Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

A Wicked Thing #1

A Wicked Thing

Rate this book
Rhiannon Thomas's dazzling debut novel is a spellbinding reimagining of Sleeping Beauty and what happens after happily ever after.

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.

Rhiannon Thomas weaves together vivid scenes of action, romance, and gorgeous gowns to reveal a richly imagined world … and Sleeping Beauty as she’s never been seen before.

352 pages, Kindle Edition

First published February 24, 2015

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Rhiannon Thomas

14 books595 followers
Rhiannon Thomas is an English Lit grad from Princeton University. She currently lives in York, England, in the shadow of a 13th century Gothic cathedral. When she isn’t lost in YA fantasy, she writes about feminism and the media on her blog, FeministFiction.com.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
585 (13%)
4 stars
1,229 (28%)
3 stars
1,641 (37%)
2 stars
658 (15%)
1 star
238 (5%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 808 reviews
May 7, 2015

“I dub thee . . . Mouse.”
“Were you expecting something more regal?”
She shook her head and took another sip of mead. The sweet burn down her throat made her daring. “Why Mouse?”
“You look like you’re hiding away.”
Setting: Sleeping Beauty's castle. Aurora wakes up to find a strange boy kissing her.

Aurora: *gasps softly* Wha?...How...Who...

Prince: *stammers*

Aurora: But...wha? Huh?

Prince: *stutters*

Aurora: Who...? *stares in shock*

Prince: *chokes* MOMMY!!!!!!!!!!!!


Aurora: But what do you...


Prince: *blushes* Hi...

Aurora: *gasps* 100...wha? What can you mean? How is this pos---


Prince: *blushes* ^_^

Aurora: Huh?...! (this calls for an exclamation mark) I don't even know wh...


Prince: Ok, mommy. *looks at Aurora, blushes*

Aurora: *wants to cry* I don't even know what's goi---


Aurora: How did this hap---


Aurora: I never agree---


Aurora: But I am royalty? I'm the princes---


Prince: Yes, mommy!

Aurora: Don't I even get a say---


Aurora: *nose turns beautifully red from her suppressed tears as she rushes to do what she's told.

Fuck this shit.
Profile Image for Faye, la Patata.
492 reviews2,116 followers
November 20, 2014
Check this review on Xpresso Reads!

Have you ever wondered what happened after Sleeping Beauty woke up from her slumber? Pondered if she really did live a "happily ever after"?

Well, A Wicked Thing is here to tell you that story. At least... one of the possibilities, anyway.

And it ain't exactly pretty.

This was me after I turned the last page. Emotions = A rollercoaster.

Retellings can be awesome and it can be a pain in the rear. Awesome, because you're already familiar with the basic elements, so there's already a pre-established connection to certain characters, and there's already the excitement for the new things the author will add to it. And it can result to a disaster, too... because, you know... the new things may screw everything up, OR, worst-case scenario, nothing new gets added and we're left with a dull, boring story pathetically trailing in the shadows of the original. This is why retellings are a hit-and-miss with me.

A Wicked Thing was sort of a mix of the two.

Let's get a few things out of the way: the writing is gorgeous. It's easy to read and visualize while being lyrical and poetic at the same time, all without having to cross the "purple prose" boundary. It's in a first-person POV, Aurora's of course, and it's done really well, showcasing her meek and demure personality perfectly while also amazingly showing her confused and overwhelmed state, having woken up to a time far different from hers. Her voice was just so realistically done, you know? I don't like doormat characters - in fact, I bloody bloody hate heroes or heroines who allow other people to walk over them so easily without a fight - but Aurora just endeared to me a in a peculiar way like no other. I empathised with her so much, as if feeling and living the trapped, suffocating life she was given. I understood why she felt so powerless and so weak. I would be, too, if I were surrounded by strange people who expected so much from me, while at the same time, expected me to do nothing, either.

I mean, just imagine. It's a day before your eighteenth birthday. You get enchanted and find yourself pricking your finger that send you to a hundred-and-two-year sleep, and the next thing you know, some guy's lips is on your lips and a different family and people and world are before you, already loving you and talking to you like they know every inch of you AND YOU JUST DON'T KNOW WHAT TO MAKE OF EVERYTHING.

I don't know, folks, but if it were me, I may just trap myself in a medieval closet somewhere in the servant quarters and wait until the fiasco's over.

And oh, she discovers that she was made into a fairy tale. She gets to her room, finds a book entitled The Tale of Sleeping Beauty, where it recalls her life story and how her awakening would be the catalyst to a better future. All I can say is: SLEEPING-BEAUTY-INCEPTION.

But before I digress even further, I am serious in saying the narration and writing were gorgeously done, weaving a persona of a lost and confused girl not knowing her place in a situation far grander and bigger than she. But, while I say that, the character development was rather... slow... which resulted to a mind numbingly boring pace.  I understood her and where she was coming from, and I get the weak personality from the get-go, but there was so little character development, and when it finally happened, it was at the very end and the snail-like pace nearly killed the book for me. I hated how she would be weak, finally get some resolve, then be weak again, then show hints of backbone, only to fall back to her hollow shell once more... it was infuriating that it kept happening over and over again, leading to inaction and unwanted suffering. The even shittier thing about this is that it resulted to 90% dragging build-up to an explosive climax that kinda ended before the said climax was over.

That's what I said, too. I hear you, Maleficent.

However, aside from that, it was enjoyable, and it certainly affected me emotionally in more ways than one.

Also, take note that this is a dark retelling. It's not light, positivity is rather far and few between, but I liked this aspect a lot. Fairy tales are known to be pretty linear and black-and-white, but this one has a lot of gray in between - political tensions among kingdoms and between kingdoms and their civilians, distrust among family members - and they're fricking awesome. I loved how no one can be totally trusted, and how it even toys with the "true love" thing. There are three possible love interests, but even they are sketchy as hell and have motives of their own - motives that really serve them than her. Should you really love him because the stories say so? Should you trust him just because he showed you a world beyond the castle walls? Should you talk to him because he promised you something greater? These were really interesting questions, and it smashed the superficial concept of romance we often read in our fairy tales and in our, err, 90s Disney movies (I still love you, guys). Thankfully, no love triangle, folks. I mean, it could have happened, but there were nothing ground-breaking that would alert the bells in your head, so that's a sigh of relief!

Hopefully to the tragic reality that "true love" doesn't really exist in the way you're thinking...

All in all, it was an interesting retelling that surely stands out among the others. Don't let the 3.5 rating fool you; I may not have absolutely enjoyed it, but it has something to offer to everyone, and it does continue to go against some popular tropes that fairy tales made popular back during their reign. Plus, after that ending, I seriously need to know what happens next (no, it's unfortunately not a standalone...).
Profile Image for sreeja.
64 reviews308 followers
March 7, 2017
i read this arnd 2014 i think (thats ages ago)?? but i still rmb parts of it because this is probably one of the shittiest books i've read till date
Well i didn't know better back then and got lured in by the pretty dress on cover trope; and to say it was torture to finish it would be the understatement of the year. I realised that i didn't give reasons for my low ratings so here i am trying to rmb things that i don't wanna.
 photo youre-invited-to-suffer-join-2468000_zpsl6rkmuxk.png

IK i probably sound harsh but honestly nah, just don't read it guys. Trust me just don't.

PS i'm sorry if you somehow managed to like this book; if you did just ignore me HAHA

The main thing that i can remember that pissed me off in this book was the spineless main character who had 0 will-power whatsoever. LIKE get your shit together.

Aurora: *wakes up from sleeping after 19238093219 years*

The Queen: OK you're gnna marry my son now

Aurora: *crying* who? what? alright.

Aurora: *proceeds to dramatically cry on the bed*

 photo giphy_zpsqnm5qx5m.gif

THE PLOT omg the plot; was a never-ending cycle of Aurora being told to do somthing. Her crying and protesting in her mind and then her accepting irl.

 photo 9d5c1a9d-4e41-4710-a2b9-3c48e29773b5_zpsrgec4tsu.png

Aurora was soooo whiny and i honestly can't think of a single character that i liked. It was so short 200-300 pages but i have never spent this much time on a book as i did with this one. To add a cherry on top, a love triangle was being shoved down our throat.
Honestly, i just remembered about this book and this is just a short rant.It was so slow istg i wanted to cry. Back then, were the simple times though; i used to literally read whatever i could find and be OK with it. Even my past self wanted to dnf it so you can imagine how terrible it must have been LOL.
September 20, 2021

Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest

I've been stealth reading this book on the DL because I'm trying to purge more of my physical copies from my overflowing collection. A WICKED THING is a book that I kind of put off reading for a while because it had such mixed reviews and Sleeping Beauty is one of my least favorite faerie tale retellings because the heroine is so passive. But ironically, that passivity is what makes this book such a delight to read-- because the heroine is basically a clean slate for the author to mold as she wishes and ask the question: what if the heroine isn't all into that creepy sleep kiss? What if she doesn't want to be controlled?

