Forest Born by Shannon Hale

May 15, 2012

This review reveals some important plot details. Proceed with caution.

 I feel a little disloyal for not absolutely loving something by Shannon Hale, but the truth is I was disappointed with this book...not disappointed like I-wish-I-hadn't-read-it, more just disappointed with the overall pace and writing.

I wasn't very impressed with her descriptions; she reused the same ones over and over again, which is so unusual for Shannon Hale. Plus, the middle of the book was so slow. Rin had the same thoughts, the same emotions so many times. Was it really necessary for the development of Rin's character? Maybe.

Because with all my complaining about lack of pace, I really felt that Rin's discovery of her ability to people-speak was set up beautifully. For the first half of the book, I thought all she had was tree-speaking, and then all of a sudden things started to click and fall into place. Could the discovery of this gift have been so believable if the pace had been faster? I don't know. It's a paradox.

Also, I liked the ending, as everything wrapped up quite satisfactorily, but again, it just seemed rather slow and drawn out...a few too many "Aren't we amazing?" conversations between the fire sisters. However, it really was a better ending to the series than River Secrets would have been.

And I still love the characters. In fact, I think Rin might be my favorite out of all Shannon Hale's heroines (though Dashti would still be a very close second). She was so honest and had such a real problem...fighting her own natural desires/wants/passions with the type of person she wanted to become (kind/selfless/helpful/good).

Oh, and I just have to say that I think Selia is truly a despicable villainess. Don't you just loathe her? But then to realize that she was the villain in not only Goose Girl and Forest Born, but the sub-villain in Enna Burning and River Secrets...GENIUS! And it really helped tie all the books together.

So, yes, I was disappointed, but you can tell I still enjoyed it, and you definitely don't want to skip this book if you've read the other three.

This review was written before the birth of this blog.

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