All The Right Reads

Fiction Recommendation Experts

2023 Book Review: Forestborn

by Elayne Audrey Becker

YA Fantasy, 2021 by Tor Teen, 368 Pages 

What I Didn’t Like:

  • It starts in the middle of something. Sometimes this can work, drawing you into the action right away. In this case, I felt lost. I stopped to make sure this was the first book in the series and even checked to be sure I wasn’t missing chapters. 
  • You spend a lot of time in the main character’s head. This results in a prose that feels a little dry and boring because you’re missing the banter and relationships you want to make the story come alive. 
  • The relationships (both platonic and romantic) feel forced and strained. They don’t flow naturally and it contributes to the feeling of being distant or separate. 

What I Did Like:

  • The details that form the rules guiding the Magic are interesting. I liked the way they added a little something extra to the shapeshifter stories we may have heard before. 
  • The action picks up and turns this story from an adventure quest sort of story to a rescue mission with dangerous complications, which is an excellent turn of events. That turn makes the story wildly more interesting just in time to end it and lead us into book 2.
  • The conflict between lands is well established. By the end of this book you know which side you are rooting for going into the next book.

Who Should Read This One:

  • Fantasy fans who like a series and don’t mind waiting for the payoff. This is a very slow book but the end is clearly working up to something intense for the sequel. If you’re patient, this may be the book for you! Especially if you like a little politics in your fantasy.

My Rating: 2 Stars

  • For me the lack of relationships makes this problematic. There’s no one to really relate to or feel invested in. Combine that with the slow pacing and I just felt like this one fell flat.

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