Saturday, August 22, 2009

Darkwood by M. E. Breen


Darkness falls so quickly in Howland that the people there have no word for evening. One minute the sky is light, the next minute it is black. But darkness comes in other forms, too, and for thirteen-year-old Annie, the misery she endures in her Uncle’s household makes the black of night seem almost soothing. When Annie escapes, her route takes her first to a dangerous mine where a precious stone is being stolen by an enemy of the king, and later to the king’s own halls, where a figure from Annie’s past makes a startling appearance. All the while, reported sightings of kinderstalk— mysterious, wolf-like creatures that prowl Howland’s dark forests—grow more frequent


Character Development: 6/10
Originality: 7/10
Overall Enjoyment: 5/10
Ending: 8/10
Voice: 6/10
Setting: 6/10
Recommendation: 5/10
Total: 43/50

Grade: B

(However, for a younger audience I would most likely give it an A or up)

Age Appropriate?

Cussing: None.
Alcohol, Drugs, etc: None.
Sexual Content: None.
Disturbing Images/Violence: some child slavery.


I think this book would appeal a great deal more to younger readers more conditioned to exciting scenes and less geared toward nice writing. It was very difficult for me to get through this book. Though the writing was honest and nice enough, something about the plotting and the sequence was throwing me off. It just didn't draw me in.

A lot of the otherworldly things intrigued me, such as the kinderstalk. I thought they were interesting, but they weren't enough to keep my attention for long. Though a dark story of slavery and danger, it was just all too childish for me. I disliked Annie and pretty much every character. Their voices just fell flat.

While a lot of small things about this book improved it quite a lot, those bits just weren't enough for me. I might give it another chance in a few years, when I have enough time to reread it and determine if in truth it is better than my first impression. A valiant effort, I would say, but just not my type of book.

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