Sep 17, 2018forbesrachel rated this title 4.5 out of 5 stars
"Nothing to fear but everything here..." This blurb from the back of the book, sums up the content of Where the Woods End pretty nicely. Everything in this woods, from the mundane fungus on the ground, to the witch that lives in the lake, and even the people themselves are dangerous. And yet, the young Kestrel has always navigated this environment with determination. She has to. For the only way to escape is to fulfill the bargain she made with her mother, and to find the exit somewhere in its depths. While working towards her goal, Kestrel begins to uncover the dark secrets of her past, as well as the truth behind the people eating monsters known as grabbers. Even though many creatures try to eat her, she doesn't fear them, rather it is something much closer to home that truly scares her. Salter pairs a dark atmosphere with a psychologically driven narrative to tell a fantastic story about a girl who must understand and accept her fears, and overcome loss, in order to survive. This is told in a rich language, with a brave voice; Kestrel's attitude is what keeps this book from treading into the realm of horror. Everything unfolds at a steady pace, and while the shape of Kestrel's fear will come as no surprise, there are a few other twists that readers won't necessarily expect. For fans of dark fantasy with a Grimm's fairytale type feel, Where the Woods End is a great middle grade choice.