The Darkest Part of the Forest


Last month I read Holly Black’s new book, and well. Holly Black.

d92ff30cffe83c0148d6f996fd147019The Darkest Part of the Forest

  • Author: Holly Black
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Year: 2015
  • Shelved In: Teen Fantasy and Adventure
  • Genre vibe: Fae fantasy, adventure stories
  • At a glance: Hazel is a reckless thing with a thirst for an adventure and no qualms about kissing any boy that’ll let her. After all, there’s not much else to do in her little town by the forest. Except maybe hunting for faeries. But she and her brother don’t do that anymore, because of Backstory and Secrets. Then things happen, like Hazel waking up covered in dirt and the glass coffin that houses their town’s main attraction (a beautiful fae boy that has been there for ages).

The Good Stuff

My feelings on this book are so…mixed. I think, in all honesty, I ought to read it again. I feel like I missed things. I feel like I didn’t get enough out of it. But I felt that same way the first time I read Coldest Girl in Coldtown the first time I read it.

There’s so many great things in this book. Hazel and Jack, for instance. Hazel and Ben, Ben in general, Severin, the magic system, the creepy as heck monsters. It’s all so good and so very, very, very Holly. But it hasn’t really stuck with me the way I thought it would, like Curse Workers did.

But I haven’t exactly forgotten it either. Which implies that I read it wrong and thus it is my fault for not completely taking it in. So I’m going to read it again eventually.

But I do know enough about it to say good things, so away we go.

Jack. Jack Jack Jack Jack. I probably have a soft spot for attractive changelings, but Jack was seriously an incredible character. It seemed like he had some of the best inner struggles out of everybody, even Ben. I’m enchanted by his character arc and his character in general.

And also by the Jack/Hazel ship. Liking this ship with a vengeance seems to put me in the minority among the fans, as far as I can tell. I think Jack and Hazel are a really great pairing and I honestly just think they work really well together.

And then Severin. Lovely Severin. What can I even say about Severin? I mean, what’s not to like? He’s…Severin. There really isn’t much to say. Fairy prince galore.

Which brings me to the magic, which was the absolute most memorable part of this book by far. Holly has always had come of the absolute coolest magic systems ever, and this book is no exception. The monsters are incredible, the fae are a suitably mixed bunch of slightly scary and merely faelike. Definitely my favorite part of the book.

Questions, Comments, Complaints?

spoilers following

Hazel…didn’t really seem like the main character. She seemed like a pair of eyes to see through. Ben’s voice was a lot more vibrant, and it’s possible that it’s because he doesn’t have secrets to keep from the reader. But what with Hazel’s whole night-and-day selves and her being the primary medium for backstory to be revealed, she seemed a little less like a person and a little more like just a story prop.


  • Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended to: People who don’t mind a book you have to think about, Holly Black fans (obviously), people who like the coolest magic ever
  • Lasting Impression: a forest monster slowly eating away the hallway of a highschool, bright green eyes looking into inhuman ones, and Hazel’s green earrings.

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