After a terrible incident at his home in Washington DC, Douglas Jones and his mother are whisked away to Regent Academy in Vermont to begin anew. Douglas wants nothing to do with the influence that being a Regent alumni offers - he just wants to survive. But when a student is found murdered and the entire student body seems to forget he ever even existed, Douglas goes on a journey to discover the truth, leading him towards secrets and a debt that has been buried for over three centuries.
From the get go, this book sinks its hooks into you and doesn’t let go. Jackson’s first foray into the horror genre hits all the right notes. Both horrifying and heartbreaking, the idea of someone’s existence being completely erased upon their death is a death grip around the reader’s heart as they follow along Douglas’ journey to find the truth.
At no point during this book did I ever develop even a casual suspicion as to what was going to happen next. With the amount of amazing stories that exist in the world today, it’s oftentimes difficult to find a story that keeps you guessing from start to finish and Jackson accomplishes this flawlessly.
Weaved into the speculative nature and fantasy elements of this book, we also find themes that resonate within the real world as well. Regent Academy is the place that future billionaires make their start and, as such, it is unsurprising that Douglas, a queer Black teen, is ostracized and bullied from the moment he arrives. And it’s exactly his classmates' antagonism towards him that makes the ending of this story feel so incredibly satisfying to me.
While this story is a standalone, Jackson leaves the door open for any number of spinoffs in this world and I, for one, am excited at the possibilities. So make sure you go preorder a copy of THE FOREST DEMANDS ITS DUE by Kosoko Jackson before it hits shelves on October 3, 2023! (Money talks after all 😉) Don't forget to submit your receipt here to receive the preorder incentives or preorder from any of the tour stops listed here and you can get a signed and personalized copy along with the preorder incentives!
Disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book for free and have voluntarily written this review. If you purchase a copy using my Bookshop affiliate link above, not only will I receive a small commission (which will fuel my coffee and tea addiction and help to keep me up all night reading more books to recommend to you), but you will be supporting indie bookstores as well! If you prefer Amazon, visit my Amazon storefront and click on the list titled "2023 Book Recommendations."