What if she decides to take matters into her own hands?

When Aurora wakes up to a strange boy kissing her, she isn't like, "Wow, that's hot!" She's like, "Who the fuck are you and what happened to my family?" When she finds out that one hundred years have gone by and everyone she knew and loved is dead, she's utterly heartbroken and has a panic attack. Which is probably the most realistic reaction I've ever seen in a Sleeping Beauty book. Of COURSE you would freak out. Any normal person would.

Anyway, Aurora and Prince Rodric-- AKA, the prince charming-- go to a public that is super excited to see the long-lost princess. They've built up all this lore around her, and have decided that she's the figure who is going to herald the return of magic to the kingdom. All of these weighty expectations don't do much to lessen her emotional load in the slightest. Especially when she finds out that the king and queen expect her to marry Rodric, a blushing, stammering buffoon. It's only natural that she'd try to escape her rooms and explore the town that has changed so much in her sleep.

I don't want to say too much about this book because less is definitely more when going in, but I really, really enjoyed A WICKED THING. It actually reminded me a lot of DAMSEL, which is another book that didn't really take too well with some of my friends. It's not really a romance in the traditional sense and the bulk of the book is about the princess learning to trust herself and take her own counsel. The cute boys have motives of their own that don't really make them all that cute, and Aurora's whole heroine's journey is about learning to make her own decisions and impress her own internal strengths. It's surprisingly feminist and empowering and I absolutely loved that about this book.

A WICKED THING is a book with real emotional stakes and real dangers, which is a rarity in YA these days. I'm so happy I have book two already because the book ends on a slight cliffhanger and I am so eager to see what Aurora does next.

4 to 4.5 stars
Profile Image for TheBookSmugglers.
669 reviews1,984 followers
February 19, 2015
After reading the author's work and essays over at Feminist Fiction (http://feministfiction.com/), I will be reading her book as fast as you can "gimme"


A Wicked Thing is a reimagining of the fairytale Sleeping Beauty, a variant that as far as I understand, combines the Disney version’s Aurora and Perrault’s version. It opens as Aurora opens her eyes when a prince kisses her lips awakening her from a one hundred year slumber and it closes with a question mark.

The in-between is a fantastic, meandering journey in which Aurora gets pulled into a whirlwind of unfair expectations placed on her which include but are not limited to: an entire kingdom that has been waiting for her to wake up to save them all from the bad decisions made by their rulers in the past hundred years; a group of rebels that hope to co-opt her to their side because the dire economic, political and social problems that afflict the kingdom are about to burst into a revolution; the fact that magic is no longer the answer to any of it, even though magic might still be brought back because now she is awaken.

Most of the story though takes place inside the head of the heroine, asking the hard questions: who would Aurora be as a person considering she spent her whole life inside a tower, living under the strain of a curse put on her, forever scared, always expected to behave a certain way by her kingdom as well as her parents? What would she feel when she wakes up after one hundred years to find out her parents are dead, everything she has ever known is forever gone? And that for the past hundred years countless strangers have kissed her lips without her consent? What would she think when she wakes up to learn she needs to marry someone she barely knows and who, for all intents and purposes is her “true love” because that’s who all the history books say he is supposed to be? And that if she doesn’t marry him, she will disappoint all the people who depend on her?

How would all of this affect an 18-year-old girl?

That’s what this story is about and I loved A Wicked Thing wholeheartedly for everything that it is but also for everything that it’s not. Because this is not the tale of a kick-ass “Strong Female Character” who wakes up and takes control and fights evil and wins. And even though I too, love those types of stories, I believe we have all grown used to expect certain things from our heroines and if they don’t meet these expectations, we are too fast in calling them “weak”. The curse of the “Strong Female Character” is that too often only a certain type of “strength” qualifies and those heroines who happen to be quiet, reflective, calm, who happen to not “kick-ass” or for some reason take more time to get to wherever they are going, end up being dismissed as not good enough.

The fact is that for most of this book, Aurora does not know what to do, how to behave, what to think. In fact, she never does. And why should she? She never had a chance, a choice, she has always been what other people made her be, and still after all this, she is still expected to conform and perform a certain way. She spends most of this book uncertain, trying not to crumble under such weight, taking tentative steps to autonomy – yes, even if that autonomy is still limited.

Bonus points for: a queen that is not an Evil Queen and who, as a woman, has similar impositions placed on her. The opposition between Aurora and the queen is one of equals that choose to take different journeys. This is a tale of resentment too, of that type that can fester and then explode when one least expects. Similarly, Aurora meets three different potential romantic interests, two of them princes, one a commoner. Once one of them is not completely straightforward with her? She writes him off and he never shows up again.

It’s not that this is a perfect book, mind you. The politics and social unrest are not developed with the depth these topics deserve; the Evil King is villainous to the point of caricature; and the magical rules of the world are confusing, although I expect the first and last points will continue to be developed in this series.

In spite of those, A Wicked Thing really hit all the right notes for me. Read this if you liked Ash by Malinda Lo and Hunting Monsters by S. L. Huang. Read this because we need heroines like this Aurora and more books that interact with premises such as this one in thoughtful ways.

I read this book and I kept thinking about Buffy’s Cookie Dough speech at the end of Buffy the Vampire Slayer – remember those words?

I’m cookie dough. I’m not done baking. I’m not finished becoming whoever the hell it is I’m gonna turn out to be. I make it through this, and the next thing, and the next thing, and maybe one day, I turn around and realize I’m ready. I’m cookies.

That’s A Wicked Thing’s Aurora: cookie dough.
Profile Image for Rachel  (APCB Reviews).
331 reviews1,191 followers
July 8, 2015
Initial Review: Thank gosh that's over with. Awkward dialogue, mediocre writing, poor characters, hardly any plot development. Pass.

Read the full review @ A Perfection Called Books

Although I was excited for this book, I had no idea what to expect. Only in the midst of reading A Wicked Thing did I start to form the idea of what I thought or wanted to happen. Unfortunately what actually happened was a lot less eventful and just plain slow. This book had its flaws, yet I enjoyed some aspects of it.

I think I'll start by stating the things I liked about this book. I love Aurora's devotion to her people and how she genuinely cares for them. Too often in these types of books the royals claim they care for the people yet they don't show it. Aurora, through her thoughts and actions, truly conveys how much she cares for her people, and I really liked that. There's unrest in the city. People are unhappy and are starting to fight back. The tension behind it all was exciting. Unlike other fairytale retellings that put a twist to the story, A Wicked Thing is more of a continuation. It's the "What next?". Rhiannon weaved in all of the Sleeping Beauty details so well; in terms of retellings this one was great!

The writing was fair, yet the dialogue was awkward and flat in places. Speaking of flat, these characters!! Although I admire Aurora, she's aloof and so very unfeeling. I sympathized for her and her situation but couldn't connect with her. Her thoughts and feelings were quite unrealistic based on what had happened to her. There are fleeting mentions to her parents and her sadness and torment over losing them, but all in all she doesn't seem too upset about sleeping for over a hundred years and losing her family. The other characters were nothing special. The prince, Rodric, was bashful and shy beyond annoyance. I couldn't get a read on Isabelle. All I can think is meek. The queen and king were both total brats, but of course that's to be expected. Even then, I didn't see much character development. They were so cynical and calculated and cold, I wish we delved more into their characters. Prince Finnegan was the only mildly interesting character. Snarky and sexy, the only person actually "alive" in this book. The world-building was sparse as were descriptions in general.

I flew through this book, yet I felt as though nothing happened. Barely any action or romance occurs in this book. The plot hardly developed, I felt that the pacing was quite off and that this book was just filler. It wasn't a good start to the series, but it had a good end. It sets up the next book to be good, or at least I hope so. Although not my favorite, I think I'd recommend this book to people who are looking for a unique fairytale retelling.
Profile Image for Alyssa.
1,069 reviews839 followers
January 13, 2015
***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: February 24, 2015
Rating: 3 stars
Source: eARC from Edelweiss

Summary (from Goodreads):

Rhiannon Thomas's dazzling debut novel is a spellbinding reimagining of Sleeping Beauty and what happens after happily ever after.

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.

