Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted over at Wishful Endings to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about but haven’t yet read. Most of the time they’re books that have yet to be released, but not always. It’s based on the Waiting on Wednesday meme, which was originally hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.
This week my Can’t-Wait-For is Osmo Unknown and the Eightpenny Woods by Catherynne Valente!Osmo Unknown and the Eightpenny Woods by Catherynne M. Valente
Published on: 26th April 2022
From New York Times bestselling author Catherynne M. Valente comes an inventive new fantasy following a boy journeying away from the only home he’s ever known and into the magical realm of the dead in order to fulfill a bargain for his people.
Osmo Unknown hungers for the world beyond his small town. With the life that Littlebridge society has planned for him, the only taste Osmo will ever get are his visits to the edge of the Fourpenny Woods where his mother hunts. Until the unthinkable happens: his mother accidentally kills a Quidnunk, a fearsome and intelligent creature that lives deep in the forest.
None of this should have anything to do with poor Osmo, except that a strange treaty was once formed between the Quidnunx and the people of Littlebridge to ensure that neither group would harm the other. Now that a Quidnunk is dead, as the firstborn child of the hunter who killed her, Osmo must embark on a quest to find the Eightpenny Woods—the mysterious kingdom where all wild forest creatures go when they die—and make amends.
Accompanied by a very rude half-badger, half-wombat named Bonk and an antisocial pangolin girl called Never, it will take all of Osmo’s bravery and cleverness to survive the magic of the Eightpenny Woods to save his town…and make it out alive.
None of you can possibly be surprised, all of Valente’s works are holy writ around here, of course I’m excited for her next book! And I mean, I’d be excited even if I hadn’t read snippets of the draft on her Patreon, but I did get to read them and I was utterly enchanted. UTTERLY. I will forever be in awe of her imagination, the strange-but-delightful details she comes up with that turns a story into a world you could step into, if only you could find the door among the pages…
I will not mention anything that was in the Patreon snippets – you’ll have to sign up yourself if you want to read them! – but I’ve been waiting to hear about the progress of this book for a while now – I really did fall in love with the bits of it she shared. I can’t wait to get to read the full and finished version! I have so many QUESTIONS, and I’m head-over-heels for the premise, and look at Osmo’s beautiful coat on the cover!!! And – is that an armadillo, curled around the king chess-piece??? (I think it’s a chess-piece. I think it’s an armadillo! EEE!)
But Sia! I hear you say. Osmo Unknown and the Eightpenny Woods is MG! It’s not even YA! And you barely read YA!!!
To which I say: your point??? I really don’t care about the age classification of a book; I care about whether it’s good; whether it’s my particular flavour of really and truly excellent. MG, YA, Adult, they’re all the same that way: some books are perfect for me, and some are not. Age of Intended Audience doesn’t have much to do with it. Or have you forgotten my deep and abiding love for The Dragon With a Chocolate Heart, which is also MG???
Also, this is a Catherynne Valente book we’re talking about, here. I think it may be literally impossible for me not to love anything she cares to write, at this point. And as someone who read bits of an early draft of this book??? I strongly suspect I will not be the only one to love Osmo Unknown.
In fact, you really ought to preorder it now. Like, right now. How else will you ever find out what’s up with the armadillo???