Title: A Wicked Thing
Author: Rhiannon Thomas
Series: A Wicked Thing
Book #: 1
Reading Level: YA
Goodreads Rating: 3.51
Published: February 24th, 2015
Rhiannon Thomas's dazzling debut novel is a spellbinding reimagining of Sleeping Beauty and what happens after happily ever after.Taschima's POV:
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.
"What had happened to make people obsess over a fairy tale? To make a prince believe a single kiss meant true love, and that a girl who knew so little could mean so much?"While I found Aurora's struggle with her new reality believable and even relatable I just can't seem to muster the interest in a sequel. A Wicked Thing got a lot of things right I guess, technically and structurally, it is just so... unmemorable. It is the kind of book that you read, and then you just continue to the next thing without much of a fuss.
We ALL know Sleeping Beauty's story. Beautiful girl gets cursed as a baby by a PMS-ing evil witch who just wants the world to buuuurrrn. Princess then goes and does the ONE thing she shouldn't have done in her entire life, falls asleep, and then gets rescued by a noble prince who then whisks her off to a HEA.
Only in A Wicked Thing the girl falls asleep for 100 years; when she wakes up everybody she knows is dead, and her tragic story has been turned by the people into an impossible prophecy that foretells the end of their magic-less days once she wakes up. Also, there is some crap thrown in there about the princess being woken up by her one true love. This does not sit well with our Aurora who wakes up to have her reality completely changed.
"Whoever wakes up the princess with a kiss--they're destined to get married and live happily ever after."True love? Destiny? Perhaps he was a madman after all."
The thing is, I LIKED Aurora. Her inner monologue is relatable and even funny at times. Aurora is a girl who was raised in a very controlled environment, her parents over protected her due to her curse and so Aurora can come off as being naïve and kind of a push over. Inside her head she would think things that gave her a back bone but she would never act on her emotions. I could understand where she comes from, and I didn't reproach her for letting others dictate her life because of how she was raised and the many things she was going through. But I couldn't help wincing every single time she let somebody else push her around. Her character development is VERY slow, quite possibly in order to accommodate for a sequel.
All the side characters were, for the most part, pretty two dimensional. The prince that wakes up Aurora is a total bore and he is also quite the wimp. He lets himself be manipulated by his mother, who is of course the mean queen. The current king of the land presents a happy face but hides a black heart. I would say the only two interesting side characters were the prince's little sister (because she was adorable) and Finnegan (who is the prince of a far away land rumored to be occupied by dragons). Finnegan was interesting and daring and totally self involved, but at least he was honest about his self preserving nature.
For most of the novel there is nothing really driving you forward to the next page, other than Aurora's inner struggle. By the middle point or so some loosely put together rebellion is mentioned but I don't believe it is heart felt. At least I didn't buy it. I figured Aurora would be dying to know exactly why she woke up when she did, since she doesn't believe in the story they made up about her, but she was busier trying to stay afloat in her brand new world than trying to figure out WHY she was there in the first place.
A Wicked Lovely left a lot of things unanswered, like why did Aurora wake up when she did? I have a theory about how (magic is very rare in her new world, maybe the prince who woke her has a bit of magic in his veins...) but I wont know for sure until the next title. I figured a lot of things went unanswered to accommodate for a sequel, but what does it matter if the reader wont even make it to the sequel since there is nothing driving me to buy it? I had enough of Aurora's inner struggle, I don't buy the "rebellion", and the characters/world, aren't engaging enough to make me stick around. It would have been great as a stand alone but I find myself uninterested in a sequel. Perhaps I'll just read a review full of spoilers for the next title and continue on with my life.
Ps; Would recommend if you LOVE fairy tales and you don't mind slow progression. Aurora is engaging, her inner thoughts being the one thing that got me through the novel. I have a sweet spot for her I guess.