This story follows David, a young boy who is mourning the loss of his dead mother. As a result of this, he starts to have unexplainable fits and seizures which result in him going to see a therapist. The books in his life are also starting to talk to him, telling him of what stories they hide. Things don't help much when Rose appears. After capturing his father's attention, Rose soon becomes David's stepmother and has a baby boy of her own called Georgie. David is determined to hate these newcomers as no one can replace his mother and he believes it's entirely wrong to move on with life so soon after his mother's death.
Then even weirder things happen. David spots what can only be described as The Crooked Man sitting at his bedroom window and a voice which is not unlike his mother's starts talking to him. Overcome with curiosity, he is drawn to where the voice seems to be coming from - a crack in the wall of their garden. As a German bomber plane starts to crash in his garden, David hides in the crack and immediately finds himself in a new world. A world with wolves pretending to be men, a world with a broken King leading it and a world where David's mother could be alive.
After meeting The Woodsman, David must find the king and hope that he will find his way home through The Book of Lost Things. But will he survive?
This was the second time I had read this book. When I sat down to read this book, I remembered a few bits but was totally amazed to realise I had forgotten half of what the story was only after five years since I had first read it.
What makes this book so amazing for me is there are a lot of fairytales in here that are completely twisted to be told in a totally different way. Most of the fairytales are from the Grimm Brothers. Some of these Grimm stories were completely new to me but there is a huge bit at the end where the author talks about these fairytales which inspired him to write this book and actually includes the fairytale so you know how the actual story goes. This entire section is more than 100 pages long making the book look a whole lot bigger. The story itself is 348 pages long but it's 512 with this extra material. The author has got all of these fairytales and with the addition of a character and a story, he has weaved all these fairytales to make his own. There are popular characters as you have never seen them before, making the likeable unlikeable. I would say vice versa but I'd be telling a lie.
I really think this book does not get enough credit and that people should definitely read it, including you, yes you! I first borrowed this book so I didn't have my own copy. John Connolly actually came to my city but I thought he was only signing his new book (which I can't remember as it's not important.) After he had gone and I went to my bookshop, I saw a copy with the glorious "Signed" sticker on it. Therefore I had to buy it and the picture you see below is my very own copy!
I love this book so much that it is now tied first with The Book Thief. I honestly didn't remember how excellent it was. Therefore, I'm giving it five stars, it was that amazing.
I recommend this book to anyone who loves fantasy and, like me, is a big fan of the Once Upon a Time TV show. If you love fairytales or just want to try something new, then I can say wholeheartedly that this is the book for you.
Photos by Lucy Donnan :)
This review was written by regular reviewer Lucy. Get to know her here!