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READ & DOWNLOAD æ The Trees » The Trees They arrived in the night wrenching through the ground thundering up into the air and turning Adrien's suburban street into a shadowy forest Shocked by the sight but determined to get some answers he ventures out passing destroyed buildings felled power lines and broken bodies still wrapped in tattered bed linens The work of centuries rather than hours span far beyond the town As far perhaps as the coast where across the sea in Ireland Adrien's wife is away on a business trip and there is no way of knowing whether she is alive or deadWhen Adrien meets Hannah a woman who unlike him believes that the coming of the trees may signal renewal rather than destruction and Seb her technology obsessed son they persuade him to join the. 4 stars for this wonderful fairy like survival tale Wow this book was something else Not only does it have one of the most beautiful covers I have ever seen but this book also tells an unusual but enchanting story It’s a mix of an apocalyptic survival story a magical fairy tale and a heroic uest in one told in less than 500 pages Yes it’s uite a beast of a tale and the pace of this story isn’t fast and action packed but The Trees is such an engrossing read that you won’t notice how thick this book is You only want to read about the world and about our four leading characters who all are strong and impressive in their own wayFirst the setting of this book is in our own world One night without warning a gigantic forest bursts full grown out of the earth Large tree trunks break through buildings and roads and cause death destruction and chaos If you don’t possess any nature knowledge or survival skills you’re doomed Our main character Adrien Thomas is one of those doomed people but luckily for him he runs into nature loving Hannah and her son Seb When they invite Adrien to come with them on their expedition into the forest to find Hannah’s brother he joins them in the hesitant hope that he can find his wife On their trip the three run into Hiroko a young Japanese girl who knows her way around the wild and whose practical mind set is a powerful weapon than Hannah’s plant knowledge Because this forest isn’t as inviting and beautiful as the forests we are familiar with it has shadowy and dark parts where nature and people take what they need without giving anything in return Not because nature is evil and unjust but because that’s how it works The trees want to live too not just the humans Eoin raised an eyebrow 'You're right you know The sea can be a mean old bitch but she makes no bones about it A shark is a shark my old captain used to say' Hannah nodded ‘A shark is a shark I like that It’s not the same in the woods Even something like a wolf itit disguises what it really is Makes you think it’s beautiful Even the trees starve each other of the light I’ve always called myself a person who loves nature but I suppose what I’ve thought of as nature has always been trees mammals flowersso much life you can distract yourself from the death’ Oh Hannah Of all four leading characters I felt and loved her the most At the beginning of the story Hannah is a gentle positive woman who loves nature who even welcomes the new green landscape and sees it as a way of nature restoring balance During the story however things happen to her that not only change her look on nature but also on justice and fairness She has to swallow some bitter pills but her character strength is amazing Hiroko and Adrien go through some powerful change as well Hiroko’s first impression is of a standoffish girl who kicks ass and hides her emotions from everyone However thanks to her relationship with Seb and her pet fox Yasuo secrets from her past slowly come to the surface that she has to confront Adrien is an unusual main character and our ‘hero’ although you wouldn’t call him that He is of a follower than a leader He’s cautious and filled with self loathing and I’d even say he’s dealing with a depression Despite his wish to find his wife Michelle Adrien thinks of how he failed her as a husband and how she’s better off without him than of how he’s going to deal with the treepocalypse That makes him not the most exciting person to read about but as someone who struggles with self doubt as well Adrien is the character I most identified with Michelle ‘Little things overwhelm you Sometimes it's as if everything overwhelms you”'You're right' he'd said wiping tears and rainwater alike from his cheeks 'But in those times the world just seems so damned formidable'With one arm she'd held the umbrella over his head With the other she'd reached around his waist and held on to him tight 'I want to help you Adrien But you mustn't give up You can't wait for the world to be perfect before you start living in it' I call this story a fairy tale although the magic elements stay limited to a couple of mythological creatures that burst ‘out of the earth’ at the same time as the forest The unicorn like Kirin and the ‘Whisperers’ I kept thinking of the little Kodama from Princess Mononoke appear from time to time but apart from the finale they do very little It’s