**spoiler alert** I hated this book. Hated hated hated. Yes, there was cheesiness, and the characters were not terribly well-drawn, but that wouldn't...more**spoiler alert** I hated this book. Hated hated hated. Yes, there was cheesiness, and the characters were not terribly well-drawn, but that wouldn't have garnered a one-star review for me if not for the ending. I haven't read all the other reviews--there are many--but among those I have read, almost no one has mentioned the thing that bothered me the most about this story.
Keturah gives up everything she's ever wanted--all her dreams, all her plans, all her aspirations--to be with emo, dark-cloak-wearing Lord Death. The story presents this as noble on her part, as right, as the only good decision.
Lord Death gives up nothing for Keturah.
If I ever have daughters, this is not what I want their fairy tales to tell them.
**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...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 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.(less)
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 traditional...moreThis 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.(less)