In the Forest of the Lost and Found, written by K.D. Van Brunt is a wilderness survival thriller with some (at first) rather unlikeable characters. Allyssa Baylor, her younger sister Grace and her younger brother Nick all reluctantly leave their privileged suburban lifestyle for a week’s worth of camping in the middle of nowhere.
Most of the characters, Allyssa (Allie) in particular, are initially hard to bond with. They are the epitome of spoiled rich kids who treat everyone else like dirt, so it was with a possible morbid curiosity I kept listening in the hopes they might get eaten by a bear or something.
The camping trip goes awry when their only means of getting home never shows up. After a week or more passes, Allie decides she’s their only hope and must hike the 200-odd miles to civilisation, even though her life thus far has left her woefully unprepared.
Away from her family, she must survive on her own, and this is where my attitude towards the character began to soften, and I began rooting for her to win through. It’s a credit to the author that he could turn around such an unlikable character.
There’s an awful lot of tension in this book as Allie is stalked by some unknown creature, intent on eating her alive but, for some reason, in no rush to do so. An interesting story of self-discovery and growth.
The narration by Katie Penate was delivered well without any detectable errors in the production. The right cadence for the story, slipping easily from a plod through the wilderness to a fight for survival. The only minor issue I had, to begin with, was the overall finished product seemed lacking in tonal depth, like it needs more bass.
Overall, it’s an interesting story of self-discovery and growth and a wild thrill ride at times through the remote wilderness. There are a few loose ends that I would have preferred to be answered. Without giving away anything, mainly the “why” driving the whole misadventure.