This story follows two siblings, Hazel and Ben, who live in a small town called Fairfold where faeries exist. They don't live in tandem with them as faeries are sneaky little buggers and can sometimes be evil. The people of Fairfold just know that faeries exist and they know how to deal with them-tourists do not. Fairfold is a huge tourist attraction because of the Horned Faerie prince that sleeps in a coffin in the middle of the forest. He's been there for decades and no one knows why. Until one day, he's gone.
Hazel and Ben have immersed themselves in the world of the Faeries growing up until something happens which forces them to separate themselves from it. That is of course when the prince goes missing and they find themselves back in that world, unraveling the mystery of the prince and a certain monster that was released on the human/mortal "world".
Basic premise of the story. I had actually written down the longest summary of this story (obviously the one I wrote here isn't long)( because I was kind of under the impression it was going to be something else. Mainly because I felt as though certain things of the actual summary that's on the book was a bit vague. There should have been other words used I guess in my opinion.
This book has me really torn. I loved Holly Black's writing. Absolutely loved it. She's fantastic at describing the world. The world building was so descriptive especially for a standalone book. Holly Black has been dubbed the standalone queen and I can see why even though I've only read The Curse Workers trilogy by her and I loved that series. The writing was a tad better in this book but I still loved that trilogy and it was part of my favorite reads of last year.
I also really liked Hazel's back story. Okay well it's not technically a back story but at the current moment I don't know what else to call it. How she was interwoven with the Faeries and the Faerie king was so interesting and so good! I did not expect that too happen. She's also a bit of a badass and I love female characters like that.
However a majority of the book fell really flat for me.
It's starts off really slow, with a lot of explaining, and a lot of flashbacks. The flashbacks were needed in order to understand what's going on with the story and with a standalone you need that bit of information to tie everything together so things would make sense. It was just really slow. Nothing happened for the first half of the book. Nothing exciting and I was like "Ughhh when is something good going to happen?"
Then when the Prince escaped (? I'm having the worst brain fart today it's worse than usual) the coffin, things considerably pick up. However in my opinion, everything happened way too fast. This book went from being really slow to really fast and when I was done I was like "Did that really just happened?". The second part wasn't necessarily all over the place, I just felt as though everything happened way too quick when there should have been a few pauses in between. It was fast paced but not in a good way.
The romance was also meh for me. I think it's just because I have issues with romance in books in general. Hazel and Jack's relationship was weird... (Here's where the minor spoilers are) Hazel kisses Jack in the beginning of the book but then he pushes her away and I would have thought things would have been awkward between them but things weren't?? And then they do things and then they're in love?? I don't even know.
The Prince and Ben were pretty cute though. Granted it did feel a little out of place. How the Prince described his love for Ben was cute and I understood it but it was so out of place. And then Ben with his love...like...you don't know the prince.
I don't even know.
The monster was pretty boring and anticlimactic as well. Clever, but boring.
I also wish there was more of the Prince and Ben. Both of them were backseated to Hazel. I also thought the Prince would have played a bigger part than I guess he already did. Meh. There just wasn't enough of him.
This book was such a bummer too because I was really excited to read it. Maybe it's because I don't like faerie books.
If you read this or going to, let me know what you think!