This is a deeply enjoyable little story: not complex, but lovely and magical. My initial impression was that it would be a dark take on a traditionalThis is a deeply enjoyable little story: not complex, but lovely and magical. My initial impression was that it would be a dark take on a traditional fairy tale. Instead, it turned out to be sweetness hidden beneath a thin layer of darkness, which is just fine with me. The characters are compelling, though drawn with simple strokes: I especially loved the deep, quiet, fierce love between the Woodcutter and his wife of twenty years.
Is the story without flaws? Not at all. The pacing is somewhat uneven, and it sometimes felt as though the author were cramming in as many fairy tale characters and scenarios as possible. I had to roll my eyes and smile fondly at some of the fairy tale conventions that came into play (true love! at first sight! conquers all!). But for me, the likeable characters and simple, beautiful prose more than made up for the shortcomings. I am excited to see where the author will go from here....more
**spoiler alert** I did not like this book. I did not like it at all. That is disappointing, because I was very excited about reading it. (I am a pret**spoiler alert** I did not like this book. I did not like it at all. That is disappointing, because I was very excited about reading it. (I am a pretty-cover junkie, and just LOOK at that cover!)
1) Love triangle (please God, make authors just stop already) in which both of the main character's options are controlling jerks. One of them (Jeb, her childhood friend) is also rather bland and undercharacterized; the other (Morpheus, the shape-changing moth creature) is outright evil, with rapey overtones. I cannot articulate the depths of my hatred for the latter character, so I will not even try. Most of his actions are indefensible to a point that I cannot imagine how anyone, including Alyssa, could ever care for him at all.
2) Shallow female characters. We have: bland, swept along by others' decisions, largely lacking in agency (Alyssa); locked up in a mental institution (Alyssa's mother); jealous (Gossamer); heartbroken and imprisoned (Ivory Queen); evil and manipulative (Red Queen); beautiful bitchy prep (Taelor).
3) It wasn't all bad. The twisted take on Wonderland had its moments of beautiful, sparkling prose, and some of the creatures were interesting. I was fairly indifferent on the plot; neither memorable nor terrible, in my opinion. But the characters were a deadly hybrid of bland and utterly unlikeable, and that killed the story for me....more
Jumbled mess of a fairy tale retelling, in which Sleeping Beauty is inexplicably a cruel sociopath. I think we are meant to care about her. Somehow. TJumbled mess of a fairy tale retelling, in which Sleeping Beauty is inexplicably a cruel sociopath. I think we are meant to care about her. Somehow. Though she tortures small animals for fun.
There is also an incomprehensible backstory about her aunts' dead brother who was gay, or under a spell, or both maybe? (I felt sad for him, but he was given very little character development.)
What there isn't, sadly, are many sympathetic characters, or a plot that makes any sense, or a comprehensible ending. Seriously, I still have no idea what happened....more