Rhiannon Thomas weaves together vivid scenes of action, romance, and gorgeous gowns to reveal a richly imagined world … and Sleeping Beauty as she’s never been seen before.

What I Liked:

I'm trying to decide if I liked this one or didn't really like it. I think I'm going to give it three stars - mostly because I can't make up my mind as to whether or not I feel more positively or negatively towards the book.

Aurora is awakened by Prince Rodric, after over a century. But Aurora becomes a prisoner in her own home - the prince's mother is orchestrating her wedding (in three weeks), and won't let Aurora leave her room. She even locks Aurora's room at night. But Aurora finds ways to sneak out at night - and meets a revolutionary who wants to kill the royals (which Aurora doesn't want). During the day, Aurora tries her best to smile and curtsy and avoid a devilishly handsome Prince Finnegan. Aurora's wedding is soon, and she must decide if she wants to do nothing, or act now.

I love the fairy tale/fantasy aspect of this book. It's not quite a retelling - it's more like a continuation of the story. What happens after they kiss? They get married... or so the fairy tale goes. In this book, Aurora is trapped in her life, after being kissed awake by Rodric. She doesn't love awkward, adorable Rodric, who is barely princely (let alone kingly). She doesn't like the queen (who controls her every move). She is terrified of the king, who is cruel and ruthless. But Aurora has little power and little voice in any matters, most importantly, her future.

Aurora is a very passive character - it's seen as kindhearted, but honestly, you could call her pathetic. I mean, I guess princesses don't get a lot of say in things generally. And Aurora wanted to give everyone hope in the stories - that the prince would kiss the princess and all would magically be right in the kingdom (obviously not the case). But Aurora, for the most part, does not fight the king of queen.

She picks locks and lets herself out at night, and finds an inn with a cute boy - Tristan. Turns out, Tristan isn't just a flirtatious boy who likes her - he's a revolutionary, and he knows who she is. He wants to use her in his revolution plans, as a symbol, a figurehead. Meanwhile, Rodric and his family want her to be a smiling, dutiful princess bride. Prince Finnegan wants her to leave her home and join him in his home, and defy the king.

Yup, the romance isn't entirely straightforward. In the end, Aurora stands up for herself, in terms of the story and the romance. But there are three potential love interests. You can pretty much cross Rodric off the list - Aurora doesn't see him that way. I want to cross of Tristan (that romance plot didn't seem to go anywhere), but I hesitate. I REALLY like Finnegan. So, go him. I'm inclined to believe that he is the frontrunner in the romance.

But the romance wasn't the big thing in this book - the princess really doesn't develop serious feelings for anyone, so I'm kind of apathetic towards the romance. I'm kind of apathetic towards a lot of things in this book. But like, apathetic and hopeful.

What I Did Not Like:

Ugh. I feel like there is a whole layer to this book that is missing. I can't quite grasp what I felt was lacking, but I wanted more from this book. I couldn't help but feel like there wasn't enough presented to readers, but I have no idea what it is.

For one, I think this book could have benefited from a first-person narrative. And that's coming from ME, who loves third-person perspectives. I didn't really connect with Aurora, so I can't really say if I like her or not. I'm leaning towards no, I don't really like her.

I liked Finnegan, but I feel like we didn't get enough of him in this book. He didn't show up enough, he didn't get enough alone time and interactions with Aurora, and I didn't feel subtle chemistry between them. Heck, I couldn't feel any connection between them. I LIKE them together, but I didn't BELIEVE the relationship.

Also, Finnegan seemed very one-dimensional and very cliche. Don't get me wrong, I liked him, but he seemed like a cartoon character or something. The author tells readers that he is roguish and charming and devilish and handsome. The author TELLS us all this, instead of SHOWS us. There wasn't much exposition that made me believe that he was roguish or charming or devilish, and when there was, it was cliche.

Again, I liked Finnegan. I feel like I would have liked him more, if he got more page space/time, and we got to know him more personally. We know very little about him. I wanted a more personal side to Finnegan. Instead, it felt like he was one-dimensional. I think the same could probably be said of many characters in this book.

Aurora is a bit childish when it comes to her relationship with Tristan. She wonders if she cares for him deeply, after knowing him for four days. She is going to throw away her life for him - after four days. She is so collected, during the story, except in this part.

This is logistics - but if Rodric and Aurora don't love each other, but true love's kiss wakes the princess, then why did Rodric's kiss wake Aurora? Why didn't Finnegan's, when he tried? Why did Rodric's work NOW? Don't give me the explanation about the witch declaring it was time. That's ind of BS.

I wasn't satisfied with the ending. It wasn't bad, but I wasn't convinced. There is no indication that there is another book to follow this one, but I found the rights report on Publisher's Weekly, saying that Thomas signed a two-book deal, so hopefully the second book is sequel!

Would I Recommend It:

Ehhh. It was okay. I think it could have been developed more, in terms of the story, the character development, the romance. But it was okay. It's not a must-read, by any means. I hope there is a sequel. This book NEEDS a sequel. I might read the sequel, if there is one.


2.5 stars -> rounded up to 3 stars (because I'm feeling nice). I'll read a sequel, if there is a sequel. However, I didn't love this book, and I'm not even sure of how much I liked it. It was okay. It gets three stars because I can't decide how much I liked it.
Profile Image for Ashley.
667 reviews716 followers
August 1, 2014

This was my favourite retelling in a long time. It felt very true to the Sleeping Beauty story I knew, but the author breathed some fresh life into it. She really made me FEEL for the main character. I felt so bad for her situation!

My one disappointment was the ending. Not the ending ending—that part was epic. I just mean where the story left off. Looking back over the whole book, I felt like not much was actually accomplished. At the end, what did Aurora achieve, really? Not much. I wasn't bored or anything while reading, this was just something I thought in hindsight. It sounds like A Wicked Thing will be a series and that there's more to come, but I wish more could have been achieved in this book than just the wedding part.
Profile Image for shady boots.
500 reviews2,037 followers
May 12, 2015
Going into this book, I was fully prepared for it to be a very slow-paced story that focuses more on the political aspects than the fantasy elements, due to some of the reviews I've stumbled upon. While at first I thought I was going to be bored, it actually managed to keep me entertained. The story wasn't too bad, and while I think the characters could've used a bit more depth, I didn't mind them.

One gripe I have is that Aurora herself can be very passive most of the time. There were many moments where I was tempted to light a fire under her ass. Wake her up, so to speak. ((Har-dee-har. Me maek an j0ke lawlz.)) Throughout a huge chunk of the book, she's pretty much like a puppet that's constantly getting her strings pulled by multitudes of people. For someone who clearly didn't want to be controlled, she kept letting herself be controlled, from my observation. So that was pretty frustrating for me. Granted, the author didn't totally make her lack a backbone. There are a few moments where she grows some girl balls and takes action, stands up for herself. But they were just that: few. I needed more.

And regarding the love interests, as far as I can tell there are three possible choices. Yeah, a love square for once. That's different (not in a good way, mind you). I guess you could argue that one of them isn't supposed to be a love interest, but I don't know. There's a lot of moments in this book that make me think otherwise. There's the asshole, the sweet one, and the one in between that has both qualities. (For those of you who have read the book, I'm pretty sure you can match all those traits with their names, respectively.) I kinda didn't really care for any of them though, to be totally honest.

Overall, I guess I'm a bit disappointed at how much this book screams "HA I BET YOU THOUGHT I WAS A STANDALONE BUT NOPE I'M TOTES THE FIRST BOOK OF A SERIES TROLOLOLOLOL BTW HERE'S A CLIFFHANGER BYE" with how little plot development happened in it. I still don't know if I'd pick up the sequel when it comes out. Not that I don't wanna read it, I just somehow doubt that this book would leave much of an impression on me in the future.
March 14, 2016
I was pretty sure i had this shelved as currently-reading, but no worries, there are no hard feelings,Goodreads(mostly)

The book started out quite boring. Everyone, and i mean everyone was good. I mean, how could they be evil. Only the evil Witch/evil-being can be evil. If a woman asks for protection because she is accused of having magic, putting her in a dungeon is not bad by any means, the King just wishes to protect the country. A mom is going to make a 6 year old marry a 20 year old when she is older, but it's okay because she was supposed to marry some guy too. A boy can't want to kill a King because he is killing and murdering people for no apparent reason, because *gasp* how could he want to kill his King, murdering innocent blood??*double gasp*

And then finally she realises how things are and she doesn't to do anything. Aurora, you need a reality check. You are a bad example for any little girl... You disappointed me.

