Tuesday, 3 February 2015

REVIEW || The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

Book Title: The Darkest Part of the Forest
Author: Holly Black
PublisherIndigo, February 5th, 2015
Source: Publisher (via NetGalley)
Format: e-ARC, 331 pages
LinksGoodreads | Amazon | The Book Depository
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 really enjoyed Holly Black’s latest novel, it was magical and enrapturing.

I will admit that at first I was really, really, skeptical – I’ve read a lot of faerie/fae/fey (there’s so many different versions!) books and consequently they’ve all kind of blended together, none of them really had any original elements to make them stand out, hence my skepticism when it came to The Darkest Part of the Forest but I was pleasantly surprised with this one; it was fun, dark, wild – everything a faerie book should be, and I’m glad I picked this up.

Whilst certain elements were familiar, Black gave it a fresh coating of paint – intertwining the real and the fantastical. I think a large example of how Holly managed to make everything in this book work so well was how I even loved the horned boy just as much as Ben and Hazel had, arguably even though he’s mentioned a lot he doesn’t really play a big part in present plot terms yet there he is, in all his glory.

Hazel has to be one of my favourite characters of recent times, how she ran about with her sword as a knight, I can totally relate to the nature of her character, more so she isn’t perfect, not at all, but (as is rare) I genuinely liked her. Something that made me grind my teeth was the romance, and I’m kind of annoyed and conflicted about this point because these type of romances are my guilty pleasures I can’t help but enjoy them, but I don’t want to like them – so that soured the reading experience just a little bit. Although I do like Jack as a character, he was sweet.

In terms of plot I loved it; whilst it did get a little predictable at times it was definitely original and kept me hooked throughout the entire book. Holly seemed to have a knack for making everything flow really well, especially when she introduced new elements into the book, and her descriptions were spot on – they set the scene and tone of the whole book really well.

Overall, I really did enjoy this book but I was slightly disappointed that it didn’t wow me; it had a certain lack of substance, and that’s the reason why I simply liked but didn’t manage to love Black’s latest novel. Having said that, it certainly is one of the better faerie novels I’ve read and I definitely recommend it! 
Rating = 3.5 Bookish Birds

1 comment:

  1. I really adored the Wings series which is a fae book - I always recommend it when people are looking for a faery read! Except, that one isn't dark or anything. I've read The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black but didn't really enjoy it that much, so I don't know if it was her writing - in which case, I might not enjoy this one either - or the way the book panned out. Either way, I think the premise of this book is really intriguing and I kind of want to pick it up.

    Great review!


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