Review: A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas (blog tour)

E-ARC: 352 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: February 24, 2015
Source of my copy: HarperTeen/Edelweiss
Series: A Wicked Thing #1
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.

Sleeping Beauty is my least favorite fairy tale but I was intrigued by author Rhiannon Thomas's take on it. The story starts when Princess Aurora wakes up to the kiss of a handsome prince. But it's one hundred years later, all of her loved ones has died, the prince is a stranger and it's a whole new world and politics from the one she knew.

I was intrigued, especially with that cover! But, overall, while I liked A Wicked Thing, I wasn't blown away by it.

A Wicked Thing started out pretty slow but I was into it. The story was told in third person POV through Aurora and I thought her reaction to waking up one hundred years later at the kiss of a stranger was realistic. Her family, her entire world was gone. She's surrounded by strangers, and they expected a lot from her. 

I get where she's coming from. If I was in her place, I'd react the same way and feel the same way in the beginning: disoriented, powerless and weak. But she stayed that way for most of the book and I just couldn't connect with her character. There was little character development and this dragged the story. And because the story was dragging, it took me longer to read the book because I would put it down and didn't really feel the urge to pick it up again.

I was surprised to find that A Wicked Thing was a dark read--this was not the happy, singing in the forest with the little birdies and woodland creatures Disney story we're familiar with but it was too sad. I don't know, you guys. I'm not docking any stars for this because I know the original fairy tales were dark, sad and depressing, but I like my happy, sweet romances. I was expecting some of that here, but there was a pervading dismal feel throughout, which also added to my lack of excitement in picking up the book after I put it down.

And speaking of romances, there were three (yep, three) potential love interests: Prince Rodric (who woke her up with his kiss), Prince Finnegan (a visiting prince who wanted her to defy the king and leave with him), and Tristan (a revolutionary who showed Aurora life outside the palace walls). In the first couple of chapters, I was rooting for Rodric because we meet him first and he seemed like a sweetly awkward guy. But Aurora just doesn't see him that away, so I think he's out of the running. I liked Finnegan and Tristan from what we got about them, but they're not fully fleshed out. Aurora herself doesn't really form strong attachments to either of the boys so it's kind of hard for me to for one.

Rereading my review, it sounds like I don't really have much positives to say, huh? Okay, I thought it started well--I was interested in seeing what happened after Aurora woke up from her kiss. My biggest problems were the slowness of the plot, my lack of connection to any of the characters and I also didn't get the romance I was expecting, but I enjoyed the author's writing. The prose in A Wicked Thing was easy to read and I liked the author's voice. I liked seeing the familiar elements of Sleeping Beauty and then seeing where the author took it. It didn't blow me away or anything, but I did like it enough to warrant a 3-star rating. Borrow it from your library if you're interested in what happened to Sleeping Beauty after she woke up from her hundred-year slumber.

Read an excerpt here.

Rhiannon Thomas is a recent graduate from Princeton University, where she studied English and Japanese, and smuggled bubble tea into the library on a regular basis. She now lives in York, England.

As well as reading and writing YA fiction, she runs the blog, where she discusses TV, books, and all kinds of fannish things from a feminist perspective.

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1 comment

  1. I can see what you had issues with. I also enjoyed it, but wasn't necessarily blown away, although I felt it was pretty unique in how sleeping beauty came back. You can check out my review HERE if you haven't had a chance to yet.


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