→And then finally, in the last 10 pages or so, she finally grew a backbone [a small one, but a bone, anyway]. She thought for herself, and decided on something that would intervene in her future. POWER TO WOMEN. Finally.

And really, i felt like the whole book, except for the end, was Aurora walking in the garden, taking orders from Iris, being locked up... Aurora, is the classic example of a wall. Doesn't look like much, is boring, but without it, nothing would stand. And she was totally impersonal, at least her feelings felt like it. Maybe it was the author, but Aurora needs a life.

But, i did like her inner sarcasm at moments.
No, Aurora thought. We would not want that. No one would want to see her as she really was, confused and exhausted and grieving for a life lost. How terribly unfestive that would be.
Yep, inner monologues.

Also, the story wasn't bad, it's just her life that's dull.
500 reviews2,411 followers
December 28, 2014
Well that was disappointing.

Aurora was an okay and very realistic character, but that's pretty much the only good thing I can say about this. The pacing was off, the plot was nonexistent...

Full review to come closer to the release date.
Profile Image for Giselle.
1,057 reviews908 followers
October 2, 2016
OOh a Sleeping Beauty retelling!


I'm DNFING this at 30% for now. Might come back to it later but the fact that there's already three possible love interests is turning me off. Also I was really bored with nothing happening whatsoever.
Profile Image for starryeyedjen.
1,640 reviews1,232 followers
April 6, 2015
An advance copy of this novel was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts are my own.

This review can also be found at The Starry-Eyed Revue.

I'm on a roll with fairy tale retellings lately! This one isn't my favorite -- it's not even based on my favorite tale -- but I loved how this retelling turns the original on its head. The Disney version of Sleeping Beauty would have us believe that the happily ever after begins with the kiss, but A Wicked Thing explores how Aurora might feel at being awakened from a long slumber by a handsome prince and finding her entire world has changed.

I think the aspect I appreciated the most in this story was Aurora's characterization. She is not the damsel-in-distress we've been led to believe. Aurora wakes up from a hundred year slumber, unaware of how long she's been asleep or that she's essentially alone in the world. And yet, she refuses to accept that her only choice is to marry the handsome prince who awoke her, even if his family and their subjects all believe that her waking and subsequent marriage to the prince who made it happen is what will save the kingdom.

For a story that starts with a kiss, there was a distinct lack of actual romance in the book. There are actually three would-be suitors in the story, but of them all, I preferred the one that Aurora probably found the most vile. I just love a helpful rogue...sue me. Of the other two, one is the sweet but guileless Prince Rodric who awoke her from her slumber and the other is an acquaintance she made in secret outside of the castle. Two of the three presume to use Aurora for their own purposes, though there may be real feelings involved. It's hard to tell so early in the game. The other is simply a good friend and wishes to do whatever is necessary to save the kingdom from its current blight. I liked and despised one and all at least once at some point throughout the story.

When I started this novel, I'd seen nothing indicating that this would be a series. That always irks me a bit, to be reading and getting closer and closer to the end of the novel and still see no resolution in sight. But, with this novel, I didn't mind quite as much because of Aurora's considerable growth as a character over the course of the book. She wakes up, and instead of resigning herself to the role set before her, she questions the future of the kingdom at the hands of the current king. Aurora wants her kingdom to return to the magnificence she knew before the curse struck, and she knows that she must trust her heart in order to make it so. She is good at heart, but Aurora must make some hard decisions in order to ensure the safety of her kingdom in the future.

A Wicked Thing started off slow. Okay, painfully slow, with Aurora cowing to her kingdom's current rulers at first and walking around for the first third of the book in complete indecision. But I'm glad I forged through that because seeing Aurora break free of that damsel-in-distress façade was worth it. This story is not the uplifting, romantic story from your childhood. It's tragic and sad in equal parts, but Aurora's determination to set things right left me hopeful. And her story is only going to get more interesting now that she's taking charge of her future.

GIF it to me straight:
Profile Image for Jana (Nikki).
290 reviews
July 21, 2020
You know that book? The one that might not be The Most Amazing Thing Ever, but it's pretty entertaining, and it makes you smile while you're reading it? This was that book for me.

...Until the last 25%.

See, the problem with not-amazing-but-fairly-happy-making books is that, for them to be memorable and recommendable, they need to also have a strong ending. At least for me. I want to be able to say "Yeah, it was light, but it was entertaining and fun and it wrapped up nicely!" But take away a strong ending, and you just have... well, an okay book that ended in a disappointing manner.

So here I am, left with incredibly conflicting feelings about A Wicked Thing. On the one hand, I thoroughly enjoyed the first half, and up until 75% of the way through, it was a solid, fun, 4-star book for me. On the other hand... that last 25% was a huge let-down. :(

What I liked...

For me, the first half was a really solid, quick, enjoyable read. It reminded me a little bit of what I imagine a Disney movie would be like, a la Tangled, if Disney decided to pick up on the story of Sleeping Beauty at the point Thomas did - with the kiss that wakes the sleeping princess, and her having to deal with all the unreal expectations of a "happily ever after" (with a stranger for a fiance and the assumption that you'll be able to save an ailing kingdom after waking from your cursed sleep).

I really enjoyed the characters. I actually liked how Aurora wasn't unbelievably outspoken -- she initially had problems finding ways to to deal with those who wanted to take advantage of her, but I found that believable. I really liked Rodric, the "handsome prince" of legend, who woke Aurora with a kiss. Turns out, he's not quite as dashing as the fairy tale made him out to be - but he's sweet, and quiet, and loyal, and really hard not to love. I also really liked Tristan, a boy Aurora meets at a tavern in the city. He's charming, fun, offers Aurora a different view of the city... And then there was Finnegan, another prince visiting the castle -- a complete flirt with a dangerous flair, but there's some hidden depth to him as well. (...And yes, there are three boys vying for Aurora's attentions. I liked them all, but did find it to be a bit... much.)

What didn't work...

Unfortunately, even though this book and its characters were enjoyable, I just don't think it reached its full potential. The characters were good, but they weren't great. Again, my comparison to a Tangled-esque Disney movie feels appropriate. Everything was entertaining and solid and there was a lot that made me smile.

The difference between Tangled and this book, though, is that Tangled was strong all the way through. =/

About halfway/three-quarters through the book, I could feel something changing. Things seemed to slow down. Tristan suddenly wasn't around (for what I guess was a legit reason, but still, he was part of what I enjoyed in the first half), and it felt like focus was shifting. I still greatly enjoyed things, but it was more a feeling of "okay book, you've been great so far, I know something good must be on its way, so hurry up and get there..."

...And then, yeah. It never got there. I don't know what happened in the last few chapters, but they were super frustrating. First off, this book is the first in a series, which I don't think I realized going in. And second, even for the first in a series, it doesn't wrap things up at all. When I finished, I literally felt like I was missing 70-100 pages of what could have been a very enjoyable standalone. And that's not a good feeling.

In conclusion...

I know a lot of people (or, at least some...) tend to rate books based on overall impression, and my overall impression was that this book was pretty good. But really, I have to rate books on my final feelings upon finishing. The ending was just... not strong. If it had been, this would've been a solid 4-stars for me. But it went from fun and enjoyable, to boring -- yes, there was action at the end, but I didn't care, and when I don't care, I get bored. Even explosions and magic aren't enough to distract me. And then it just ended.

Unfortunately, this was enough of a let-down to make me uninterested in a sequel. Maybe some people can look past it, knowing what they're getting into. And maybe this would've worked better for me if I'd waited to read it, and had the sequel ready to pick up immediately upon finishing, but... *shrugs* I don't think I care enough to want to invest more time in it.
Profile Image for Nasty Lady MJ.
1,059 reviews16 followers
March 7, 2015
Really 2.5 stars. To see full review click here.

Sleeping Beauty has to be one of the laziest fairytale characters. All she does is sleeps…

Until this book.

But I slept in this book. It made me tired, the sad thing is, when I started it I was excited. There were a lot of things about it that I liked, but in the end.

I was so bored.

I think part of this one’s problems is that it really is falling into the popular trend of fantasy novels right now. True, it has the fairytale retelling (or post fairytale) going for it, but it still wasn’t really that original in the grand scheme of things.

However, before I become a complete Debbie Downer, I will say that the book had some things going on for it. Even though I had a lot of issues with Aurora, I did like that there was actual character development and there was no insta love. Really, the romance is very light if even there at all. Or the one potential love interest was so blah, it made the romance seem non-existant (I did not like Tristan, okay).

