A Wicked Thing #1
Published by HarperTeen on February 24, 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Retellings, Young Adult
Format: ARC, eBook
The author/publisher provided a free copy of the book for review purposes - thank you! Receiving a review copy does not guarantee a positive review and therefore do not affect the opinion or content of the review.
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.
My all-time favorite Disney movie (in VCR) – along with Pocahontas and Mulan, to which there are literally zilch retellings to my knowledge – while growing up was Sleeping Beauty. I even reenacted it… for fun and on my own (expected of a four or five year old).
And perhaps it is also one of the most difficult tales to be retold. There’s a princess who has a curse placed on her that she would prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel before her sixteenth birthday and die – not entirely too much to take a spin on, is there?
No pun intended.
Much as I give props to Rhiannon Thomas for taking Sleeping Beauty on another path, A Wicked Thing is certainly not a book I would enjoy even for the pleasure of reading. In fact, truth be told in maybe a harsh way, A Wicked Thing was funny. And while funny typically means a good thing, I honestly had a field day reading the first three chapters in between chess matches and poking fun at the book (aka making sassy comments that will make no appearance whatsoever in this review aside from a big basket of mozzarella sticks).
A Wicked Thing is almost a sequel to the original Sleeping Beauty. Some time has passed, and then the prince kisses Aurora – all that jazz is pretty much the same aside from maybe happily ever after, to which I won’t bother finding out. Perhaps there is a happily ever after by the end of the book – I’m still not going to go and find out because I’m too focused on making it to at least the top 10 in the class now that I’m extremely close to it.
But let’s start with the prince kisses Aurora. She wakes up and screams. It probably makes sense to scream when you wake up to a random stranger hovering above your face and actually kissed you. Honestly, a pretty fantastic opening scene – and I’m serious – aside from the part where the “boy” (we don’t know he’s a prince YET) says, “I did it. I actually did it.”
Then I get a sled and start laughing gleefully (read: found it absolutely amusing) while sliding down a hill (read: continuing the book just see how it all plays out because I haven’t found reasons to throw this aside yet and then I do).
Prince Rodric, the “boy,” is pathetic. The royal family, in my opinion, is a little pathetic and cheesy. Are they actually pathetic? Perhaps not when you really get to know them and perhaps they’re marvelous rulers and the people love them oh-so-dearly, but from the little bit of the book that I read and met the royal family, I find myself disappointed. Particularly disappointed in Rodric the princeling because he will obviously make a huge appearance throughout the rest of the book and I’ve got to at least like the main characters to enjoy the book.
The dear prince blushes at almost every single sentence he speaks to Aurora. I’m pretty sure the amount of blushes will be the equal amount of election commercials soon (Vote for me! Vote for me!).
He stopped and blushed again.
Princeling probably stutters as well, and is most likely a descendant of Romeo.
“I mean, you always look beautiful. But you look especially beautiful tonight. Is what I mean.”
The king is overly cheery, and while there seems to be a probable reason (my son woke up a slumbering princess!), “overly cheery” really means “exuberantly happy-go-lucky.”
“Please send out the heralds. A little extra pomp and circumstance, if you please. It is hardly a normal day.”
No… definitely not a normal day. That much I’ll agreee with. But isn’t celebrating as soon as Aurora wakes up a little overboard? The chick just woke up from a hundred plus years of slumber and everything literally comes crashing down over on her head upside down! I’m not sure Aurora appreciated that – she was quite confuzzled when she woke up (whoa… what’s going on here?!) and even protested a little (not that anyone heard her).
Betsy the maid babbles in excitement and is worse than the king.
“I was so honored, Princess, when they asked me to assist you. I never expected it! But then, I never expected you’d be standing here, if you don’t mind me saying. Not that I didn’t think Rodric could be your true love, because of course he’s wonderful, but it always seemed too much like a dream to ever happen while I was here. Things will be amazing, now, you’ll see. Everyone loves you already. How could they not?”
Reasonable babbling of excitement, seeing as she’s a humble servant.
But she and everyone else aside from Aurora is also a little naïve with the assumption that everything is going to be fantastic and happily ever after Aurora and Rodric marry, simply based a fairy tale.
Aurora, however, might have been a character that I would actually like had I continued the book. But by that point in the novel, when Rodric and Aurora are first dining together, I was quite cheesed (it was the constant blushing and cheeriness). While I normally feel guilty for throwing a book aside really early, I don’t think I feel too guilty in A Wicked Thing’s case.