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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Forest Heart by Liberty Stafford

Forest Heart by Liberty Stafford
Publisher: Devine Destinies
Genre: Action/Adventure, Contemporary, Paranormal
Age Recommendation: 14+
Length: Full Length (158 pgs)
Rating: 4 suns
Reviewed by Cholla

Ancient magic erupts from the earth, leaving Helena spellbound. Not many have ever laid eyes on Jack O’The Green, the old man of the woods, the green man, let alone become his forest dwelling wife.

Where Daniel goes, trouble is sure to follow. As he does battle daily with the urge to give in to his heritage and the will to stay human, his friends are being confronted with their own magical –- and dangerous -– secrets. Katarina’s magical powers are growing, unbeknownst to her, and Helena’s becoming distant. And this is just the tip of the iceberg… much evil is lying in wait for Daniel and his friends.

Daniel is torn in many different directions during this third installment in the Bad Blood Corpus series. His first instinct is to protect Katarina, whether she wants him to or not, but there are other pressing issues needing his attention. In this way, it’s a very realistic parallel to a normal teenager’s life – work, school, friends and family all pull at your attention, demanding your full focus, even when it’s not available. However, he deals rather well with everything coming to pieces around him.

Katarina has her moments during Forest Heart. She’s strong and sure one chapter, and then the complete opposite the next. She becomes very self-involved at one point and I almost didn’t recognize her. However, this is also something that teens face every day – with the constantly changing sea of life you experience during high school, it becomes a test of will power to remain true to yourself and not become one of the masses. This fight to first find your true self and then hang on to it can cause you to become quite self-involved. She is a good kid at heart, however, and does eventually find her way back to herself.

As the series progresses, we learn more and more about Daniel, Katarina, and Helena, bringing them more and more to life with each new story. I’m interested to see where we go from here and what the future brings for these three as well as Mr. Underwood. Also, as we move forward, the plots become more involved and more intricate, creating a better and more mature story. However, my only complaint is that Forest Heart may have had just a bit too much going on for its own good. There isn’t so much that you will get lost, but sometimes you do feel a bit crowded.

All in all, it is a very good story and a natural progression for the series. An enjoyable, action-packed novel of the paranormal for adults young and old alike.

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