"Under Wildwood" by Colin Meloy

Colin Meloy's grasp of language is so absolute that I want to be friends with him. Instead, I just get his lyrics and his books. In this day and age, writers are told to keep their prose curt, their adjectives light, and their adverbs shouldn't be seen or heard.

Meloy bucks the system. He also is unafraid to use large, complicated words in his writing that I had to look up. Sure the book is for middle school students, but he doesn't dumb down the language -- a terrible sin that many YA authors do, I'm afraid.

Sadly, this series is a mere trilogy, as they all are, we are swept back up with the two main characters Prue and Curtis. There is unrest in Wildwood, and Prue is in danger. Politics have shifted, and there are assassins out for Prue's life. As it seems counter-intuitive, Prue goes back to Wildwood to hide, where the assassins are looking for her.

In the meantime, the narrative is split and we are introduced to two of Curtis's sisters, Rachel and Elise. They're sent to an orphanage while Curtis's parents go to Istanbul, looking for him. Sadly, this orphanage is a front for its owner, Unthank, who is looking for a way into Wildwood to forage its resources.

I wanted to love the first book more than I did, but I feel like Meloy hit his stride with the second installment, and I get to love the second book like I should.