Genre: Fantasy

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Audiobook Review: A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas

Posted by 14 Comments

I received this book for free from HarperCollins Audio in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Audiobook Review: A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon ThomasA Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas
Series: A Wicked Thing #1
Published by HarperCollins on February 24th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Retellings, YA
Source: HarperCollins Audio
Buy on Amazon

A spinning wheel.
A prick of a finger.
A Terrible curse.

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. Everyone expects Aurora to marry her betrothed and restore magic and peace to the kingdom before revolution tears it apart. But after a lifetime spent locked in a tower for her own safety, Aurora longs for the freedom to make her own choices. When she meets a handsome rebel, she is tempted to abandon everything for a different kind of life.

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.

A Wicked Thing is a surprising, spellbinding reimagining of what happens after happily ever after.

As you’ve probably noticed, I am a sucker for retellings. They are very hit or miss with me, but I really enjoyed this one. I listened to the audio of this one, and though it took a while to get used to the narrator, it was a good story. I loved the twist on the retelling of Sleeping Beauty. I thought it was fabulous where the author took the story of after she wakes up. And it’s not to her beloved prince like in the original. It is one hundred years after she has fallen asleep from her curse, and it’s not a happily ever after. The King and Queen are awful and only want to use her for their needs. The prince, Rodric, is only doing what he is expected to do. There are secrets and lies, and Aurora can only trust herself. She has gone from the prison of over protection in her childhood, to imprisonment again. This time so no one else an use her for their own plans.

Aurora wakes up in a whole new world pretty much. It’s been one hundred years since she fell asleep. Nothing is the same, and everyone she knew is long dead. The new King and Queen are cold and expect her to just conform to what they want. She is locked away at night and is not allowed to go off on her own. The prince is nice and all, but he isn’t exactly what she would want in who she is going to marry. Aurora sneaks out into the city to just be able to be away from it all, and starts to fall for a boy, Tristan. He is kind, funny, and makes her feel alive. She feels like she can make her own choices out away from the castle. That is until things fall apart and she finds that everyone has secrets and she may not be safe anywhere. She is tough though and she takes her fate into her own hands. She will not let a tale of her life decide her fate.

There is a hint at romance in this, but I really liked that it kind of stayed away from it, for now anyways. Of course there is her “True Love” who woke her, then there is Tristan, but also Finnegan who is an arrogant ass. I kind of liked him though. Even with being a bit full of himself, he was also very blunt and I found it refreshing and humorous. Even though there was some slight sparks and chemistry with Tristan, it never took off. And she starts to soften towards Rodric, but it’s not enough to create feelings besides friendship. Finnegan was different. There is definite chemistry there, but he is so infuriating that it’s hard to want her to fall for him. He is so helpful and caring in his own way though, which makes you kind of hope for it. I am interested to see where the romance aspect goes in the future books.

This audio wasn’t my favorite, but I did listen to it rather quickly since I was wrapped up in the story itself. The narrator didn’t seem to fit the story at first, and I have a hard time if I am not enjoying the person reading it, but I did feel like she did told the story well. I soon got used to her, and really enjoyed her narrating. I do with that I had felt a little more emotion out of the story though.

This was such a creative way to retell Sleeping Beauty. I really liked that it was more of a harsh reality type story than a butterflies and rainbows type of one. This was more like a slap in the face than a happy ending to her curse. There was a lot going on in this story with rebellions and covered up secrets in the royal family. I will definitely be continuing this series to see where it goes. I think that it was a fantastic start and I look forward to the rest of it.


3.5 Hot Espressos

Review: The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski

Review: The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski

Posted by on 03/09/2015 • 7 Comments

I really enjoyed the first book in this series, and was so excited to read the second one. I had a few issues with it, but I still thought it was pretty great. With the way the last one ended, I was really curious where this one would go. I loved the story progression, but I couldn’t help but feel that at times Kestral was being really dumb. I still really liked her character though. The stake are high in this installment of the series and there is a lot of stuff going on so it was quite an exciting read. Being that this is a sequel, I will try not to give anything away.

