Ashley's Reviews > The Diamond Secret

The Diamond Secret by Suzanne Weyn
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May 18, 10

bookshelves: fairy-tales

I have really enjoyed this series of books thus far. For the most part they are engaging and original, albeit a little corny with writing that is less than stellar. But, the unique view of these fairy tales and the fresh voice of many of our heroines eclipses the oft shallow writing.

Now, we look into The Diamond Secret. This is the worst of the Once Upon a Time series I have read and, at this point, I believe I have read all that have so far been published. The Diamond Secret explores the story of Anastasia and what might have happened if she had lived. Although not actually a fairy tale, it is a legend that has inspired much thought, controversy and fantasy. A few other stories weren't exactly fairy tales either, so I can forgive this small lapse. I've been fascinated with the story of Anastasia since I watched the Fox animated feature that everyone I knew thought was done by Disney. What's not to love?! It's a great story. And, that's the whole problem with this book. It's the same story. Take the movie, substitute Rasputin for his horribly scarred sidekick, remove the supernatural element and add in a lust for beautiful gemstones and you have this book.

Now, I don't expect these books to be amazingly well written. That's not what these books are about and it's not really the audience they are directed at. As a general rule, with these stories I am easily able to overlook the writing because the stories are usually original enough to keep me entertained. I love fairy tales that take a completely unique look at an old tale. This story did not do that. The story was so close to the movie that I found myself unable and unwilling to overlook the poor writing. The whole book read like she was trying to hard. When talking to a friend, I compared the writing to people who speak using words like cornacopia or plethora. They use it to make themselves sound more intelligent and well versed, but it inevitably has the opposite effect- they just sound silly.

This book has been the most disappointing of the series thus far. Poor writing and an unoriginal (and beyond predictable) story makes this the first Once Upon a Time book to earn only 3 stars. I do need to go back and give Belle a 3, because I had many of the same problems reading that as I did this. (Has anyone read Beauty by Robin McKinley? Ya... Basically a watered down version). This one was a disappointment. I definitely don't recommend this for people new to the series. Keep this one on reserve after you've already had some exposure to the other stories.
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