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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
The Uninviting Forest by Nikita Kapoor is the first book in the Pack of the Lost series. Living within a small, crooked mountain is a pack of majestic wolves facing the collapse of the cave they call home. The loss of their home separates the pack with two of them - Daffodil and Jasper - becoming lost in the dangerous forest. The two wolves are determined to stay together but when the forest separates them, they embark on adventures that bring them up against many dangers and even shocking betrayals from those they once trusted. As they work to survive the dangers of the forest, they make a surprising discovery when they find a mysterious amulet that connects to their ancestors and Daffodil faces inner darkness.
The dangerous forest is the setting with many dangers that serve as obstacles for the two wolves to overcome. Perseverance is an important theme within their journey in how each wolf keeps moving forward, regardless of the threats they face. A central element in their journey is the concept of starting over. Daffodil is slowly learning responsibility and what a leader does, but this lesson comes with an internal conflict as she’s facing a growing darkness within.
A poignant undertone is incorporated into the story in the phrasing of dialogue such as waiting for the leaders that await us and letting your worries become raindrops that fall away. Magic is underneath the journey, starting with the discovery of an amulet that connects them to their ancestors which in turn connects them to their past. Nikita Kapoor’s style is poetic in how the perspectives of these animals are captured and create a story that is appealing to all ages. The writing is stunning with visuals that capture the reality the wolves are facing. The Uninviting Forest comes to life with beautiful writing that weaves a story about facing inner darkness, survival, leadership, betrayal, and strength.