The Huntress of Thornbeck Forest is written by Melanie Dickerson and paints the picture of rising from the ashes of life.The story revolves around the character of Odette, a girl adopted by her rich uncle who experience poverty after the death of her parents. This leads her to illegally hunt deer to feed the hungry and poor. Odette is an eligible bachelorette, but has the good fortune of not being pressured by her uncle to marry. She has not yet found someone that she can see herself spending her life with, but one festival she finds herself attracted to a man she has never met before: Jorgen. Jorgen is the hunter is this Robin Hood-esque tale. The attraction is foreboding of what will come in the future.
Unfortunately a lot of the story is disjointed and has the flow interrupted with the repeated injection of a few words like “ja” that take away from the story. (Think of Save the Last Dance and the horrid overuse of the word “Aight”). I have nothing wrong with adding in accents or other languages, but when it is limited to a few constantly used words it begins to grate on my nerves and become annoying in the reading, making me want to skip over dialogue.The redeeming qualities of this novel were the ancillary characters. I wish I had the chance to get to know them more, as they were described well and felt as though they had more depth and life than the main characters. I love the independence and strength that Odette stood for, but as the story progressed the dialogue was not developed in a believable manner. The mystery element was interesting, but it would have been nice to have more misdirection. I enjoyed being able to read the story from both Odette’s and Jorgen’s eyes. It added an element of duality from the male and female polarity.
If this book were to be truncated into a short story, I think it would have taken off a lot better. It had enough of a plot to last through a short story. Instead it felt stretched and thin in content as if there was a lot of filler instead of actual story development to turn it into a full-length novel. I would say that Melanie Dickerson has great potential as an author, and I would check out a book of hers that was more recently written. Hopefully with more editing in story development, as she definitely has a grasp on story telling. Less filler, more story.Overall I give this book 3/5 stars. It had great potential, but I felt let down. The combination of stories such as Robin Hood/Swan Lake/Romeo & Juliet were present, but fell flat. You may be interested if you enjoy reading romance, fairy tales, young adult, fiction, retellings, etc.
*I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for a fair and honest review.