Monday, February 23, 2015

Review: A Wicked Thing

A Wicked Thing (A Wicked Thing, book one)
By Rhiannon Thomas
Expected publication February 24, 2015 by HarperTeen

Everyone knows the tale of Sleeping Beauty. But Aurora is living it - she's just awoken after 100 years of cursed slumber. Everyone she knows is dead and the citizens of her land expect her to fix their broken lives. But how can she save them when she doesn't even know how to save herself?

I am a HUGE fan of fairy-tale retellings. HUGE fan. When I spotted this e-galley, I knew I wanted to check it out. I liked the angle of telling Sleeping Beauty's story after she awakes; I've read a few versions of that kind of story and I like the variety of directions it can go.

Unfortunately, I think the two words I'd use to describe this book are "unfinished" and "hopeless." This book feels completely unfinished, and not in the sense that it's only the first book in a series. That sense of incompleteness is there, of course, but it's more than that. It's throughout the whole book. I don't feel like Thomas ever gives readers a complete sense of any of the characters, including Aurora. Yes, I get it - she's lonely and confused, unsure who to trust and how to find happiness. But that's the only read I get on her. She mentions some things she used to enjoy - reading, the garden - and how those things aren't really the same for her anymore, but I don't feel like there's a complete picture of her character. Of course, if the main character is not fully developed, the secondary characters certainly aren't going to be either. It actually frustrated me quite a bit to continually read about Aurora not trusting various characters when there was really no sense of them being trustworthy or not. I also didn't like how the book is supposed to be about Aurora, but all she talks about are the men in her life - Rodric, Tristan, Finnegan, the king. UGH. It just got old after a while.

And, this book is hopeless largely because Aurora doesn't trust anyone. There aren't many suitable options, I'll give her that, but it doesn't make for a happy read. I don't want to spoil the ending for anyone, but it really felt like giving up. Thomas frames it such that Aurora is finally making a decision for herself but, for me, it just didn't actually feel true. Oh, and the evil witch - so much potential, none of it achieved. Maybe to come in future volumes, but certainly a disappointment in this one.

Will I read the sequel? I'm not sure. When it has a release date and a blurb, I'll probably consider it and decide then. For now, I'll be cautious about recommending this to readers.

Thanks to the publisher for a digital advance reader's copy, provided via Edelweiss.

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