All this heady introspection and excellent character work is balanced with a solid narrative that relies on both taut sequences of action and the overarching mystery of the forest and its creatures, as well as its tendency to alter time and space as we know it. The Trees is a longish book, but it reads about as quickly as a novel half its size, thanks to the author's immersive plotting ... The Trees should definitely make him a household name.
Although this development has more than a tinge of the supernatural, Shaw’s descriptions are visceral and matter-of-fact ... The non-fiction nature writing in vogue in recent years seems to have migrated into fiction. Shaw’s climax is like nothing else, though, crescendoing with almost CGI levels of spectacle as Tarantino meets Middle Earth. The Trees is very odd indeed, but certainly compelling.
Maybe The Trees is as much Narnia as The Road, then, because the moral symbolism becomes increasingly explicit as the quest goes on ... Adrien’s inertia and despondency are the most interesting aspect of The Trees. He is an antihero, dependent on women for instruction, morale, food and shelter...The post-apocalyptic theme is familiar, and so is the eco-thriller, but both usually rely on the hero’s quest. What’s unusual here is that moral order is mystically reinstated by the apotheosis of a wimp.