Ok, so I'm not going to lie and tell you that I absolutely loved this middle grade novel. I didn't love it. However, I liked enough elements of it to allow me to honestly recommend it to certain groups of readers, as I do think some of you (and your kiddos) will enjoy the book.
M.E. Breen has created the character of Annie, a young girl living in the village of Howland, in which darkness falls incredibly quickly and is hugely feared. One moment it may be light and the next, complete darkness. There is no dusk, no twilight, in Annie's world, only darkness, and the evil kinderstalk animals that will kill a human without a second thought and are rumored to be stealing children all over the village.
After escaping from her Aunt and Uncle's house, Annie ends up in a terrible place, where children and adults alike are worked hard, often to death, and have no one to stand up for them. Vowing to help, Annie makes her way to the King, where a person from Annie's past turns up to help her and she begins to learn more about the kinderstalk she has feared her entire life. Nothing is as it seems to Annie, which is, at times, a blessing, though often, a deadly hinderance.
While filled with fairy tale-like descriptions and darkly engrossing scenes, I just didn't completely feel this story. A lot of the plot lines were quite inconsistent for me and though the beginning was thrilling and exciting, the rest of the story just went kinda crazy, not always making the most sense.
Though I may not personally love Darkwood, I do believe that fans of fantasy and thrilling adventure books may indeed enjoy it. I can see several of the regular library patrons taking this one off the shelf and truly liking it, it just was not great for me.
To learn more or to purchase, click on the book cover above to link to Amazon.