This particular novel had been one of my most anticipated books since before it officially released! I’m not sure exactly why I hadn’t read it sooner, but seeing it at the library made my whole day! I snatched it up and started it as soon as I could.
The story is written entirely in 3rd person and takes place in Fairfold, a town where both humans and fae co-exist. The book revolves around a brother and sister, Ben and Hazel. Ever since they were children, they have dreamed of waking up the Prince, a young man who is sealed within an unbreakable glass coffin and has been sleeping for generations in the depths of the forest.
They fantasized about how the Prince would fall in love with one of them and would bring peace to their town. The fae are a group of beings that are feared in their community. They are said to curse humans and eat them alive. Hazel and Ben believe that he is the answer to their problems.
Things don’t turn out quite as they expected once they find out that their Prince has suddenly gone missing. They decide to hunt the forest for him in order to help him, but they end up getting a lot more than they bargained for.
I made the mistake of having high expectations for this book. When it was first released, it was receiving fantastic reviews so I expected to adore it just like everyone else. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.
It had such a great premise, but it became immediately apparent that it would fall short of what I had anticipated.
Ben was a rather dull character. I just couldn’t connect or feel anything for him at all. Hazel. OMG, freaking Hazel drove me insane! I have never wanted to shake some sense into someone as much as with her. She did the stupidest things for reasons that didn’t even make sense. I honestly didn’t care what happened to her.
I liked that it contained a M/F romance and a M/M romance which is not commonly seen in this genre. I also liked that the book was written in 3rd person. It was a nice little change that I haven’t seen in a book for a long while, but I abhorred Holly’s writing style. It’s not that she can’t write, she CAN, but it was the way the plot was executed that I couldn’t stand.
First of all, it was extremely tedious and slow and mind-numbingly boring for the first half of the book. I basically had to force myself to continue reading it. I lost count of how many times I had to put it down. She went into long details about things such as shops and what they sold in them that I found completely pointless. She would also give background information about random characters that really had nothing to do with the overall plot.
Once things would finally start getting interesting and we were reaching a climax then BAM! She would put in a flashback that was irrelevant and boring and it would ruin the moment. I think that if this book had gone through a very strict editor then things would have turned out drastically different. It had nothing to do with grammar; it was just that many parts of the book felt unnecessary and I could have done without them.
The book also starts off with a huge list of characters that quickly became information overload. I didn’t know if I was supposed to memorize these people, if they would be important later on. Alas, they were not so more useless information.
Once the book reached about midpoint, things started to really pick up and get interesting, but by then I had no interest in finishing it. I did, but it was forced since all of my desire to read it had been squashed.
I ended up rating it 3 stars and that was being very generous. The 3 stars are solely for the second half of the book. I will give Holly Black another shot since I just realized that I purchased The Coldest Girl in Coldtown awhile back, but I’m really praying to the Gods above and all that is holy and every rainbow and four leaf clover on Earth that I like that one more than this book.
I wish I had taken the time to read recent reviews of The Darkest Part of the Forest on Goodreads, because then I would have seen that many people had the exact same issues with it that I did. I believe the rating on Goodreads is 3.9.
I’m not telling you all not to read it. There were several 5 star reviews so maybe it would appeal to you. It was just not to my liking.