THE DARKEST PART OF THE FOREST by Holly Black

THE DARKEST PART OF THE FOREST

Age Range: 13 & up
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Black returns to her faerie roots with a fantasy set in our very recognizable modern world.

Hazel lives in Fairfold, a small town in a haunted forest full of the Folk. Brother Ben’s best friend is a changeling; local kids party by the glass coffin containing a horned boy who has slept for generations. Ben himself has magical musical powers, and he and Hazel used to hunt bad Folk when they were kids. But that was before they grew apart and started keeping secrets, before Hazel kissed Ben’s first boyfriend (and lots of boys since). Now a monster menaces the town, and the horned boy is awake. Black clearly knows her lore, and the broad strokes intrigue, but somehow the pieces never jell. Hazel is a series of clichés dressed in outfits described with a little too much precision, a broken girl making out with boys to dull the pain, dreaming of heroics. But there’s no depth; the parental neglect and secrets are so past tense that they lack urgency (and the parents, mysteriously, are now fine). When it turns out Hazel is indeed special, too many plot threads are flying for her journey to carry the novel.

In the end, Black’s latest seems to mirror Hazel’s fears about herself—"as normal and average as any child ever born"—but like Hazel, it's not without charm. (Fantasy. 13 & up)

Pub Date: Jan. 13th, 2015
ISBN: 978-0-316-21307-3
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2014




OUR CRITICS' TAKES ON MORE BESTSELLERS

See full list >
Cover art for YES WE (STILL) CAN
VERDICT:
BORROW IT
Cover art for THE LAST TIME I LIED
VERDICT:
SKIP IT
Cover art for ALL WE EVER WANTED
VERDICT:
BORROW IT
Cover art for MY PLAIN JANE
VERDICT:
BORROW IT

MORE BY HOLLY BLACK

ChildrenTHE CRUEL PRINCE  by Holly Black
by Holly Black
ChildrenTHE BRONZE KEY by Holly Black
by Holly Black
ChildrenTHE COPPER GAUNTLET by Holly Black
by Holly Black
ChildrenDOLL BONES by Holly Black
by Holly Black

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

FictionTAM LIN by Pamela Dean
by Pamela Dean
Sci-FiNETTLE KING by Katherine Harbour
by Katherine Harbour
Sci-FiJERICHO by Alex Gordon
by Alex Gordon
AdultBEYOND A DARKENED SHORE by Jessica Leake
by Jessica Leake
ChildrenTHE SHADOW CABINET by Maureen Johnson
by Maureen Johnson