Mark from work loaned this to me; I read the first page and knew I’d like it, so I picked up a copy for myself before I’d even read it.
The book falls into the same category as the Trenton Lee Stewart (Mysterious Benedict Society) books: I like them so immediately that I have no way to assess the books objectively. I finished Deep Woods in a couple of hours. A few pages before the end, I said, “This book is a travelogue of a fantasy world with no plot whatsoever, and I shouldn’t like it at all.” And then I happily finished it.
The book is filled with gorgeous interior illustrations, too, little ones that flow with the text, that seem as though they must have been drawn before the text was written – the descriptions of the same things, in the text, seem as if the author were seeing the picture and describing that – the descriptions remind me of the vividness you find in the Ghormenghast books, but not nearly as dark.