Kestral is set to marry the prince. Obviously, she does not want to, but…

Review: Monstrous by MarcyKate Connolly

Review: Monstrous by MarcyKate Connolly

Posted by on 02/19/2015 • 8 Comments

This was a book that I was really excited to read. I didn’t like it quite as much as I had hoped, but it was really enjoyable. The characters were wonderful, especially Kymera. It was a bit predictable and long, but it was interesting so it kept me from getting bored with it. Even at its slow pace, the way things all came together was great and it was easy to get lost in.

Kym is a creation intended for the purpose of saving the sick girls from the wizard. She is very naive and only knows what her father has told her. She is happy with her mission and truly has a huge heart. She wants to do what is right and she wants to save everyone. She…

Review: The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

Review: The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

Posted by on 01/28/2015 • 14 Comments

It’s been a while since I have read a fae book so I thought it was time. Besides that, I bought this when I went to the release day launch at a local book store and the little parts that the author read had me really wanting to read it. I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t one that will go on my favorites list. The main character was really great and I loved that we discover her secrets and the truth about herself along with her. I really loved the writing too, it was very beautiful and descriptive. The fae world always intrigues me, and I loved getting to visit Faerieland. It’s enjoyable to read about fae when they are portrayed the way old folklore does it. As the creepy…

Review: Fairest by Marissa Meyer

Review: Fairest by Marissa Meyer

Posted by on 01/26/2015 • 29 Comments

If you thought Queen Levana was evil before, you will see just how corrupted she really is! I don’t often read novellas, but this one is a bit longer than average and completely worth it to be able to see Levana’s childhood and how she grew up to be who she is. It also gives us a glimpse at our beloved characters’ childhood so we get a real 360 look at what happened in the past.

Despite her evil ways and sometimes shocking delusions, Levana’s story is just plain sad. This hard-edged personality of hers was built from a tough childhood that lacked real parental guidance and, most importantly, love and affection. The fire tragedy that brought about her scars was horrifying, and some might consider it the beginning…

Review: Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

Review: Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

Posted by on 01/23/2015 • 15 Comments

Holy Jesus in a manger on the 25th of December… I think I just found a new fantasy series to love.

And here I thought the Young Adult demographic has forgotten to churn out awesome high fantasies. The last time I’ve ever loved a YA Fantasy with a female heroine this much was when I read The Girl of Fire and Thorns Trilogy by Rae Carson. Since then, the fantasies I’ve read didn’t even ignite any wonder or awe in me, didn’t make me feel as immersed, didn’t make me feel as involved or as engrossed. They paled in comparison and I was left to looking at non-YA fantasy books to give me my fix (hi, Brandon Sanderson!).

And then I read this beautiful book. Snow Like Ashes reminded me of the…

Review: Beastkeeper by Cat Hellisen

Review: Beastkeeper by Cat Hellisen

Posted by on 01/22/2015 • 2 Comments

I am always up for a fairytale retelling, so of course I had to read this book. Especially since it has a dark twist to it. This was a book that was so easy to get into and get lost in. I loved uncovering all the secrets and find out how everything would end up. This is middle grade, but it the writing was very mature. the characters were great, though we don’t get to know many of them very well aside from Sarah and Alan. We learn about the other characters, but don’t really know them on an emotional level. Either way, this was a great book.

Sarah is a young girl, but wise beyond her years. She has moved around a lot and she is a bit…

Review: Illusionarium by Heather Dixon

Review: Illusionarium by Heather Dixon

Posted by on 01/16/2015 • 15 Comments

Ah, Illusionarium, that new book coming to town with such a bad-ass name that simply screams wonder and magic and romance. With a cover like that, I had imagined myself fantastically flying through parallel dimensions while eyeing the handsome rose tucked behind my ear that a gentleman in a dashing tuxedo has given me.

…but alas, no… upon finishing this book, my fancy image shattered to tiny pieces, leaving only bitter disappointment behind. This makes me horribly sad, because I really do want to love this book. I’ve only heard great things about Heather Dixon and wanted to experience the magic of her words myself.

When I learned this would have a male hero, I was absolutely ecstatic. The Young Adult demographic is full of female heroines and we rarely see things…