Monday, September 14, 2009
Darkwood by M.E. Breen caught my attention by the cover, but held it firm after the first paragraph.
"The sun sets so quickly in Howland that the people who live there have no word for evening. One minute the sky is blue or cloud gray, the next minute it is black, as though someone has thrown a heavy blanket over the earth. Nowhere is the sky darker or the night longer than Dour County, a hatchet-shaped region on Howland's western border. A swift river runs through Dour County. Slippery cliffs overhang the river. An icy sea roils off the coast. But worse than these is the forest that grows to the north. No roads mark the forest and no human footprints. Like the dark, it has lives of its own."
I loved the start of this book but it lost me with time due to the jumpiness of the story. Maybe there was just a little bit too much going on? At the beginning it seems simple, the story centers around a young girl named Annie. She has lost her older sister and parents and must stay with her aunt and uncle. The aunt and uncle are not the nicest people ever. Soon, in fairy-tale fashion, she must escape to the forest to keep from being sold and enslaved to mine on the cliffs. But the forest has the dreadful Kinderstalks that roam and eat children. Will Annie survive?
The story progresses rapidly through Annie's quest. It tends to jump around a bit in plot, characters, and overall themes (Is it a coming of age quest like the cover suggests or a tale of the importance of a balanced ecosystem?) The end is also wide open for an upcoming sequel. All this being said, I did enjoy this book, it's just one that I will have to revisit several times because I know that I have missed somethings in the first reading.
Who would I give this book to? Readers who enjoy the Inkheart series or Michelle Paver's Chronicles of Ancient Darkness.