‘Shadow forest’ by Matt Haig is a fantasy fiction novel that follows the life of a little boy named Samuel Blink and his sister, Martha, who gets lost into a forest of ‘Huldres’, ‘One-eyed Trolls’ and ‘Truth Pixies’.
The book starts in a car on Martha’s birthday where they plan to surprise her by taking her to an unknown destination. They detour and ride off the road where they find themselves underneath the main highway where they where just at. A truck full of loose tree logs fall onto the front of their car, killing both Samuel and Martha’s parents.
They get sent to Norway, after the incident, to live with their Aunt Eda. She lives in a small cottage next to a huge deadly forest, infested with monsters and the ‘Changemaker’. Aunt Eda tells them the story of their Uncle Henrik who entered the forest a few years ago and was never seen again. She also owns Ibsen, a dog she found in a field shortly after Uncle Henrik had disappeared.
Samuel’s sister, who hasn’t spoken since the loss of their parents, follows a cat into the forest unknowingly and gets lost. Samuel, realising shortly after heads into the forest with Ibsen and a book of the forest, found in the attic. He ventures in to find villages and Caloosh traps, but no sight of his sister. He falls into a Caloosh trap and ends up being taken away.
Martha, is also caught inside a moving carriage with countless other prisoners including the shadow witches sister and trolls with intact shadows. Samuel Blink escapes and finds the Changemaker. He destroys the Changemaker along with Aunt Eda and his sister. They find out Ibsen is actually Uncle Henrik and they escape the forest to live a happy life.
I believe that this book is very interesting because it has a strong storyline while enticing the reader with the authors witty sense of humour. He includes abstract pieces of information that doesn’t affect the story but is interesting enough to keep us reading.
The story has a strong link to ambition. His strong desire and determination to find his sister is demonstrated when he learns that his sister had disappeared and he is willing to throw away his life to go in and look for her. This is apparent also, when his Aunt Eda follows them into the forest and tries to find them. Although “ambition” is not mentioned at all throughout the story, it is clearly demonstrated by their actions.