The Trees by Ali Shaw

The Trees | Ali Shaw | Bloomsbury | March 2016

About The Book

There is no warning. No chance to prepare.

They arrive in the night: thundering up through the ground, transforming streets and towns into shadowy forest. Buildings are destroyed. Broken bodies, still wrapped in tattered bed linen, hang among the twitching leaves.

Adrien Thomas has never been much of a hero. But when he realises that no help is coming, he ventures out into this unrecognisable world. Michelle, his wife, is across the sea in Ireland and he has no way of knowing whether the trees have come for her too.

Then Adrien meets green-fingered Hannah and her teenage son Seb. Together, they set out to find Hannah’s forester brother, to reunite Adrien with his wife – and to discover just how deep the forest goes.

Their journey will take them to a place of terrible beauty and violence, to the dark heart of nature and the darkness inside themselves.

the treesReview ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I’ve had a copy of Ali Shaw’s The Girl with Glass Feet sitting around unread on my Kindle for a couple of years now. But when a few months ago I had an Audible credit going spare, I decided to take a punt on the one, because A) That cover. B) The synopsis intrigued me. C) That cover!

What a great decision that was. Narrated by Ben Onwukwe, The Trees drew me into its eerie, scary, yet often beautiful world every time I slipped my headphones on.

The trees come at night, destroying homes, killing anyone unfortunate to be in their way. A very quick reminder that while beautiful, nature can also be brutal and indiscriminate. One of our characters comes across a neighbour impaled by a branch while she slept.

I loved our main characters of Adrian, Hannah, Seb & Hiroko. Even though Adrian could be irritating as hell, with his self-loathing and confidence issues. Even as the story develops, it is clear he is far more than that. In fact all the characters are well developed and are more than they first seem.

When we meet Seb, it would be easy to dismiss him as a stereotypical teen, oblivious to anything other than his computer and his bed. But, Seb is probably the strongest person in the group. Usually the one chivvying them along or providing support when needed.

As the only two teens around for most of the book, you might expect Seb and Hiroko to get together. You’d be right, but Ali Shaw makes sure it is one of the delights of the story taking the time to do it right (and often off page). It is sweet, and fumbling. Building slowly into something strong enough that the horrors of their new existence don’t stand a chance of breaking it.

In fact, I would say, the trees, the creatures they come across, the whys and wherefores are all secondary to the character’s stories and how they deal with them. The questions the woods end up asking of them. To how they reconcile their previous morals and beliefs, with how they now have to live and survive.

There’s no way I would want to spend any time in world Ali Shaw has created myself. I did though really enjoy visiting it thought he eyes of Adrian, Hannah, Seb and Hiroko, and the voice of Ben Onwukwe.

2 thoughts on “The Trees by Ali Shaw

  • September 10 at 5:04 pm

    This book has a fresh storyline, for sure. I will be checking out this author. Thanks for sharing your review. 🙂

  • September 8 at 2:05 pm

    Oh, I might have to use an audible credit on this one as well!

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