Book Review – Darkly Wood II by Max Power

Max Power is back and in full force with his very first sequel. Over the years, he’s written five books (including this one), but this is the first time he’s written a sequel to any of them.

That’s a good thing. Darkly Wood (check my review here) was a great horror story with other horror stories interwoven with it. It was a very unique story that handled the exposition of the titular wood through a series of old tales about the horrible thing that had happened there over the years, even as it was dragging us – and the protagonist, Daisy May – through the muck and claws of the woods.

Darkly Wood ended like any good horror story should – leaving you wanting more. The main story was finished, but it added more questions and begged for a sequel. Now, three years later, we get a sequel that answers some of the questions and introduces more. Darkly Wood II: The woman who never wore shoes picks up the story of Daisy May when her granddaughter wanders into the woods and history repeats itself.

This time, though, the stakes are higher and there’s a twist.

Power himself has claimed this isn’t a horror story. He sees it as a romance with horror elements and there’s certainly a bit of romance lurking in the dark corners of the story, ready to snatch you up and lovingly shred you. Certainly, Darkly Wood II uses the romance elements to both humanize and demonize his primary antagonist and give us tantalizing hints as to why he is the way he is, but the magic of the story lies in how we learn more about why the woods are the way they are.

As before, Power weaves stories of the woods into the narrative of the story, but this time the stories become important parts of the whole. Rather than simply provide exposition and allow us to see Darkly Wood as a long-time menace, the old stories become important elements in the final narrative.

Max Power is a masterful story-teller, so masterful you don’t always realize just how well-woven the tale is until the whole of the story hits you full in the face. If you haven’t read Darkly Wood, it’s not strictly necessary to start there, but it would definitely help.

If you like your horror stories with a bit of soul instead of a lot of blood, check out Darkly Wood II. It has some intense scenes, but it’s not meant as a scream-fest. This is the creeping, gnawing horror that sneaks up you in the middle of the night. Well written and entertaining, Darkly Wood II is a great read.

This chilling sequel to Darkly Wood brings us back to the mysterious wood perched above the sleepy village of Cranby. The mystery returns with love and terror walking hand and hand through the seemingly innocent paths of the place that has generated many fearful tales. This time however, there is an even more sinister presence. Much time has passed since Daisy escaped the terror of the wood and on the surface little has changed. But behind the tree line, a new danger lurks. Fans of the original will be taken to darker depths and first time readers will discover the true art of storytelling from the mind of the award winning author Max Power. Heart stopping, fast paced, unrelenting danger lies waiting for you between the pages. Sometimes love is all you have. Sometimes, love is not enough. Darkness is coming…

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12 thoughts on “Book Review – Darkly Wood II by Max Power

      1. Cheers Eric.. I admire your ability to connect your series.. I hadn’t originally planned this so I know how tough it is and how talented you are so I take the compliment with s little extra sauce ☘🎈

      2. Oh man, I had no idea of where my series was going to wind up when I wrote the first one. Darkly Wood II is taking yours in some pretty incredible directions.

      3. As I wrote II I changed the idea for the end Wormhold was s smaller part but he Grew and a bolt of lightening hit me for a new end that changed everything, only problem was I need more time. And space to it became 3 instead of 2.. ☘

      4. Wormhold’s a great character; a tremendously flawed guy that’s still relatable.
        It’s kind of amazing where a book will take you; I swear sometimes the stories are already out there and we’re just responsible for writing them down. I was surprised by where the Henchmen series wound up. It certainly wasn’t planned that way, but it wound up out there.

      5. He had to be almost unredeemable.. his redemption only became possible by upping the baddie stakes.. wait until you see the real villain in book III.. I’m hoping to twist the noodle 😜

  1. A great, insightful review, Eric. I thoroughly enjoyed both DW, and DW II. As you’ve said, Patrick is a masterful storyteller. As we both know, a sequel is more work than pleasure with regards to writing, but this tale has proved how worthwhile it was for Patrick.
    Brilliant characters too, which you’ve also highlighted.

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