading and when no one believes her, Bridget knows it’s up to her to find Haldon, but the clock is ticking and someone knows Bridget is poking around. Tension and suspense ke What do you do when your favorite author pens a massive series, finishes the last book on a cliffhanger, and then doesn’t write for 3+ years? Hopefully not anything illegal. But when Haldon goes missing and his teenage research assistant is gets worried, she starts looking for clues to his whereabouts…. But clues can be misleading and when no one believes her, Bridget knows it’s up to her to find Haldon, but the clock is ticking and someone knows Bridget is poking around. Tension and suspense keep the pages flying in this newest story by April Henry. A short, fast paced and fun read with a smart and independent heroine, I loved this story and the insight into the challenges of public pressure and celebrity living. Thank you to Edelweiss for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kelsey

    My middle grade readers will enjoy this one. Perhaps they will know more about LARPing than I did. 7th and up.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I had never read a book by April Henry before but I heard that she was a great mystery writer. This book was .. ok. The concept was a little farfetched and I felt like some of the main points could have been developed a little more. The general idea is that a famous author with one book left to write in his Game of Thrones like series goes missing and there's only one girl who can help him.. There was a lot of time spent in the beginning developing one the main characters, the author, and the im I had never read a book by April Henry before but I heard that she was a great mystery writer. This book was .. ok. The concept was a little farfetched and I felt like some of the main points could have been developed a little more. The general idea is that a famous author with one book left to write in his Game of Thrones like series goes missing and there's only one girl who can help him.. There was a lot of time spent in the beginning developing one the main characters, the author, and the importance of his finally book. I felt like Henry could have spent less time on that and more time on the dramatic ending. All in all though the book was pretty good.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Carrie G

    **** THANK YOU NetGalley for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.**** Devoured this book in less than one day! "Eyes of the Forest" and April Henry do not disappoint! This book is about fantasy writer RM Haldon and his fan-turned-research-assistant Bridget. RM "Bob" Haldon is waaaaay overdue in writing the final book in his world-renown series "Swords and Shadows." But he's got writer's block and just can't push through it. Until an obsessed fan kidnaps him, locks him in a remote **** THANK YOU NetGalley for an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.**** Devoured this book in less than one day! "Eyes of the Forest" and April Henry do not disappoint! This book is about fantasy writer RM Haldon and his fan-turned-research-assistant Bridget. RM "Bob" Haldon is waaaaay overdue in writing the final book in his world-renown series "Swords and Shadows." But he's got writer's block and just can't push through it. Until an obsessed fan kidnaps him, locks him in a remote cabin, and threatens that he must complete the book "or else." Bridget is the only "friend" Bob has, but with only a typewriter as a means of communication and constant surveillance of his activities by his kidnapper, will he be able to find a way to get a message to her and be rescued? Truly, I loved this book. It was a unique look into the minds of writers, and the pressures and frustrations they must face - especially writers of series. What *do* you do when there are people counting on you to produce - fans, publishers, agents, TV/film producers, etc. - but the words just aren't there?! What do you do when you've made promises and signed contracts and agreed to deadlines, but your ideas have dried up and there's no way to follow through? I can't even imagine. Ms. Henry did a good job of helping the reader experience the guilt, frustration, helplessness, and hopelessness writers might go through in that situation. Then there was the rabid fan aspect. There have been a few books that have tackled the dark side of fandoms ("Kill the Boy Band" immediately springs to mind), but it's a topic largely not addressed. Imagining the lengths fans would go to in order to get "what they deserve" from a creator was disturbing, to say the least. And while I have a hard time imagining this kidnapping scenario is very realistic (I sure HOPE it's not!), Henry presented it in a way that seemed absolutely possible. The one thing that brought this book from 5 to 4 stars for me was Joanne, Derrick's mom. I don't want to include spoilers, but she was just TOO ridiculous, too "evil," too over-the-top for me. I understand why she was necessary to the story's plot (provided Derrick access to Bob), but I didn't think her being part of Bob's supervision and making him do things was beneficial to the plot's development. For me, this was one of Ms. Henry's better books. And it's one I will definitely be adding to my classroom shelves!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie A.

    "Blah, blah, I've got writer's block, blah blah, I wish I could write. Do you know how sick I got of your whining? By the time this is over, you'll finally have the book done. Your publisher will be happy. Your fans will be happy. And you've even lost some weight. Frankly, all of us are already winning." You heard her, Game of Thrones fans. The method may be unorthodox, but ultimately, it'll work. Get him!! (Disclaimer: I have absolutely no interest in GoT, book or TV version. And thus, as The Ver "Blah, blah, I've got writer's block, blah blah, I wish I could write. Do you know how sick I got of your whining? By the time this is over, you'll finally have the book done. Your publisher will be happy. Your fans will be happy. And you've even lost some weight. Frankly, all of us are already winning." You heard her, Game of Thrones fans. The method may be unorthodox, but ultimately, it'll work. Get him!! (Disclaimer: I have absolutely no interest in GoT, book or TV version. And thus, as The Verve Pipe says, I won't be held responsible.) I didn't like this as much as Playing with Fire, but it stays a solid 2nd place among the 4 of hers I've read now for a fun premise alone (Misery, but trade in...most...of the violence/injury for humiliation). Well, half fun premise. Bridget doesn't start feeling concerned about his prolonged email silence until somewhere between halfway and two-thirds in, and until then, her chapters are very Standard Realistic YA novel with a lower than average amount of romance (there is a Cute Boy, but it's more of a friendship based on a mutual unspoken crush). Nice, but not what I came for. I did enjoy the chapters at the cabin -- that aspect took some turns I did not expect -- but I think I would have enjoyed it more if the author in question wasn't just a George R.R. Martin clone. Kind of hard to emotionally invest in a character like that. I might also have liked it more if Bridget and said author could have actually developed a friendship and we could have seen more of it. While the cryptic message he gets out is very cool, and the ending is pretty exciting, it takes a long time to kick into high gear. I listened to this entirely as an audiobook and the narrator did an excellent job, but I also got the physical book from the library in case I wanted to switch off, and may I just say, I love the black and white picture of the cabin in every chapter header, as well as the physical size of the book -- a fraction of an inch shorter than a standard hardcover in both height and width, just enough to notice and find pleasingly diminutive. Bottom line: If you're a fan of both epic medieval fantasy stories (we hear several excerpts from his work) and also contemporary romance that is G-rated and suitable for middle schoolers, this is your ticket.

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