Thursday, May 28, 2015

A Wicked Thing

Princess Aurora wakes up unexpectedly after over one hundred years of enchanted sleep as a result of the curse she was put under as a child by a malicious witch. Everyone keeps telling her how much more wonderful life will be for the people now that she's awake, but she just doesn't feel it. The boy who kissed her awake is nice, but she doesn't love him. The fictionalized version of her story where she brings magic back to the kingdom and lives happily ever after with her true love is widespread and rings so false to Aurora. She doesn't know what to do: keep being the royal family's pretty and useless pawn while the common people starve, join the resistance to overthrow the corrupt king, or something else entirely her own?

Right from the beginning, A Wicked Thing just sucks you in. How would you feel if you had been sleeping for a hundred years and some random boy invaded your room to kiss you? Suspicious and violated are my guesses and how I would feel. She has no idea how much time has passed and everyone she loved or even knew are now dead. The beginning of this book is perfect and illustrates how a real person would feel in a fairy tale situation. I was immediately on Aurora's side. Her struggle to make sense of this new world rings true and made me sympathize with her. Her parents practically smothered her growing up and her new family isn't much better, but only because of the strategic benefit of her presence and not because they actually like or care about her. She longs to be free and make her own decisions. Unlike the classic Sleeping Beauty, Aurora isn't a delicate flower of a heroine, waiting for her true love to save her. She's also not an action hero either. She's a conflicted girl mostly just trying to figure out what she really wants and what path will hurt the least amount of people. With no clear cut answers, she spends the majority of the book letting others push her around until things get really dire.

A few things annoyed me about the book. It's pretty slow moving and seemed like the goal was to stretch the plot to make a series rather than just have a good stand alone. Much of the book felt like marking time because it was the same situations: Aurora agonizing about her decisions, then people pushing her around, and Aurora allowing herself to be pushed around. There were way too many love interests and most of them weren't interesting. The majority of them wanted her for what she represented and power, but not because they actually liked her. The evil fairy who cursed her was also largely absent from the book and she's one of the few characters I find interesting. Although I generally liked the book, I'm not sure if I would read the sequel. The ending had a lot of action, but I'm not looking forward to another book were very little even happens.

My rating: 3.5/5 fishmuffins

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