Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Review: A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas

Title: A Wicked Thing
Author: Rhiannon Thomas
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Release Date: 24 February, 2015
Source: HarperTeen via Edelweiss

Rhiannon Thomas's dazzling debut novel is a spellbinding reimagining of Sleeping Beauty and what happens after happily ever after.

One hundred years after falling asleep, Princess Aurora wakes up to the kiss of a handsome prince and a broken kingdom that has been dreaming of her return. All the books say that she should be living happily ever after. But as Aurora understands all too well, the truth is nothing like the fairy tale.

Her family is long dead. Her "true love" is a kind stranger. And her whole life has been planned out by political foes while she slept.

As Aurora struggles to make sense of her new world, she begins to fear that the curse has left its mark on her, a fiery and dangerous thing that might be as wicked as the witch who once ensnared her. With her wedding day drawing near, Aurora must make the ultimate decision on how to save her kingdom: marry the prince or run.

Rhiannon Thomas weaves together vivid scenes of action, romance, and gorgeous gowns to reveal a richly imagined world … and Sleeping Beauty as she’s never been seen before.
Review by Nara

Seriously, can we just take a moment to appreciate the premise for A Wicked Thing?
How many times have we read Sleeping Beauty without questioning how freaking dodgy that tale is?! A random guy (I mean, sure he's a prince, but he's still some stranger) kisses the princess awake, they marry, they live happily ever after. If that's not instalove, I don't know what is. A Wicked Thing takes this concept and throws it into a different light- where we see that things definitely aren't the "happy ever after" of the original tale.

Unfortunately, I feel like the book didn't quite live up to its full potential. Overall, there was something about the plot that was very generic, and the characters were a bit underdeveloped, on the whole. Especially the three (!) possible love interests. They seemed a bit two dimensional, so I'm definitely hoping we'll get to see a bit more of these characters in sequels, and begin to be able to unravel their secrets.

That being said, I feel like the main positive aspect of the book was the protagonist, Aurora. She's independent and brave, and unwilling to be locked into this life that's been chosen for her. She's a stranger in her own land, being stranded 100 years in the future, but she still wants to stand up for herself and do what she feels is right (although a big portion of the book is dedicated to her figuring out what that is, and so not much happened in the end).

The worst thing about the book was that the pacing was quite terrible. Almost nothing happened for the majority of the book, with a sudden explosion of action towards the end, leaving us with the desire for more (which I suppose was the author's intent). I feel like I've almost been locked into wanting to read the sequel, just because so little happened in this first book, and I know the series has potential to be fantastic.

In any case, I will definitely be reading the sequel, if only to see if Thomas can bring the overall standard of the series up.

Liked it

Overall: 6/10
Plot: 2/5
Romance: 2/5
Writing: 4/5
World Building: 3/5
Characters: 3/5
Cover: 2.5/5