Book Review: Samuel Blink and the Forbidden Forest

The story Samuel Blink and the Forbidden Forest by Matt Haig is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. This book is a unique type of book for a different type of reader. This is the type of book that flat out warns you when to skip ahead if you are not fond of mushy scenes, and the type of book that provides marvelous sarcasm quite often.

In the story, Samuel Blink must go to Norway with his sister, Martha, to live with his aunt, Eda, because his parents died. The situation of his parents and his newly muted sister leads him to be very defiant, and he soon questions the most important rule of the new house: Don’t go in the forest.

Now, in the beginning, both Samuel and Martha are not told why they must not go into the forest. This proves to be a big mistake. Everyone in the small town knows the forest is full of trouble—and magic. Not to mention Samuel’s Uncle Henrik ventured in the forest ten years ago and he was never seen again.

Now, to my surprise, Samuel didn’t go in the forest first. Martha went in the forest, followed by Samuel and the dog, followed by Eda, all separately fighting for their lives in the forest full of deadly magical beings.

Now, the beings weren’t always evil, and some are still good, but very few. The Changemaker has taken control and is turning even the most lovable creature that lets you use his body as a pillow into a vicious monster that bites your head off.

This story is unique for another reason as well. Unlike most of the books I have read, this book is not predictable. As I was reading, I thought of a bunch of different things I thought would happen, and nothing went according to my plan. Instead, the story unfolded to be something better than I could have ever come up with.

But my favorite aspect of the story is the accents the writer gives all the characters from Norway. Norway, as Eda would say, is “a werry friendly place”. And all the Norwegian characters loved cheese almost as much as a Wisconsin stereotype.

The characters are some of the best I’ve ever read of—especially Eda, who will absolutely never “giff” up, even if her life depends on it.