Forests of the Fae: Devlin’s Door was a very quick and fast-paced read. I was actually very interested in this book as I love anything to do with magic, evil fairies and different realms. I have also just found out that this is actually the first book in a series, which is quite interesting. I don’t know much about the second book, but it would be interesting to see what it’s like and if it’s any better than this one.
When thirteen-year-old Anne is sent to spend the summer with her dreadful relatives in a small Washington state town, she is left with little hope that anything intriguing will happen to her. However, when she learns of an abandoned town full of old Victorian homes hidden in the woods nearby, she embraces the lore and becomes bolstered by the idea that an adventure might await.
Her sadistic cousin Lexie feeds Anne’s curiosity and leads her to the mysterious town in the woods, where Anne is goaded by her cousin and friends to enter one of the abandoned homes, alone, and is locked inside.
While searching for a way out, Anne stumbles through a hole in the floor and unknowingly falls into an ominous, ghost-filled mystery. As she digs deeper into the secrets of this house, she discovers a weathered journal that reveals a magic-infused history hundreds of years old and a tragic secret: a curse has trapped the town and its inhabitants in a place not meant to be found by humans.
Even though this book is 236 pages, it just seemed to be really rushed. I’m going to try and keep this review as concise as I can but I have a feeling that this is going to be a long one. Let’s start with the plot… I think that Kibbee had a very interesting idea here. A girl moves to a weird town, discovers an abandoned town and a magical doorway to a fairy realm. It is a very brilliant concept but I think that Kibbee could have at least had another 100 more pages to just add some more detail to certain elements of the book, and to take the time to expand of a few story arcs. For one, the boy that we meet on the train whilst Anne is travelling to her aunt and uncle’s house… What happened to him? We were introduced to him, and he was in the book for about 5 pages. I think that he could have been included more in the book as he was the first person to divulge information about the abandoned town to Anne.
Then there’s Anne’s cousin: Lexie. Wow, she was just awful. Well-written, but I absolutely hated her. I really don’t get why she was so horrible to Anne. Yeah ok, she wanted to impress her friends, but there’s being a show-off and then just being evil.
“The beasts’ backs were turned, and with bodies nearly identical in color to their forest surroundings, their features were difficult to distinguish. They were huddled around a makeshift pit, and they held long, slender hands over it, as if warming them by a fire, though none burned there. Both were crouching and alternated between miming enjoyment of the imaginary heat and balancing on the ground, as would apes. Their bodies were long and thin, with rib bones exposed beneath taut, dirty flesh.”
– K. Kibbee, Forests of the Fae: Devlin’s Door
One of the things that I really loved about this book was that *minor spoilers ahead* Anne could bring the town to life by reading Grace’s diary aloud. Slowly, the town started coming back to life, but along with that, the evil magic started to creep back to life as well and the faeries started to take back control of the abandoned town. The beginning of the book was actually written at a really good pace, but as soon as the plot started to pick up and we were introduced to the magic, everything just seemed to whizz by – and not in a good way. I felt like I was being thrown into the deep end of the novel and I had no idea what was going on. Things just seemed to happen for no reason, people were introduced with no build up and then suddenly, the book ended.
But! I will say this, the ending was absolutely brilliant and now it makes complete sense that there is actually a second book. Hopefully, it wraps everything up. Even though I didn’t really enjoy this book because of the pacing, I’m actually looking forward to reading the second book as I am hoping that it will clarify a few things from Devlin’s Door and take the time to wrap up the story.
Disclaimer: this book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review