kind of disappointing that Ali Shaw hasn’t done with the forest folklore because last year a book like “Uprooted” showed how terrifying a magical forest can be But on a broader level it’s the unbalanced mix of all the story elements not just the magical one that keeps me from giving these book 5 stars Shaw brings together so many different story ingredients in this book – like dystopian mythological and epic uest ones that none of them work out perfectly The worldwide forest that suddenly appears comes as a big shock but afterwards never forms a real threat The Whisperes are there from the start but only at the end of the novel you get a glimpse of their purpose And while Adrien grows out to be the hero Hannah and Hiroko get the most character development But on the bright side the tempo of this story is a slow one so none of the story elements crash into each other or clash We can calmly follow Adrien Hannah Seb and Hiroko into the wild forest and see them all come face to face with overgrown reality magical cruelty and their own inner demons The world has been drastically changed after all and so all four change too slow but steady The ending of this book brought a tear to my eye and a bittersweet smile on my face so if that isn’t a recommendation I don’t know what isThis is Ali Shaw's third book the two earlier ones are both shorter than this one but with The Trees the writer clearly shows what his creativity is capable of It's uite a trip but this epic story is really worth its pages

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The Trees They arrived in the night wrenching through the ground thundering up into the air and turning Adrien's suburban street into a shadowy forest Shocked by the sight but determined to get some answers he ventures out passing destroyed buildings felled power lines and broken bodies still wrapped in tattered bed linens hanging from branchesIt is soon apparent that no help is coming and that these trees which seem. first of all we need to take a moment to do some good old fashioned cover droolinghappily this book lives up to how stunning its cover is at nearly 500 pages it's a bit formidable but once it gets going it's such an engrossing read you don't even feel like you're reading a two inch thick book you're completely transported into its world even though it's a world you won't want to visit unfortunately it's our world with some devastating refurbishments it's one of the unusual apocalypse scenarios i've read one night when people are tucked safely in their homes sleeping snugly in their beds the trees come shooting up from beneath the ground all at once fully formed trees come crashing up destroying everything in their paths impaling humans and animals shattering houses splintering already existing trees turning the world into a primeval forest and then silenceexcept for the screamsthe story begins in england on the night of the trees where a man named adrien sleeps alone in his house while his wife michelle is away in ireland on a business trip they had fought before she left ending in a prolonged sulk from him and exasperation from her and now with communication impossible adrien is unable to contact her to know how far the treepocalypse has spread whether she is even still aliveadrien is no hero he is fearful cautious unambitious and filled with self loathing he knows he has been a disappointing husband to michelle despite all her indulgent coaxing giving him the space to find himself and his own path to happiness 'Little things overwhelm you Sometimes it's as if everything overwhelms you''You're right' he'd said wiping tears and rainwater alike from his cheeks 'But in those times the world just seems so damned formidable'With one arm she'd held the umbrella over his head With the other she'd reached around his waist and held on to him tight 'I want to help you Adrien But you mustn't give up You can't wait for the world to be perfect before you start living in it'and now on his own in a decidedly imperfect world adrien is at a complete loss of how to cope with this most unexpected turn of events wandering dazed through the chaos of the new world he sees dead bodies looted supermarkets bewildered police wild creatures skulking through a territory reclaimed by nature and he is horrified and helpless he meets hannah and her teenaged son seb reluctantly agreeing to follow them to hannah's brother zach's place where he has been living off the grid as a forester and will presumably be unfazed even delighted by these arboreal developments romantically minded seb encourages adrien to go from there to ireland to find michelle and adrien agrees; having no intention of following through but lacking the self sufficiency to survive on his own as for hannah she is enchanted by the appearance of the trees a vegetarian who adores nature she doesn't register the impaled bodies seeing only the beautiful magical rightful reinstatement of nature's dominance over civilization adrien's views of nature are dismal How he hated gardening The falseness of it Digging out a weed because it wasn't pretty enough Coming upon the slugs who had melted after digesting pellets One time blindly