It took me too long to get through this. I lost interest (and time) when I was just 50 pages short of finishing, but I made myself finish it tonight. Honestly, I wish that I’d made myself finish it sooner because I loved the ending! The middle? Eh. But the ending. Holly Black’s “The Darkest Part of the Forest” was a good read, though not something that I would ever read again. It’s one of those books that you read once, know the story, and never return to.
This book was an impulse buy. Someone on here and Instagram had been reading it and I thought that it looked interesting. When I saw it on the shelves in Barnes & Noble, I didn’t even really give it a second thought! It was not at all what I was expecting, though. In my mind, it was going to be something set far in the past or in some completely different fantastical word. That is mostly not the case. Mostly. That being said, I did quite like it.
What I liked most was probably the cover, though. Usually when I say that about a book, that’s a bad thing. However, this just has a wonderful cover that I can’t not love. What I liked second-most was the uniqueness of blending completely modern concepts with fantasy folklore. Black pulled it off wonderfully, in my opinion. Others may disagree, and I could see how they would disagree, but I think that it’s something that would be extremely difficult to attempt so maybe that’s affecting my opinion. As a writer, I appreciate the way that she did it. There. That’s more eloquently stated.
The characters were interesting, particularly the main character – Hazel. I don’t usually read books like this that aren’t first person p.o.v. but omniscient fit much better in allowing the reader a look into more than one character’s mind. Because of that, I really like Ben – the brother. I really don’t like him, but I really do. I think that he was a bit undeveloped, even though we knew so much about him and the way he felt and he had his own little side love story and everything; despite all of that, I wanted so much more from him. Sure, he wasn’t the main character who needed to be expanded upon for the development of the actual main plot, but I just wish that I’d felt Ben a little more. The same goes for the Alderking. I loved to hate him! I honestly believe that he was doing what he thought was best for his people, even if it was completely fucked up.
The setting was probably the most attractive point from the book, though. The descriptions and the feel of the places were wonderfully written and they created the atmosphere for the whole book. Again, it was mixing modern and fairytale settings wonderfully. Even if you’re not a big fan of these types of stories, I recommend it as a read just for the feel of the book that comes from the location and the blend of reality/fantasy.