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I Belong


Review: In the Forests of the Night by Kersten Hamilton

Title: In the Forests of the Night

Author: Kersten Hamilton

Genre: YA Fantasy

Series: The Goblin Wars Series (Book 2)

Publication Date: November 22, 2011

Format: Hardcover, 288 Pages

ISBN-10: 0547435606 (HMH/Clarion Books)

ISBN-13: 978-0547435602 (HMH/Clarion Books)

Reviewed by: Kayla

Synopsis:

The battle against goblinkind continues . . . but which side will Teagan be on?

Teagan, Finn, and Aiden have made it out of Mag Mell alive, but the Dark Man’s forces are hot on their heels. Back in Chicago, Tea’s goblin cousins show up at her school, sure she will come back to Mag Mell, as goblin blood is never passive once awoken. Soon she will belong to Fear Doirich and join them. In the meantime, they are happy to entertain themselves by trying to seduce, kidnap, or kill Tea’s family and friends. Tea knows she doesn’t have much time left, and she refuses to leave Finn or her family to be tortured and killed. A wild Stormrider, born to rule and reign, is growing stronger inside her. But as long as she can hold on, she’s still Teagan Wylltson, who plans to be a veterinarian and who heals the sick and hurting. The disease that’s destroying her—that’s destroying them all—has a name: Fear Doirich. And Teagan Wylltson is not going to let him win.

Quick and Dirty: Teagan tries to overcome her goblin nature while coping with school, other kidnapping goblins, and a Irish boy whose duty is to fight goblins.

Opening Sentence: Teagan Wylltson blinked and tried to focus on her five-year-old brother, Aiden.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

The book picks up right where the first book left off with Finn and Teagan talking on the roof. The gang has gone and come back from Mag Mell (goblin realm) and now they have to deal with the after math. With Fear Doirich still hot on their tails and Teagan’s goblin nature growing stronger, the book is full of action and many details to absorb.

I think the main problem with this book is that it’s so big. The book itself is less than 300 pages, but there are so many details to retain throughout the whole series. There are so many characters, events, details, and coincidences that it’s hard to keep track of it all. Details from the first book become factors In the Forests of the Night, and it took several chapters to reacquaint myself with the characters.

Although it took a while to become attached to the book, the plot was well-rounded. Enough action with down-time scattered in between. The romance between Finn and Teagan is part of the main story line, and although they had some obstacles to overcome, I thought that once they realized they loved each other, there was nowhere to go with the plot. Granted, Teagan did break up with him (see notable scene below), but it didn’t last long. I love teenage angst (books only please) but this book only had a few pages of it before it was resolved. Also, some of the solutions to the conflicts were a bit “coincidental.” Abby just happening to know people or the Green Man just happening to have a soft spot for romance may work once, but one after the other can ruin the depth. If a conflict takes a whole chapter to tell and the solution only takes a sentence, the story loses any hope of being realistic.

Now with the negative stuff out of the way, the book was a nice break from the huge books with emotional roller costars. Sometimes you just need a simple book with happy endings. This book is the perfect cure for a mentally exhausted reader. If Tyger, Tyger was the flame, then Forests was the marshmallows roasting above it. The conflict has been explained, the world has been described, and the characters have been introduced. Forests builds on everything that has happened in Tyger, Tyger — more detail, more insight, more complexity. You get a closer look into the characters and find more layers to uncover, especially in Teagan.

Overall, once you get past the beginning, this is an alright book. If you can ignore some of the easy way outs, you should enjoy the whole series. My one suggestion: read Tyger, Tyger before you start this one to refresh your memory.

Notable Scene:

“Finn Mac Cumhaill,” Teagan said, “I do love you.”

“I’m taking this to mean we’re not broken up, then. It was the fever speaking.”

“No. It wasn’t the fever. You want forever, and… I can’t promise I won’t change even more. But I’m going to take care of Fear Doirich before I do.” She turned and started walking toward the old willow.

“Saying ‘I love you’ is no way to break up with a man!” Finn yelled behind her.

The Goblin Wars Series:

1. Tyger, Tyger

2. In the Forests of the Night

FTC Advisory: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Clarion Books provided me with a copy of Forests of the Night. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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