Thirteen-year-old Annie lives a bleak life in her Uncle's household, until the day she escapes and finds a mysterious mine with precious stones that are being stolen from the king. She also finds that her past isn't everything that she thought it was, that she's tied to the feared and dangerous kinderstalk -strange werewolf-like creatures that inhabit the world of Darkwood.
Drawing on fairy tale roots and dark mythology, Darkwood delivers an enjoyable and entertaining coming-of-age story. While this novel, no doubt, was created out of the recent spike in young adult dark fantasy novels (a la Twilight), it works to bring an edge of originality to the genre, and doesn't quite succeed due to its strong ties to classic Brothers Grimm fairy tales such as Cinderella.
The book does start out a little slow and can be very confusing at times due to the lack of description, but once Annie gets going on her quest, the story really starts to come together. However, it took far too long, in my opinion, to get me so hooked I couldn't put it down. I really wasn't hooked until the last few pages, which point to a potentially amazing sequel.
This series has a great deal of potential to be exciting in future novels, but Darkwood just isn't there yet. It's a predictable young adult read that can be fun, but just don't be expecting much out of the ordinary.