Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Review: THE DARKEST PART OF THE FOREST by Holly Black (YA)


by Holly Black
Release date: January 13th, 2015
Published by: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Fantasy
Format: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook
Format read: ARC from the publisher.

SUMMARY

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?


BOOK TRAILER - The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black



MY REVIEW

Holly Black's storytelling is magical... an imaginable story that starts as a pleasant whimsical fairytale with lots of particulars and storytelling, with a few twists, turns and revelations, it quickly turns into a creepy and unpredictable fae story; one full of alluring characters and fascinating but eerie monsters.

The residents of Fairfold know that the fae are real. Faeries live among them. All the stories that are told are true. There's a boy, with horns, that lays asleep in a glass coffin in the middle of their woods. Tourists travel here to see the boy, to experience the magic within their town. But the tourists don't truly believe and are careless. Oftentimes, they are victims to the faes trickeries. The locals know how to protect themselves and avoid their deceiving games. They know how to stay away from the fae, unless they are willing to pay a heavy price.

 Hazel and her brother, Ben, have been running amok in Fairfold's woods since they were able to toddle. They know about the fae. They have heard all the stories. They have even been blessed by one, or cursed, depends on how you want to look upon it. Hazel and Ben are no strangers to these mystical creatures. They have seen them. They have fought them. They create stories of their own, and they dream about their prince - waking up, and falling in love with him. They are strong-willed and believe that they are ready for the day that their dreams will come true.

Be careful for what you wish for...

Hazel is stubborn, strong-willed and very independent. Her relationship with Ben is almost twin-like. They are inseparable, loyal and untouchable. Nothing can separate them.
Until Hazel makes a deal.
Some questionable things begin to happen.
Cryptic warnings. Secrets.
The boy in the casket disappears.
The monster in the woods is getting closer and closer to the edge...

"There’s a monster in our wood.
She’ll get you if you’re not good.
Drag you under leaves and sticks.
Punish you for all your tricks.
A nest of hair and gnawed bone.
You are never, ever coming… "


The complex relationship between each character mentioned in the entire book is amazing! The author goes over and beyond creating such complex, realistic connections between each one. There isn't one that I could possibly question their motive or intentions - even the most evilest one had their reasons for being. Every written word is captivating and thinkable. The entire book ran like a movie through my mind. Brilliant. The only way to describe it. Absolutely brilliant.

Ohhh, and I cannot fail to mention... the romance! The diversity! The sacrifice! The fight! And the all the strange things that will unfold into a bewitching story never to be forgotten.

THE DARKEST PART OF THE FOREST, to me, felt like a twisted modern-day retelling of Sleeping Beauty and King Arthur's knights. Obviously, those who love faeries and fairytales will be lured into this new story... but those of you who shy away from these sort of tales - you must find the courage to enter into the woods and find your path, trust me, you will most definitely find yourself entranced by the prince's story, narration and the different meanings of love and loyalty.


*An ARC was won in a giveaway by the publisher for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Holly Black

Holly Black is a best-selling author of contemporary fantasy novels for kids, teens, and adults. She is the author of the Modern Faerie Tale series (TitheValiant, and Ironside), The Spiderwick Chronicles (with Tony DiTerlizzi), and The Good Neighbors graphic novels (with Ted Naifeh) The Poison Eaters and Other Stories, a collection of short fiction, and The Curse Worker series (White CatRed Glove, and Black Heart). 

She is also the co-editor of three anthologies, Geektastic (with Cecil Castellucci), Zombies vs. Unicorns (with Justine Larbalestier), and Welcome to Bordertown (with Ellen Kushner). 

Her most recent works are the middle grade novel, Doll Bones, and the dark fantasy stand-alone, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown.

She lives in Massachusetts with her husband, Theo, in a house with a secret library.


2 comments:

  1. Great Review :) This book is totally next on my list for reading.

    Aparajita @Le' Grande Codex

    ReplyDelete
  2. I really need to read Holly Black more consistently, I almost always fall in love with her books. I've had my eye on this one, because I think it'd probably be a pretty nice fit for Fairy Tale Fortnight -- might have to pick it up! =)

    ReplyDelete

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