"Braxton Woods Mystique, authored by Adam Furgang, is a story that relates the experiences of thirteen year old Leo as he moves to a new lottery home after his own house gets burned down in a forest fire. There Leo, along with his new neighbors, genius twins Albert and Oliver, and beautiful Nora explore the woods behind their homes and realize that their homes have a deep dark secret that has been buried for decades. As they uncover the mystery of the Braxton Woods, their own lives get in danger and there seems to be no way out.
I don’t usually read fantasy stories, primarily for the reason that fantasy books usually create a world that is hard to relate to, but the Braxton Woods Mystique was so well balanced in keeping both reality and fantasy hand in hand that I am glad that I gave fantasy fiction another chance.
Furgang’s book was an interesting, action and adventure packed read that reminded me of my own childhood. The characters that were introduced were unique, yet much like the people we come across in our daily lives.
Leo, from whose eyes we read the story, was everything a thirteen year old boy is expected to be. He had his moments in which he stepped up to be a man, like when he rescued Nora from the mythical beast, but acted like a young boy whenever he got a chance to. He ran away from tasks to save himself from being judged, but also accepted reality like a grown man. It was truly amazing how accurately Furgang captured a thirteen year old’s mentality.
Furthermore, I loved how Furang perfectly portrayed the feelings of Nora and Leo’s budding romance, in which they were attracted to each other but didn’t know how to react. They were conflicted between moving forward like adults who had a flame between them, but hesitant as they were still too young for anything too mature. I’m also glad that the romance mentioned was innocent and sweet.
The Braxton Woods Mystique was written in a style that kept me hooked and turning page after page, hoping to find out more about the mystery of the woods. I do admit that the start of the story was a bit slow, and I had to force myself to read through the first five chapters, but once I got engaged in the story, I couldn't help but finish the book as soon as I could.
One thing that bothered me was that I found the ending of the book abrupt, perhaps because in contrast to the elaborate beginning and middle, the ending didn’t put rest to some questions. Like how did the carnival end up underground in the first place, and how had the antagonist of the story survive for so long?
Anyhow, I rate Braxton Woods Mystique 3 out of 4 stars for being a new, unique and engaging read. I will definitely be looking forward to read more works from Adam Furgang."