The Forest of Lost Souls by Anne Plichota & Cendrine Wolf
Published by Pushkin Children's Books
27th February 2014
The last day of term – and no one is looking forward to the holidays more than Oksa Pollock, still recovering from her epic battle with Orthon McGraw.
But rest and recuperation will have to wait…as her best friend Gus has vanished without a trace. Accompanied by a band of her fellow Runaways, including the moody, mysterious Tugdual, Oksa goes to his rescue in a secret, parallel world – there the group must all face their personal demons, not to mention an assortment of horrific creatures, in a desperate attempt to bring Gus back alive.
As she confronts terrifying new dangers, Oksa is forced to make some heart-breaking choices, trying to protect those she loves from her enemies…
And from each other.
Zoe kept rushing around the McGraws’ house, frantically looking in every room. Orthon had disappeared and there was no sign of his wife Barbara or his son Mortimer. She was alone.
“Go to your room, Zoe, don’t worry,” Mortimer had told her tow weeks ago. “I’ll pop up and see you in a bit.”
That was the last time she’d spoken to him. She’d waited all evening, then she’d fallen asleep, worn out with worry. The house was empty when she’d woken up. Horribly empty. Again Zoe had waited for hours for Orthon or Mortimer to come back, wandering from room to room and leaving worried messages on their mobiles which had rung unanswered. Hours had turned into days. The cupboards and fridge gradually emptied, dust settled on the furniture, growing thicker by the day, and spiders’ webs formed high up on the walls. With all hope gone, she’d finally had to face facts: she’d been abandoned. She was all alone in the world with nowhere to go and no one cared if she lived or died. The house felt as if it were closing in on her like a tomb.
Building up from the climatic battle at the end of Book One, the Oksa Pollock series continues with The Forest of Lost Souls and it continues in just the same vein as it did previously. Orthon McGraw has, thankfully, vanished, and Zoe, with nowhere else to turn goes to the Pollock family for their help. Back at school again, one day, Gus gets bored waiting for Oksa so sets off down the corridors to find her, but then he hears a mysterious voice and suddenly vanishes, leaving nothing behind….
Oksa and the Runaways can do nothing else to do but go looking for him. It turns out he has been impictured by mistake and the only way to get him back is to enter into the picture too, but they are not the only ones who want it! Unfortunately, this takes them into the Forest of Lost Souls, where even the plants have voices and feelings. It’s not a place to enter into lightly, full of danger, personal demons and horrifying creatures, from which the whole tribe will struggle to return from alive.
The Forest of Lost Souls is another page-turner. Full of magic and mystique, tension and drama, I raced through the book, in order to find out whether The Runaways would find Gus; whether they would all make it back from the forest in one piece; and whether Oksa would fall under the spell of Tugdual, who claims ‘he would do anything in the world for her’! Keeping the drama going right to the very end, Anne Plichota and Cendrine Wolf have created another excellent book for anyone missing the Harry Potter books. I’m looking forward to number three already!
Miss Chapter x