From Goodreads.com: The battle against goblinkind continues . . . but which side will seventeen-year-old Teagan Wylltson be on? Teagan, Finn, and Aiden have escaped Mag Mell alive, but the Dark Man’s forces are on their heels. Teagan knows she doesn’t have much time left, and she refuses to leave Finn or her family to be killed. A wild Stormrider, born to rule and reign, is growing stronger inside her. But as long as she can hold on, she’s still the Teagan who plans to be a veterinarian and who heals the sick.
Why I chose it: This is the sequel to the book Tyger Tyger.
In The Forests of the Night is the sequel to Tyger Tyger which I read last month. And good news! This book doesn’t start with ape poop! Bad news: it starts with pus that comes out of a sore on a cat’s stomach. Which Teagan then touches and analyses. I don’t know, is it a thing to start a book with something gross as a hook? If it is…I don’t like it.
I had mentioned in my review of Tyger Tyger that it took the book a while to get to the good parts, but that the end of the book was really good. I started In the Forests a little hesitantly, because I was definitely hoping for more of that goodness. Yeah….
The story picks up directly where the first one ended, with the emergency of one character suddenly shape shifting into an animal. Teagan and Finn then sit and discuss their love with each other. Wait, did I mention there was an emergency? Is this really the best time to be discussing this?? Also, they talk about full out marriage to each other. Isn’t Teagan like 15? Right… Oh, and of course this love thing is one of the focuses of the remainder of the book. ‘Cause it’s super important.
Teagan does eventually get back to the Goblin Kingdom. But not until the last 50 pages of the book. And even then she literally just takes a quick walk through and then gets sent back to her own world. What happens before that? Well, mostly the characters just talk. I guess it was more character building and back story to why things were happening, but I feel there was enough of that in the first book, and that I didn’t really learn anything new.
The one really annoying thing with In the Forests is that Teagan is an expert in everything. I have nothing against smart girls – I usually prefer that the main character is a smart, strong, independent woman. But most of us have a strong area: we’re smart about one particular thing, or one area. Teagan is smart in everything. And it drives me nuts.
To further illustrate this, this is a list of everything that Teagan is a smartypants in:
– Light refraction
– Exotic Animal permits
– Speaking French
– Cultures and Antibiotics
– Motorbike parts
– Wrenches and Screwdrivers
– Merlin the Wizard
– Shark attacks
– Invasive research
– Boogey men
– Archaic motor patterns
– Ghengis Khan
– Artic Wolves
– Stink bugs
– Medical Triaging
And so on, and so on. I mean I get that she’s smart and she’s aiming for college scholarships, but come on! I think the worst part of all of this is that her best friend Abby is portrayed as really stupid. I don’t think she is a stupid character, but next to Teagan she doesn’t stand a chance. Seriously, every time Teagan opened her mouth it was to correct Abby, because apparently Abby isn’t correct in anything she says. I’m not sure if these two friends are supposed to balance each other out, but I think the contrast between them is too great, and that Teagan ends up looking like a jerk. I felt that Teagan was putting Abby down every time she corrected her, and it really just felt too mean. I would really love to see Abby put Teagan in her place and show that she can be smart too.
But then of course the book got me a little excited, because Teagan is set to go into the Goblin Kingdom by herself. Finally, the expert is taking on the Dark Man on her own as an independent and strong woman. Except that Finn sneaks in at the last moment so that the two lovers can travel together. Because of course the love story needs to be front and center. We can’t forget about it just because Teagan is supposed to be fighting the King or anything.
So in conclusion, not a lot happens in this installment until the very last part of the book. There is a lot of talking and walking and not much more. Well, and the love story. Were there parts that I liked? Absolutely. There were the same mythological references, branching out to historical and literary figures like Shakespeare and Merlin. That was awesome. But there was less than in the first book, and I wish that so much more of the story could have been in the other world. Will I read the third book? Probably. But only to see if it can bring back what I loved in the first place – an amazing scenery with really interesting mythological references, revolving around a young teen and her family.