As for the guy who wakes her up…total bore. Personally, I’d go for Prince Finnegan if I was going to go for anyone in this book. But that’s not saying much.

But the lack of romance really didn’t bother me. I did like what Thomas was attempting to do with the Aurora character. And it’s true that not all the time she was successful-the character could at times feel a little young and passive to my liking-a lot of times she was a success. I liked how she doesn’t gloss over the fact that the character has experienced turmoil in her life and she actually has her mourn her family.

Lots of death in YA doesn’t go mourn, so that was nice for a change. Though an additional death in the novel, was barely looked at.

There were lots of things I didn’t get about this book though. The world building was a bit messy. As I previously stated, this book shares a lot of elements with other YA fantasies right now. There’s a kingdom in disrepair, magic has left the area, our heroine is a long lost royal and it’s up to her to save the world.

And of course, nothing is explained.


Absolutely nothing.

Which is annoying.

And there was no good end for a lack of explanation, other than to have a sequel. That made it worse in my opinion.

That seems to be a big issue with a lot of YA these days a lack of world building for the sake of a sequel. I can only imagine how the editing process goes:

Editor: Here are your edits. I am suggesting that we remove seventy-five pages of world building so that the reader will buy a sequel.

Author: It’s the ending to Sleeping Beauty, there shouldn’t be a sequel.

Editor: But sequels equal money, author.

Author: Oh. Well, that makes a difference.

It probably doesn’t quite go like that, but it’s probably similar enough. There are some books that do not need sequels, and I believe this is one of them. However, the fact that the book moves at a snail pace and gives hardly any plot away makes it where it has to have a sequel.

I’m not stupid. I wasn’t born yesterday, Thomas. And to be honest stunts like this make me almost feel cheated as a reader.

Arguably you could make the case that the book was more or less an exploration of Aurora’s character and I could almost buy that argument till the end.

But yeah, not impressed.

Sleeping Beauty is probably one of the harder fairytales to re-imagine if you think about it. You have a main character that spends most of the time sleeping. So yeah, Thomas did add dimension to the Briar Rose character, but at the end of the day I still wasn’t impressed by this one.

Maybe it will grow on me more when the sequel comes out. The thing is, I really don’t know if I’m going to read the sequel.
Profile Image for Mel (Daily Prophecy).
1,082 reviews465 followers
September 14, 2015
3.5 stars

It's not one of my favorite fairytale retellings, but it's definitely a good story. I liked what Rhiannon did with the story. She managed to take Sleeping Beauty and turn it into something new. The realistic approach to the tale gave it an interesting twist.

When Aurora awakes she is immediately thrown into a new life she’s not ready for. While she is trying to deal with the fact that the world lived on, Aurora is used as pawn in a political plan. I could feel her confusion and unsettling feeling, which shows that Rhiannon has a great writing-style. I flew through the pages, but I never found myself completely hooked to the story. The plot was a bit slow every now and then and I missed something, but I can't point out what.

I like that this book was character-driven, because Aurora was a good character to be around. With the blink of an eye Aurora’s whole life is turned upside down and her reactions felt very real to me. I loved how she tried to fight against her marriage with a complete stranger. Just because he woke her up and is supposed to be her ‘true love’ because a story says so, doesn’t mean Aurora feels the same way. It was a great change in storyline and better than the sappy love-at-first-kiss like the original tale. Aurora stands up for herself and tries to get a grip on her life, but it’s hard to change decisions made outside your power.

The other characters are less fleshed out. I disliked her ‘true love’ without a real reason. He is not a bad guy, but he has no spine and he knows he is being used by his parents, but he let it happen. I don’t care for those type of characters, but at the same time it was a nice contrast with Aurora. It’s good that the damsel-in-distress part was changed by making the prince weak.

The background story of Sleeping beauty was nicely done. It’s great how Rhiannon combined original aspects with her own twists. Let me just say that the Witch is going to play a big role in Aurora’s life. I also liked how we get the information about what happened while Aurora was asleep. There were no information dumps and we still get the whole picture.

The thing that annoyed me was the ending. I was expecting a stand-alone, but the ending is so unresolved and now it's clear this is the first book in a series. I would like to read more about Aurora – it’s just disappointing that I wasn’t aware of that fact. It made the ending feel abrupt and it came out of nowhere. Nevertheless, I look forward to it.
Profile Image for Sarah.
281 reviews55 followers
September 4, 2015
Quick mini review!

What I liked:

☀ Aurora is a great main character who I found to be surprisingly likable.
She's independent, smart, stubborn and mature. For someone who has been asleep for 100 years, she adapts quickly and doesn't whine.
Of course it's a big bonus that she's a book lover.

☀ This was a fun twist on the tale of Sleeping Beauty and something that I didn't except.

☀ Very quick read.

☀ There's a wonderful friendship between the main character and a younger girl, and it's the kind of sibling-like relationship I don't see often in YA.

What I didn't like:

☁ The pacing dragged.

☁ Very little plot and too many repetitive scenes. Not much happens up until the last half of the book, and I was often bored.

☁ One-dimensional characters and world-building. Everyone is either an antagonist or an ally, which makes the characters feel like cardboard cutouts.
The world is very vaguely described and it made it hard to really immerse myself in the story.

☁ The plot is quite predictable and I wanted more twists and turns. There are so many places one could've gone with this story, and I ended up feeling underwhelmed.

A wicked thing ends on a cliffhanger that makes me curious for the sequel, so there's a chance I might pick that up next year, but I won't be rushing to get my hands on it.
May 1, 2015
I love fairy tales and retellings and gorgeous covers. I was really excited about this one because it wasn't a retelling as much as it was a twist in the 'after the fairy tale'. The fact that Aurora didn't automatically fall in love with her 'prince charming' was another reason why I wanted to read this book. A Wicked Thing had soooo much potential, but the slow-paced plot and lack of clear character development took some of my enjoyment away from the book. It started off really well, but slowed down somewhere in the middle. Luckily, the end of the story picked up again and made me interested in the story again and curious to see what happens next for Aurora.

When Princess Aurora wakes up from her sleeping spell, she discovers that years have passed and that her whole family has died. The handsome stranger who woke her up with a kiss and is destined to be her 'true love' is nothing more than a stranger. Her whole life has been planned and deciding without any input from Aurora and she knows that she isn't out of danger yet. I love all Disney movies, especially the princess movies (that's an understatement). But Sleeping Beauty is probably my least favorite one, probably because we get so little Aurora time. I really liked seeing Aurora trying to figure out who she is, what's going on and what she wants in the book, something that was clearly missing from the movie. I loved that she didn't simply accept that she was supposed to be with the prince, just because someone told her it was her destiny.

While I liked this one, I always felt like I was waiting for something more. I wanted more story, more information about the characters and more action. This is one of those not-really love triangles since it's pretty obvious early on that Aurora and her prince have no chemistry and no feelings for each other. I really liked the chemistry between Aurora and the rebel, but I wanted more. I really liked the way things ended, not a cliffhanger (to me anyway) but in a 'to be continued' kind of way that definitely will make me pick up the next book in the series.

Audiobook Comments: Shannon McManus is a great audiobook narrator that I've heard a few times now and I really enjoy her. While she isn't one of those narrators that I would consider a favorite of mine, I really can't say that I have any complaints about her. When I see a book narrated by her, I know that I will get an enjoyable and professional quality performance. I know a few readers were bored by this book, but I never felt bored with the audio. However, I'm not sure if I would have finished it if I had to actually read it. I'm looking forward to the next book in this series on audio too.

3 out of 5 stars

Book Mood Board: A Wicked Thing! by nereyda1003

Read full review & more of my reviews at Mostly YA Book Obsessed

Follow me at:
Profile Image for bookznerd.
161 reviews34 followers
January 16, 2023

The first thing I would say is that this book is not entirely a retelling. It's more of a story that continues after Aurora has slept for 100 years. Not the story where you know how and with whom it ends. That's why I enjoyed this book so much! I don't understand why this book isn't getting higher reviews.
When Aurora wakes up to 100 years old, is kissed by a strange boy (rodric) she doesn't think what a nice boy. She thinks more: who are you and where are my parents? When she finds out that she has been sleeping for 100 years and her family is dead, she is heartbroken. I think this response is so realistic from the author. I'd hate to find that out too. The king (the father of the boy who kissed her) rules over the land and does everything as he pleases. The magic in the land is gone but aurora gives people hope again. Everyone expects Rodric and Aurora to get married. But Aurora doesn't want this at all. She just woke up and everything in the world has changed.

