When I covered Into the Woods by Lyn Gardner, I mentioned that there was a new sequel out. Now that I have read Out of the Woods, I can say that it is also a GU story, but it didn’t quite grab me like the first one. Also, I found the addition of characters and settings from Greek mythology a little jarring alongside traditional fairytale figures – I know it may be all one thing to some people, but those are really very different worldviews with different origins.
Storm and her sisters Any and Aurora have barely begun to recover from their dealings with the evil Dr. DeWilde when a new adversary appears, the witch Belladonna, in the guise of the owner of a traveling carnival. Belladonna wants Aurora’s heart to keep her youth and beauty eternally, and DeWilde’s wolves are now her minions too. The witch steals the magical pipe that has returned to Storm, and manages to once again warp Kit’s heart so that he turns from his love Aurora and helps the witch instead, at least temporarily (an example of the classic betrayal by companion). Netta, essentially playing Storm’s fairy godmother, returns to tell her that she must journey to the Underworld to destroy the pipe. But the journey becomes doubly necessary when Aurora dies unexpectedly, and therefore must be rescued.
In a somewhat unsatisfying section, the witch is defeated without much confrontation, and later DeWilde takes up the role of adversary again for the last part of the book. Storm goes underground to the land of the dead, completes her missions and manages to thwart her adversary yet again.