Review: In The Forests of The Night by Kersten Hamilton


 

Title: In The Forests of The Night

Author: Kersten Hamilton

Publisher: Clarion

ISBN: 978-0547435602

 

May Contain Spoilers

From Amazon:

he 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.

Review:

I enjoyed Tyger Tyger, so I was thrilled to be part of {Teen} Book Scene’s blog tour for the follow up release, In The Forests of The Night.  I have to admit that I was a little wary about picking up this book, because I didn’t think it would be as good as the first one.  Once I read the first few pages, however, I knew my fears were unfounded.  This is a better book, with tighter pacing, snappier dialog, and more fleshed out characters.  I couldn’t put it down once I started reading it, which made going to work really, really painful.  I started counting down the hours on Friday until I could get home, sit in my cozy chair, and face the goblins with Teagan and Finn.  It will be agony until the next book comes out!

Teagan is trying to recover from her harrowing journey to Mag Mell, as well as come to grips with her goblin blood.  Fear Doirich won’t give her any peace, and his dark agents venture from Mag Mell to attempt to lure Aiden away.  As dangers threaten her family, Teagan realizes she must take matters into her own hands.  She must face her darkest fears and go back to Mag Mell to destroy the Dark Man – before he destroys her family.

Tyger Tyger took me a while to get into, and I still remember exactly where I was when I got sucked into the story so much that I didn’t want to put it down.  I was reading it on my Kindle, at the Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington.  I don’t usually remember the turning point in the books I have read, but for some reason, that one stuck with me.  The event was so unexpected and so tragic that I actually had to go back a few pages to make sure I understood what was going on.  Then I wished I was alone, because I what I really wanted to do was cry.  That was one of those reading moments that will stick with me for a long, long time.

While there wasn’t a scene that totally took me by surprise in this book, the overall journey was much more enjoyable.  I was invested in the characters from the first word, and I wanted to see what dangers Teagan and Finn would have to face.  I wanted to see how they got out of the life-threatening situations they found themselves dragged into, and I wanted to learn more about the goblins.  If there is one thing that would have made the read better, it would have been to have Aiden featured more prominently in the story.  While some reviewers have found him annoying, I adore him.  He is so otherworldly, so bizarre and gifted.  His singing makes things happen.  He makes magic.  I hope we will get more of him in the next book.

I love the character interaction in this series.  Even the characters that I despise are given unique personalities that propel the story along and make Teagan’s life miserable.  I want to know as much about them as I do the protagonists.  What is the deal with Maggot Cat?  Are all of the “beasties” truly evil, as Finn believes, or are they capable of redemption, as Teagan wants to believe?  I like how this issue causes friction between them, because they are both steadfast in their opinion, and because they love each other so much they are almost willing to be convinced that they are wrong. 

If you enjoy fantasy stories with strong, clever characters, engaging dialog, and just a bit of bump in the night terror, then give The Goblin Wars a try.  I can hardly wait for the next book!

Grade: A-

Review copy provided by {Teen} Book Scene