I'm glad I didn't read all those negative reviews. I enjoyed Aurora's unique story and smooth writing style so much.
Aurora is pretty naive in many ways. She has no idea what's going on and she can't leave the caste. There were many quarrels in this book with the rebels and Aurora.
The characters in the story were all (other than the king) fun and unique. I really enjoyed it and really think this book deserves more love.
Aurora is a careful, brave but also a strong woman in one. Rodric is the prince who is very sweet and wants everyone to be happy. Finnegan ( prince of another place ) is charming, sexy and to me much more fun than Rodric. Tristan (boy of the rebels) is a boy with more problems and for everything he does has reasons of his own. 3 interesting hot guys in a book and no love triangle?!?!?! Every guy fit perfectly in The story.
I am very curious how it will continue in book 2 and will definitely read it!
Profile Image for Alicia Batista (Addicted Readers).
256 reviews505 followers
March 22, 2015
Well...I'm not sure how I feel about this one? It's one of those books that you love to hate!

It was good, in it's own kinda slow paced, not what I was expecting kinda way. I do like it, but... something about it is not clicking like I hoped it would...

It kinda left me feeling like this...


~~~~~~EDITED REVIEW~~~~~~

3.5 Stars

A richly entangled web of lies, deception, murder plots, schemes, and a thirst for power, A WICKED THING breaths a whole new version of the classic fairytale we've all seen and love, of the enchanted Princess Aurora, better known as THE SLEEPING BEAUTY...

I've been DYING to read A WICKED THING since seeing that GORGEOUS cover that HaperTeen brilliantly came up with. I didn't even know what it was about before I instantly added it to my TBR pile, then when I read the synopsis I was sold. I LOVE retellings, especially ones with my favorite Disney Princess. So I was ecstatic when I received an ARC for review.

But I did have my issues with A WICKED THING. It was very slow paced, I mean VERY!! It dragged almost throughout the whole book, and didn't have any action except the last chapter or so. I guess I just expected, or wanted more from A WICKED THING then what I got.

And we had this weird love square type thing going on that just did not fit well with the story at all. Though I did like each of the three guys Aurora was entangled with, but not all of them as a love interest. If that makes any since...lol!! But I can sometimes put up with a good love triangle if it's done well, but I can't do a love square, that's just too much! But to be technical, Aurora really wasn't involved with all of them, but the attraction was evident with each guy. I really hope in the next book Thomas narrows them down to just one love interest, because I can't keep reading with all these guys on one girl!!!



Once upon a time, in a far away land, their lived the peaceful kingdom of Alyssinia, that unknowingly was about to have their world ripped out from under them. One glorious day, the rulers of this land were blessed with a beautiful baby girl that they named Princess Aurora. The kingdom rejoiced and welcomed their precious princess into the world. But as fate would have it, the wicked witch received news of this baby's birth, and the grand three day and three night of celebrations that she was purposely uninvited too. Furious, the wicked witch vowed vengeance and made it her sole mission to destroy the king and queen by striking them where it hurts worst--cursing their only child to an indefinite sleeping slumber after she pricks her finger on a spindle of a spinning wheel....

The King and Queen tried everything in their power to find the witch and force her to break the wretched curse, but to no avail, was she ever found. They're only hope now was secluding Princess Aurora from the harsh world and outsiders who could be the witch in disguise. Forcing Aurora to a life of solicitude and imprisonment in her tower, in hopes she'll evade the curse and make it through her eighteenth birthday to best the witch and overcome her wickedness. But the power of the curse was more then they could have anticipated, and on the night before her eighteenth birthday she was bewitched by a melody that enchanted her and lured her to the waiting spinning wheel where she pricked her finger on the spindle and inadvertently drained the land of magic, and ended the life she once knew. But more horrifying, she was immobilize in a slumber, until if the prophecy is to be believed, she will be awoken by the kiss of true love... and then the reawakened Princess will breath magic and life back to the miserable land that once flourished and prospered, and all will be glorious once more and they will live happily ever after...

Or so, that's the way The Sleeping Beauty story was told...


Princess Aurora wakes from her slumber 102 years into the future to a kiss from a timid, but sweet Prince Rodric, and realizes life as she knew it passed her by while she slept on. Alone, confused, and helpless in this new world, Princess Aurora reluctantly stays with the new king and queen and their son, the Prince that awoken her. But Aurora quickly finds she's a pawn in this wicked game to keep the people of Alyssinia happy and continent with a dream she's suppose to portray, but unable to fulfill. She's to become this Princess they've all read about in fairytales, to become someone or something she is not. But with little power and no say, Aurora has no choice but to do as she's told and marry the Prince of Alyssinia and become this savior that she feels she isn't capable of...

But all that changes when Aurora is finally pushed to the breaking point and is caught up in conspiracies and murder plots that threaten not only Alyssinia, but her very life... She's tired of the games and is ready to stand up for herself and the people of Alyssinia and is ready to make her first rebellious move against the crown, and set the kingdom on fire...

Overall, A WICKED THING was not what I thought it would be, and very slow paced with hardly any action. But had a lot of drama and court intrigue, which I love in books. So I guess it kinda evened itself out, and though A WICKED THING was not what I thought it would be and definitely not as good as I hoped, it still turned out to be a pretty okay book that fiercely caught my interest near the end. I'll definitely be reading the sequel to see what's in store for Aurora, because that ending was pretty amazing, with it all coming to a head, and a cliffhanger that has me wanting more!!!

NOTE: I received a physical ARC from HarperTeen for reviewing purposes! All opinions express are my own and are not influenced in any way!
Profile Image for Debby.
583 reviews540 followers
April 16, 2021
First read: February 2015
Second read: February 2016 - and still SO so good ♥

4.5 stars

Here's a thing I almost forgot: how much I love Sleeping Beauty. In fact, as I read A Wicked Thing, which fits with the tone and story of the Disney movie, I realized it was probably my favorite Disney movie when I was little. My favorite Disney princess for sure. A Wicked Thing is an absolutely stunning debut that just about left me breathless.

A Wicked Thing is like an alternate ending to Sleeping Beauty. In this case, Aurora wakes up 100 years later, to a kiss from a guy she's never seen before, and she has to come to terms with how much of the world has changed while she was asleep. Her family is dead, her country has had so many different kings on the throne since, and there is a near-constant state of civil unrest. Her myth grew as she slept, and now she's regarded as the savior who will bring magic back to the land and end all the people's suffering. No pressure... right?

This story is so realistic, it had me in its grasp from the first page. Though written in third person, you really get such a clear view of Aurora's personality. I honestly adored the writing. Those looking for action, magic, and thrilling plot may need to temper their expectations - this is very much a character-driven novel. Fine with me, because compelling, realistic characters are my jam. I was captivated by Aurora's voice. She's not exactly fragile princess, but she wakes up to a world she knows nothing about. She carefully and quietly observes how everything has changed and how all manner of parties are trying to manipulate her for their own benefit. She's not quick to take action, but as the story goes on, she grows and begins to stand up for what she thinks is right. I'm betting in the sequel we'll see her grow even stronger, which just makes me have so much respect for her.

With a good fairy tale comes a dose of romance - but A Wicked Thing does it quite a bit differently. I would say there's 3 different love interests, but don't let that scare you off, because they're not exactly in direct competition with each other and the story actually isn't at all that romance-heavy. It kind of just comes with the territory of Aurora's own fairy tale. Rodric, the current prince, woke her up with his kiss, so naturally they are expected to marry and live happily ever after. But... just because that's what the story says doesn't mean there are feelings there to back it up. Sure, Rodrick is cute in his awkward and clumsy ways, but there's hardly any passion there. Then there's a city boy, Tristan, who she meets when she sneaks out of the castle. He coaxes out her sense of adventure and subtly reveals the ways in which the people are suffering. A plot twist makes that kind of complicated, but then there's also FINNEGANNNNNNNNNNN. Finnegan is a prince from another country and for the moment he definitely gets my vote because he is all banter and Aurora just doesn't like him very much. (The key to my heart xD)

BUT. Romance is not the point of this story, and despite a subtle tug here or there, Aurora stands her ground. She's figuring out her place in this world and what exactly her duty is to this country, continent, and to her heart. It's an unconventional romance and it can go anywhere it wants - but I'm fine with that because it's more about Aurora's growth. I'm on her team.

