ARC Book Review: Wicked River by Jenny Milchman
ashley | I love the wilderness, I’m drawn to the wide openness of the forest, but as much as I embrace that setting, I can’t help but feel unsettled by the wicked darkness that can fall in the depths of the isolated wild. That’s what drew me to Wicked River by Jenny Milchman.
To say things started off on a high would be an understatement. We’re thrust right into the action immediately, sprung into a chase through the woods. But as quickly as that happens, things are dialed back and we’re taken back to the beginning, or at least the beginning of this story, and begin to build back up.
This was a really weird read for me. I liked the story, but I really didn’t like the characters. I was intrigued by the secrets of the past and the lies people were telling, but the main characters – honeymooners Nat and Doug – just didn’t do it for me. While they certainly had their intense moments, I felt like they never really did anything but make bad decisions and have boring conversations. Then we’d flip back to Nat’s sister Claudia and her daughter Mia, who were unraveling the real secrets in Nat and Doug’s life. That was the part that kept me reading because I was quite interested in seeing what was really going on with them, I just wasn’t all that interested in them.
Towards the end of the book, Nat and Doug finally start having real conversations and things start to really come to a head, but I still felt like they were almost nothing characters. They were immersed in this really interesting and dangerous situation that I was enjoying, but I found that I really didn’t care at all whether they survived or not. At times, I almost felt like I was rooting for them NOT to.
I also felt like things went on a bit too long and around every corner was another part that would take the book in another direction, but not in a good way. About half way through, I reached a point in the story where it seemed like the ending was in sight, only to realize there was still a whole half a book. I couldn’t imagine what would drag this story through an entire next half. It felt like there was a lot of extra attention spent on small moments that didn’t have to happen.
The story held potential and I liked the idea of honeymooners stranded in the middle of nowhere while continuing to encounter strange and dangerous scenarios, and I have to admit that I enjoyed the twists and turns that came to be as the story went on, but it just didn’t feel like it was taken to the level that it could have been. There were these moments of excitement when something new was introduced, a secret revealed, but then it seemed to fall flat and nothing really happened from there. Nat didn’t have a reaction, they were still lost in the woods, and nothing changed or progressed.
may 1, 2018