March 25, 2015

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black Review!




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Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves. A girl can look at her brother and believe they’re destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she’s found the thing she’s been made for.

Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once.

At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking.

Until one day, he does…

As the world turns upside down, Hazel tries to remember her years pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?

   I loved the introduction to The Darkest Part of the Forest. It captivated me with a mystery and lovely words and I was intrigued from the start wondering who the boy with horns on his head was and why he was in a glass coffin. I was surprised that this book was set in a modern time with a fantasy twist and not in a fantasy world setting. It was different and unexpected, but I liked it.

   One thing that I wasn’t to sure about were the flashbacks in the beginning. They were needed to understand Hazel, the main character, more and what her situation was, but I did not like them that much. I would have preferred a different approach to understanding Hazel’s situation. It was around page 100 where things got interesting. The mystery of the horned boy was revealed, things were revealed that rocked Hazel to her core, and her enemies made themselves known. This is when the action started to pick up. It didn’t really have any until closer to the end, but it's worth the wait. The buildup was so important. The relationships in this book took me by surprise too. What happened with Ben and Hazel's relationships threw me through a loop, but I loved it.

   Honesty, I started this book and put it down for about three days. It's one of those books you have to know will get better as it goes along. In the end, I liked this book. It has a different feel to it from the start featuring a town that knew Fey surrounded them, had a "glass" coffin with a sleeping horned boy inside, and a girl who made a bargain with the Fey king. I will be the first to tell you that this book is slow in the beginning. It has a lot of description and little dialogue, which didn't keep me interested all that much, but once you get past those first few chapters, things start to pick up, odd things begin happening, and Hazel starts to search for answers. In the end, I loved how Hazel, Ben, Jack and Severin ended up. It was such a satisfying ending. This book had action and mystery along with adventure and a little romance. I feel like this story is similar to the Need series by Carrie Jones and Wings series by Aprilynne Pike in terms of adventure and fey people, and if you liked those books then you might like this one too. All in all, I give this book three out of five stars.