The story is a tiny bit slow, but it definitely picked up at the end and WOW. There were some jaw dropping moments. Some character deaths that I did not expect. The courtly politics turned darker and more corrupt. Magic got involved. Aurora finally took some action. And then it was over. In any other case I might be disappointed because plot-wise this book didn't get very far, but I am SO in love with this world and these characters that I honestly don't care. I'm betting the action will pick up in book 2, which I am now desperate to have in my hands.

Summing Up:

A Wicked Thing is a stunning debut that will linger on in my mind for months. Indeed, when I finished reading, I felt compelled to gush about it on Twitter immediately. Then I pre-ordered a copy of the book. I felt like dancing. I don't know why, this book just made me so happy! Aurora is a wonderful character that I just can't get enough of. I can't wait to have more magic (and dragons!!) and hopefully some of those shippy feels that were definitely starting to blossom here. What a delightful start to a beautiful series!

GIF it to me straight!

Recommended To:

Fans of Sleeping Beauty, character-driven novels, and/or the character growth in the Shatter Me series.

*An electronic review copy was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the contents of the review.
Profile Image for Paige (Illegal in 3 Countries).
1,226 reviews391 followers
June 28, 2016
See more of my reviews on The YA Kitten! My copy was an ARC I got from Amazon Vine.

This is one of those books I got a review copy of despite expecting it to be merely an okay book. Why? Who knows. Maybe it’s my dislike of all things Disney and how fairy tales like Sleeping Beauty are now too intertwined with Disney to be considered on their own most of the time. Maybe it’s my general wariness for fairy tale retellings. Maybe it’s that the jacket copy doesn’t seem all that exciting. Whatever the case, I got the book anyway. My verbatim reaction when I finished reading was “Well, that was unexpected.” IT WAS. Thomas wrote the book I didn’t know I wanted and deconstructed the hell out of Sleeping Beauty while she was at it.

For some reason, few of us think about what comes after the prince’s kiss in Sleeping Beauty. We all know the fairy tale formula of “and they lived happily ever after” and rely on true love’s kiss to assure us they lived happily ever after. But do they? In Aurora’s case, no. The prince whose kiss wakes her up definitely isn’t her true love, but he wakes her up nonetheless and she is nooooot happy to be waking up to a stranger’s smooch. Thus begins the deconstruction of everything about Sleeping Beauty and it is beautiful. We don’t find out why his kiss woke her up, though. That question lingers and I really hope the sequel gives me a solid answer. “Just because” ain’t good enough for me.

Aurora has three very different love interests that all represent different things for her–Prince Rodric kindness (this one is a stretch, admittedly, but he’s the one who brings her back and his kindness gets her through so much), Prince Finnegan power, and Tristan freedom–but this book is not about the romance. If you’re coming to this book hoping for romance or depending on it, you will be disappointed. Their characters aren’t developed very well either, so you may not even find one worth shipping with Aurora. (Honestly, I ship her with herself and wish for her to be asexual. but that probably won’t happen. Why? BECAUSE SHE IS WONDERFUL AND WELL-DEVELOPED AND THAT MAKES ME FORGIVE THE LACKLUSTER CHARACTERIZATION OF EVERYONE ELSE.)

A Wicked Thing is 100% unabashedly about Aurora and I love it for that. This book is about her finding herself in a world that is no longer the one she knew, one where she’s no longer afraid of a witch’s curse putting her to sleep but has something much worse to be afraid of: political intrigue and a kingdom teetering on the edge of revolution. The queen of this time is far from kind to Aurora and tries to make her be someone she’s not, but even that is understandable. She’s what it looks like when a woman submits to something she hates in the name of survival. Aurora is what it looks like when a woman fights that “destiny” and gets tired of being rendered powerless.

Crying is okay, but AWT!Aurora doesn’t do it often. She makes plans.

Maybe you know this already, but my one huge issue with fantasy YA is when the worldbuilding requires an explicitly misogynistic world in order to make its point about feminism. See: Defy by Sara B. Larson and The Glass Arrow by Kristen Simmons. It’s like a hammer to your skull and dying of bad feminism is a horrible way to go. Thomas does the exact opposite of this because she makes it clear Aurora is dealing with microaggressions, not outright misogyny. Microaggressions are much harder to deal with.

Some groups and people are explicitly misogynistic and openly consider women lesser than men, but for most, misogyny is much more subtle and deals in microaggressions. People vote for a white man over a woman of color because the white man seems more trustworthy. Grown women are referred to as “girls.” People make assumptions about what a woman or girl will/will not like solely because of their gender (i.e. a girl will choose a romance movie over an action movie).

As the long-awaited princess whose family is no longer in power, she is expected to sit quietly and look pretty and let the current ruling family do as they please even when it’s harming her country. Because she’s just a girl who was locked in a tower most of her life, she can’t possibly understand what’s happening or do anything. But she does. People try to trap Aurora in a very tiny box, but she lets the hands pushing her in think they’re winning before she bites every single one during her beautiful political statement during her wedding near the end of the book. What she’s fighting is much closer to what everyday women fight and thus says more than just “YAY WOMEN.” It says women are capable and diverse and under so much pressure from every angle and may have to fight every step of the way, but the pain will be worth it in the end.

Meanwhile, all Defy by Sara B. Larson d0es is say that women are in fact people. How novel. (I should feel bad for picking on this particular book, but it’s my go-to example for how not to write feminist themes in YA because it does so very badly and with all the subtlety of a crashing plane. Plus I hated it.)

I’m definitely here for A Wicked Thing‘s sequel and more of Thomas’s works. If you like feminism in your fantasy YA with gender relations that more closely resemble our own as well as a fairy tale deconstruction, get thee to a bookstore of some sort and buy this book.
Profile Image for Melissa.
324 reviews133 followers
July 11, 2016
*I listened to the audiobook*

When I asked on Instagram how people experienced this book, I received “weird” and “different” as a response. It made me a little nervous and worried, because the reviews on Goodreads aren’t splendid either. But I already bought it on Audible, so I had to give it a chance.

First of all, saying this is a retelling is wrong. It’s just continues the story of The Sleeping Beauty we all know so well (with the slight change that it starts where she’s kissed). I think that’s why people end up being disappointed. They expect to know what will happen. So, NO, this is not a retelling, but more like… a continuation or a re-imagination.

The storyline had his ups and downs, but it was definitely way better than I expected! I liked the storyline a lot and yes, it was “different” like people said, but it was a good different. It has some romance, friendship, betrayals and deaths.

And the characters are very interesting! Aurora is confused about how to proceed with her life (100% understandable if you wake up after 100 years), but she’s very brave too. Rodrick is a blushing sweetheart, Finnegan was more interesting that I could have imagined and Tristan is complicated and irresistible at the same time. Trust me, although there are not only one, or two, but THREE interesting hot guys, there’s no love triangle (or square?) going on. Every guy fit perfectly in the story.

This first book in the Wicked Thing series is a very promising start and I cannot wait to find more about the characters and how everyone will react after that big ending. I also feel like there will be an epic sci-fy twist with the magic and the dragons (!!). February can’t come any faster!

I hope you all won't look too much at those 1 or 2 start reviews and still will give this book a chance. It might surprise you and make you love it more that you can ever expect!
Profile Image for Maria (highinthebooksky).
322 reviews43 followers
May 23, 2015
A no from me ...
it had potential but it turned out a huge let down! the last 100 pages couldn't keep my attention I just read them so I could get through the book ... I didn't feel connected to the characters at all... I couldn't care less about them ... that's sad because I really wanted to read a good sleeping beauty retelling but I guess this wasn't for me...
Profile Image for Krissysch.
260 reviews30 followers
November 10, 2019
4 Sterne
Hat mir richtig gut gefallen. Es ist ein bisschen wie bei Selection, dass die Gesamtstorie schon ein bisschen kitschig und prinzessinenmäßig ist und das muss man mögen, aber dann ist es echt toll. Besonders toll fand ich, dass Aurora anfangs noch recht schwach wirkt, sich aber toll weiterentwickelt und sich nicht als Prinzesschen abstempeln lässt, sondern versucht, die Dinge selbst in die Hand zu nehmen.
Profile Image for Christina (A Reader of Fictions).
4,230 reviews1,652 followers
July 7, 2016
Actual Rating: 3.5 stars

For more reviews, Cover Snark and more, visit A Reader of Fictions.

Once again, I have been tricked. Bamboozled. Let the record state that A Wicked Thing is the start of a series and not a standalone. It’s not that I have anything against series, but I do like to be able to decide to start one. Reading a standalone is different because you expect everything to wrap up and this didn’t wrap up. Her journey is just beginning and why oh why can we not know it’s a series? So just know that. Either it’s a series or my rating is wrong and this book is awful and doesn’t resolve at all, but I don’t think that’s the case.

For some reason, I had a bad feeling about A Wicked Thing. It was something about the cover, though I do like it, or maybe the title or the fact that I don’t tend to like HarperTeen books unless they’re contemporaries. Still, I cannot resist a fairy tale retelling and was really excited to read it. This time, my bad feeling was wrong, though perhaps it was just picking up on the surprise series. A Wicked Thing engaged me right from the beginning, when I found that I quite enjoyed both the writing and the narrative voice.

