Books are cheaper than heroin, but they DO add up....

Amy, Carrie, Chanin and Sarah buy (and read and review) their own stuff. They've been known to shop around from dealer to dealer looking for the best price. If you're interested in slipping them something to try out, just contact us.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas

A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas is a Young Adult re-imagining, or, maybe more a sequel to, Sleeping Beauty. Short review is that I'd recommend it with a few caveats...

I like re-tellings as a rule. It's always fun for me to see a different take on a familiar story, and though I love Disney, I don't take their versions of the fairy tales as the untouchable definitives. Ms Thomas does a nice job of imagining what it really would be like to wake up with all around you gone, in the future, with a prince you didn't fall in love with, but who merely kissed you. In this version, the castle didn't sleep, so her family is gone. Many princes had tried before to wake her - the one who managed it doesn't seem particularly worthy, and why would she love him immediately? Why would he love her?

Add to that a kingdom that's been in civil war since her father died, the current king with dubious motives, and a girl who doesn't seem to even know herself, and it's a good story. Add in some other romantic possibilities and a witch, and you've got a really good plot.

However... Maybe it's just a function of Aurora not being on an even keel herself, but I had a harder time connecting to her than most main characters. I get that there is conflict between her mother's (echoed by the current queen's) strictures, being raised to be a perfect princess, and her own sense of right and wrong. But I found her to be wishy-washy and therefore kind of annoying. Maybe that's the Disney lover in me, but if she's going to be a spunky heroine, be one. Perhaps I'm just impatient. I will say that this aspect was when the book dragged for me. She'd do something fun or thoughtful, then agree to do nothing and that led to a lot of sitting in her room, thinking. So, that's where I'd disagree with the editorial review on the product page that says it's a "dazzling" story.

Also, we are clearly going to get a sequel. I don't mind sequels. In fact, as I say in lots of my reviews, I actually adore series that involve long character development arcs. But those that I adore can always stand alone, with a clear beginning and end, even if you jump in out of order. Sadly, Ms Thomas seems to go with the "Empire Strikes Back" school of sequel thought, without a definitive ending, and that just ticks me off.

Overall, I was entertained, though, and I'll keep an eye out for the next. There is a good possibility going here, and the writing skills aren't bad, so I hope the next will improve a little.
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