Under Wildwood continues the standard that Meloy and Ellis established in the first volume for blending the traditional elements of fantasy fiction with a witty take on the juxtaposition of magical forests and coffeehouses frequented by vegan pacifists on bicycles. There are clear shades of Tolkien and Narnia and Harry Potter and even Dickens, but with a dry humor and offbeat delivery appropriate to the children of the YouTube generation. There's also a clear sense that Meloy simultaneously means to appeal to the Gen-X parents of Under Wildwood's target audience. "For the first time in her life," Meloy writes of Prue, "she was feeling the nagging pull of adulthood, and she did not like it one bit." Joffrey Unthank, the orphan-exploiting industrialist, keeps his coffee table covered with magazines such as DUMP! and The 1% Journal. Unthank's factory echoes with maxims blared from a loudspeaker that call to mind the Newspeak of Orwell's 1984: "MACHINE PARTS MAKE MACHINES. MACHINES MAKE CONVENIENCE. CONVENIENCE IS FREEDOM. FREEDOM IS FAMILY."
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