The concept of A Wicked Thing is really awesome. The novel opens with the kiss. Aurora’s sleeping and wakes up to this guy she doesn’t know kissing her. And telling her that now they will get married and live happily ever after. She reacts like most people would: she’s rather freaked out. To her, it’s as though a single day has passed, not one hundred years. Unlike the usual version, the others in the castle died. Now she’s alone a hundred years in the future and learning that her prone form was basically a tourist attraction. That would be the rudest awakening ever without a doubt, and I love that Thomas considers the practical awkwardness that Aurora’s situation entails.

Rhiannon Thomas has a lot of fun highlighting the difference between the fairy tale and the reality. See, the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale that we know is told about her in the kingdom. She’ll wake to the prince’s kiss and the kingdom will prosper. Aurora, though, doesn’t believe this. I mean, why would an evil curse end with her being able to save her kingdom in the future? Good point, Aurora. Thomas made me look at some aspects of the tale that I’d never given much thought to and I love that a lot.

The other thing that I think Thomas does really well is making people a bit morally ambiguous. Even Celestine, the evil witch, seems to me to be an unclear force. What was her ultimate aim? I’m really curious about the hints of her past that we’ve gotten and would like to know more. Iris, the current queen, too, seems to possibly have hidden depths, reminding me of the queen in the kdrama Goong.

The characters really needing more development at the moment are the love interests of Aurora, of which currently she has three. There’s the prince who kissed her awake, Rodric, who so far seems kind and awkward but lacking in personality. Then there’s a visiting prince, Finnegan, a debonair flirt with potential depths. Finally, there’s the boy who works at the local pub, Tristan. Nothing’s been decided romantically yet, so I don’t mind much, but I’d really like to see more personality from all three guys, because I can’t have a real ship if they don’t have real personalities.

As is occasionally the problem in YA novels, my main issue was that Aurora often seemed to have too much freedom. Mostly, Thomas did a good job highlighting how trapped she is in her position, but somehow she sneaks out pretty easily. This is at least addressed, but I was still side-eying it. More troubling is the fact that Aurora was regularly allowed to speak with Prince Finnegan or even others without a chaperone or guard. The King and Queen know that he’s working at cross-purposes to their own, but allow their son’s soon-to-be wife to speak with this guy without a guard present? Yeah, I don’t think so. Much of the plot wouldn’t be possible without Aurora having this freedom to speak without anyone overhearing, but it’s so unbelievable.

Even though I’ve been tricked and that annoys me, I’m certainly going to be reading more about Aurora’s journey. I think Aurora’s got a lot of potential for an amazing character arc. Right now, she’s not very strong but she wants to be and I think she could learn. I hope to see that happen.
Profile Image for Sana.
1,076 reviews959 followers
September 4, 2015
A Wicked Thing is one of those retellings that Rhiannon Thomas did something different with by taking a fairy tale and forwarding its plot. We all want to sometimes read on to find out what happened after the happily ever after because surely, all the troubles don't just end. A Wicked Thing confirms they don't. But as much as the concept is interesting and the twist to the fairy tale unique, I found A Wicked Thing lacking.

Aurora has been asleep for a century and as per the curse of Celestine the witch, has been kissed countless times by a number of princes only to be woken up by the most dull of them all, Prince Rodric. The people of Alyssinia rejoice for Prince Rodric is the son of King John the Third and Queen Iris of Falreach, the current rulers of Alyssinia.

As can be expected, Aurora is devastated to be woken up after a century only to find that the world as she knew it to be is no longer. Forced to marry a stranger within weeks and being warned by the Queen to not step out of line and do as expected from her, Aurora is reluctant, to say the least. Naturally, she tries to resist and prolong the inevitable wedding that is said to bring prosperity into the land of Alyssinia once again. As much as she wants her land to prosper, Aurora isn't ready to sacrifice herself for the good of Alyssinia.

Feeling utterly trapped, Aurora sneaks out of the palace from the escape route in her tower for a few hours at night where she meets Tristan, a bartender. The next day, Prince Finnegan of Vanhelm arrives with an offer to help her escape her fate. Torn about who to trust and who not to, Aurora feels overwhelmed and starts to resent poor Prince Rodric as the one responsible for everything.

At first, Aurora is portrayed as naive and unaware who just knows that marrying the prince isn't what she wants to do. The realization that everyone is out to gain something from her even from people she didn't expect it from is a welcome one. The secondary characters aren't fleshed out much as Queen Iris is mostly two-dimensional in her supposedly evil tactics and Prince Rodric is just meh. The only character that I did feel anything about was Prince Finnegan who hails from a country where dragons live. I do want to see more of him in the sequel.

As much as A Wicked Thing is character-driven, it hardly moves forward plot-wise and the shocking twists are only mildly surprising. When there's hardly anything happening, one would think that that twists in the plot would be a welcome surprise, but they failed to blew me over. A Wicked Thing is a series starter and as series starters go, it promises a lot of awesomeness in the future, like dragons and a different side of Aurora as she discovers herself more. However, what I would have liked to see in A Wicked Thing is a gradual character development of Aurora instead of shocking-discovery-BAM-character-growth as well as going beyond to where the book just ended. In all, A Wicked Thing is an okay, nothing out of the ordinary start to a series that has a potential to be mind-blowing.
Profile Image for Jo-Jo.
140 reviews48 followers
October 22, 2015
We all know the story of Sleeping Beauty...the beautiful princess who was cursed by a sorceress to prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel and then fall asleep until the kiss of a handsome prince wakes her many years later. Well, this is the story of Aurora after the kiss wakes her from 100 years of sleeping... her family is long dead, the world outside her castle is completely changed from what she remembers, and all the subjects of the kingdom expects for her waking to fix all the problems that exist in the realm. Not only that, the kingdom her family once ruled with kindness and fairness is now being ruled by a cruel king.

I have noticed from reading other reviews of this book that many people didn't like how Aurora seems to follow everyone else's lead even when she feels it's the wrong thing to do. She doesn't exactly show herself as someone who has a backbone- at least not on the outside. She chooses to not speak up at times it may help and then realizes that the moment for speaking up has passed on and it's too late to change anything even if she did speak now. I feel that her personality being like this makes the story more realistic. I mean seriously, who would wake up being a total badass after sleeping for a hundred years in what is essentially a completely different world, after being locked away from visitors and people for the first 18 years of her life? That would make no sense. I feel like her being a bit timid and quiet comes from her being brought up to act like a proper princess and the shock of waking up to find everthing she has ever known is basically gone. As the story progresses, though, I think her personality blossoms and the Aurora that is on the inside starts coming out for all to see. The author did a great job of making this transition feel real and natural.

I went into reading this with no expectations. I always enjoy fairytale retelling so I wasn't surprised to find myself swept up in this story too. I was able to read this in just a few hours...it was interesting, fun, and had plenty of adventure and mystery to go around. I had no idea how the story was going to end or what decisions Aurora was going to make to get herself out of a completely impossible situation- I really feel like this is what made the book an exciting one to read. If books like this interest you, I would highly recommend reading this one.
February 16, 2015
We all know the fairy tale Sleeping Beauty, but what if Aurora woke up from her long sleep to find that things in her kingdom have gone downhill and she actually isn't very happy. That's what happens in this Sleeping Beauty retelling that puts a twist on the classic fairy tale. Aurora, who was woken up by Prince Rodric's kiss, should have been overwhelmed with joy to meet her true love. But that's not the case. She isn't instantly in love with Prince Rodric and on top of it, her kingdom is in a state of discontent. The current king and queen are basically using Prince Rodric and Aurora for their purposes and Aurora comes to find that the current king is horrible. The citizens of the kingdom are upset and rebellions are on the rise, but the king and queen hope that Aurora's awakening and longed for return will bring peace to the kingdom. The queen wants her to look pretty and keep her ideas to herself; after all, she is going to be marrying Prince Rodric shortly, but Aurora wants more. She doesn't want to be someone's pawn and she finds ways to escape the castle at night and in turn, meets some interesting people that question her loyalty to the current ruling family. A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas is a captivating retelling of a classic fairy tale and an entertaining debut.

Read the rest of my review here:
Displaying 1 - 30 of 808 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.