e-ARC Review: Hood
Author: Jenny Elder Moke
Published: 9 June 2020
Format: e-ARC from Netgalley
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
Isabelle of Kirklees has only ever known a quiet life inside the sheltered walls of the convent, where she lives with her mother, Marien. But after she is arrested by royal soldiers for defending innocent villagers, Isabelle becomes the target of The Wolf, King John’s ruthless right hand. Desperate to keep her daughter safe, Marien helps Isabelle escape and sends her on a mission to find the one person who can help: Isabelle’s father, Robin Hood.
As Isabelle races to stay out of the Wolf’s clutches and find the father she’s never known, she is thrust into a world of thieves and mercenaries, handsome young outlaws, new enemies with old grudges, and a king who wants her entire family dead. As she joins forces with Robin and his Merry Men in a final battle against the Wolf, will Isabelle find the strength to defy the crown and save the lives of everyone she holds dear?
While I never really went through a “Robin Hood” phase, I did always find the premise interesting. Hood takes “Robin Hood” and asks, “what’s next?”
Well, in this story, Robin Hood has a daughter – Isabelle. She’s skilled with a bow, and she has a way of getting herself into trouble. She also has no idea that she’s Robin Hood’s daughter until she and her mother become the target of The Wolf, a dangerous man who is fiercely loyal to the King.
From the start, readers will be pulled in with the quick action action and intense emotions that Isabelle encounters on her way to find Robin Hood. Quick dialogue that is thoughtful and witty in a way that isn’t constant snark (bookish pet peeve of mine) makes the story even more enjoyable, despite the fact that the plot is pretty straight forward and there are not many twists.
I think that reluctant readers and younger teens will especially enjoy Hood because of how quickly the story moves and that the new generation of Merry Men are fun, well-written, and they generally act like teenagers – which is to say that they’re observant, full of quick wit and snappy remarks, and they are quick to learn their world and its many issues. Each character brought a different skill and personality to the team, and I wish I had gotten even more interactions – especially with Helen and Patrick. They were definitely my favorites.
One thing that I especially enjoyed that I don’t think we see in many YA books is positive parent/child interactions. Isabelle had so much love for her parents, and would do anything to protect them. They adored their daughter, praised her, and spoke honestly and thoughtfully with her. It was a pleasant surprise that added an extra dose of heart to the story.
Overall, I would recommend Hood to anyone looking for a quick, enjoyable Robin Hood spin-off. It’s a great pick-me-up book if you’re in a bit of a slump, and it is truly written for teens as opposed to 20 and 30 – something year olds who really enjoy YA.
Thanks for reading!