top of page


'A dazzling and beguiling tale... Deeply rooted in the fantasy genre, but original wonderful and petrifying... A mesmerising new voice in Scottish fantasy fiction, and a book that deserves to vanish off the bookshop shelves' 

Herald (Glasgow)

'McNeill has created a fabulous universe packed full of wonder and terror. The Beginning Woods has earned its place on a shelf with Gormenghast and The Princess Bride. I loved every word and was envious of quite a few. It opened my eyes wide and quickened my heart. A modern classic rich, funny and terrifying'

Eoin Colfer

'Unafraid to grapple with complexity, The Beginning Woods changes the geography of fairies back into something as fundamental and frightening as human nature itself. Filled with gorgeous imagery and memorable prose, McNeill's young adult novel will break hearts and bind them back together with a happy ending. This is a love letter to the power of imagination'

Foreword Reviews

 'The Beginning Woods will challenge and delight the reader with a burgeoning Brothers Grimm-like thicket of wild imaginings'

The School Librarian

'I could write at length about this fascinating and original story'

North Somerset Teacher's Book Awards

'An absolutely captivating debut that'll have you reading late into the night'

Askew's Children's Newsletter

'McNeill's storytelling skills shine in this witty, delightful story about the power of imagination and dreaming'

Kirkus Reviews

'The Beginning Woods reads like a fairy tale come to life with an eccentric ensemble of characters and absurd moments that are reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland and A Wrinkle in Time'

San Francisco Book Review

'Reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland... this work features a world full of wonderfully unique an imaginative characters'

School Library Journal

'Highly original and beguiling début that promises magic, terror and the dark menace of fairytales'

The Bookseller

'You'll finish this book and feel like you've woken from a deep, refreshing sleep full of incredible, slightly unsettling, breathtaking dreams and your life in the real world will never be quite the same again'

Playing By The Book

'This is what a children's book should be'


'The writing is fabulous. It has a fairytale quality to it... an Alice in Wonderland feel to it'

Between the Bookends

'The world is incredible, and highly fascinating. It's weird, peculiar, scary and so so so charming!'

Where Are The Books?

'Surely, this has to be a future classic.'

Brida, Vine Voice

bottom of page