reaching into a spray of withered daffodils and finding a bird bleeding to death from someone's pet cat'Mother Nature is a psychopath' he'd told Michelle 'and I won't spend my weekends on my hands and knees painting her toenails'over the course of the novel events transpire which will alter their individual relationships with nature and ultimately their most essential characteristics causing them both to do things that would have been unthinkable before the trees this is than just a simple wilderness survival situation the woods have eerie ualities apart from the nature of their arrival including spindly twiglike creatures known as whisperers and also kirin which act as guiding spirits in addition the forest has a tendency to redirect those who wander its paths and hallucinatory ualities that impart to some a borg like connectivity to the natural world 'In the egg it's so sweet You float in the slime and when your mother sits in the nest you get so warm' The man wrapped his arms around himself a weak smile passing over his face 'You grow then Do all the growing you can in the heat It makes you want to break out and yell for worms and you don't know any better and you don't know how cruel things are on the outside' He shook his head sorrowfully 'But when you're the mother bird that's when you know' the story has a distinct fairy tale cast to it; one of the grimmer ones where nature is capricious indifferent cruel and occasionally beautiful Adrien watched a lone pink petal flitter through the air then ruin the secrecy of a spiderwebbut the heart stealing stars of the book are hiroko a young japanese girl very well acclimated to this environment and her half tamed fox companion yasuo most often found curled up in the hood of her sweatshirt as she stalks through the trees kicking ass and taking names nursing her own regrets and secrets Seb had helped her learn to cope with it but a weight didn't lighten just because you found the strength to carry itit's a gorgeous unpredictable beast of a tale part epic uest saga part fairytale part cautionary talewith romance adventure survival horror all of it and despite being essentially a showdown between man and nature it avoids the reductive preachiness of man bad nature good 'cuz nature's got no conception of 'good' no matter how we anthropomorphize it nature'll rip your heart out and devour its weakest and it'll outlast us all come to my blog

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The TreesM Together they pack up what remains of the lives they once had and set out on a uest to find Hannah's forester brother and Adrien's wife and to discover just how deep the forest goesTheir journey through the trees will take them into unimaginable territory to a place of terrible beauty and violence of deadly enemies and unexpected allies to the dark heart of nature and the darkness and also the power inside themselv. I asked karen for a recommendation for a book to read during this catastrophe we are riding through currently I didn’t want any realistic family drama – how can I take their petty problems seriously given our current circumstances I wanted an apocalypse but of a different kind so that it doesn’t hit too close to home I said give me nature survival forests maybe some sea but mostly trees please Rightly she recommended The TreesThe apocalypse our characters are finding themselves in is the opposite of our current one While we have been forced inside they have been forced outside – very literally One morning they wake to realise everything has been covered by trees which sprung out overnight destroying their homes and skewering many of the inhabitants This has probably happened all over the world the characters suspect but can’t verify as you can’t see very far in a dense forestYes it’s very much magical realism and like any magical realism you just gotta get on board with the premise and suspend your disbelief There will be no rational explanations forthcoming The characters we are saddled with for the duration of this journey represent the entire spectrum of the attitude towards nature – from the romanticising flower child kind through a ruthless and apt survivalist through an adaptable teenager to our main antihero very attached to his creature comforts and resentful of the apocalypse for daring to try to shake him out of his inertia This book is trying to be many things at once Sometimes it is a sinister fairy tale that swiftly turns itself into a gory thriller in the vein of The Walking Dead to then again return to a meditative piece on what nature’s nature is and what relationship we could possibly have with it This concoction of genres usually works and only occasionally jars What I particularly liked about this novel was its unlikely hero the previously mentioned ‘anti hero’ who routinely fails to live up to expectations even as these are constantly lowered And this isn’t a zero to hero kind of story where the character finds inner strength and bravely saves the world What really saves it is precisely his lack of ego his indecisiveness and willingness to just drift with the flow Because maybe the world has had enough of men trying to bend it to their will