Saffelia Forrest and the Snowfall Grove is an intriguing mystery set amid the pale snow of a bleak winter in a dark forest.
Sixteen year-old Saffelia has a problem for which she cannot ask her friends for help. Concealing the origin of her mysterious blackouts is becoming a constant struggle as she approaches her final year at St Oliver Plunkets.
When she takes a camping trip into the Snowfall Grove, she and her friends unwittingly encounter several new intruders who disrupt their idyllic expedition. To their horror, on return to school they discover the intruders have joined the teaching staff. So begins a year of oppression, fakery and a toxic battle to close down freedom of speech on their school newspaper, The Oracle. Classes on Romantic poetry split their year down the middle as a gender battle breaks out among the students. But Saffelia has a much darker concern – she knows something about one of the teachers no-one else does, and confiding this secret could tear her fragile world apart. Will she find the courage to face her hidden shame?
This is a gripping and twisty thriller about a secret plot to exploit young people set in the environs of a mysterious forest and a gothic school. Fans of Paula Hawkins, Jo Nesbo and Stieg Larsson will enjoy this book. Saffelia Forrest and the Snowfall Grove is the second novel in Dominic Jericho’s coming-of-age series, and explores how friendship can withstand misplaced authority, amid the destructive seduction of Romantic poetry.
Point of view:
3rd person. Sort of vacillated between being 3rd person subjective to Danny and then there would be intermittent sentences where we’d get glimpses of other characters thoughts & feelings that Danny couldn’t possibly know.
I read the first book, Chardelia Foss and the River of Fear, and I like this one better. Likely due to the foundation of the first book as I would imagine someone jumping in at this book would be very confused. While some of the issues in the last book were pulled off better here – I feel like it still suffers significantly from random happenings that are never resolved &/or distract from the overall arc, lulls in action that become boring (exacerbated by the narrator) and the ending is tied up with a monologue by the “bad guy”. Pretty similar to what happened in the last book. I did appreciate that, unlike Chardelia, we actually get to know Saffelia much better.
I enjoy the bits of humor and banter between Danny, Amanita, & Timothy. I liked that Danny had a friendship with Saffelia outside of her relationship with Timothy. Overall, I do find myself looking forward to more adventures with these characters.
I have several problems with Amy Du Quesne’s narration. She is soooooo slow. There were parts of the book that I set on 2x speed just to tolerate. She also had odd places where she emphasized words or phrases that didn’t make sense. I also felt that since 80-90% of the book is from Danny’s POV a male narrator would have been more appropriate.
I received a free copy of this audiobook from the author and am voluntarily leaving an honest review.
About the author:
Dominic Jericho is a writer of adult and young adult fiction. He’s been writing stories since before he was a teen himself. He started with a pencil on a scruffy notepad before rapidly buying up multiple packs of empty exercise books so he could fill them with ideas, lists, concepts and illustrations. He now writes all his novels on a shiny new laptop, which unfortunately has the annoying distraction of an internet connection.
You can connect with Dominic Jericho here: