Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

Holly Black
     "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?"

Holly Black strikes again with an amazing stand-alone.

I love her writing, and I love the way she tells classic themes. Her stories and her characters are always enthralling and different. Her characters are never cliche, or one dimensional. 

Hazel was such an awesome character. Her journey was so much fun to read. She starts off being very certain of everything in her life, even though she lives in a strange town where strange things happen. That is until she wakes up covered in mud and glass with no memory of how and why. From there she starts on a journey uncovering clues and stirring up what seem like weird dreams but may turn out to actually be memories.

Her brother, Ben, he took a little longer for me to like. He kind of came off as just a jealous older brother. Because Hazel was always so sure of herself, and he at first struggled with his sexuality, and then the boys he liked seemed to like Hazel more. For more of the book than I wanted him to be, he was just kind of there in the background. Although, it kind of only adds to what a great character, and sister Hazel was, is that she still thought of her brother as her equal, her bard, even though he wanted to stop hunting monsters. 

The Horned Boy, we learn his name but I want to keep that a mystery for those who haven't read the book yet, I really liked his character. He was mysterious and you instantly want to know everything about him. You never really do, but I kind of became okay with that. There is a lot to learn about an ancient Fae and learning those things would have taken away from the story being told. What you do learn is interesting enough. 

All the characters that played a role in this book were so well written and I loved them. With Holly Black's last standalone, Coldest Girl in Coldtown, I was left wanting more, a lot more. This time, I feel the book ended where it should have. I would still like to read more about Hazel and Jack, and what happened with them, but I am still pleased with how it all ended. I think it's because there was a epilogue that really wrapped things up and didn't really leave me with any big questions. Either way, I can't wait to read her next standalone, or really anything she writes.

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