Book 1 in the A Wicked Thing series
Genre(s): Young Adult, Fantasy
Publication Date: February 24, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen (HarperCollins)
Format: Hardcover // 352 pages
Filed under: retellings
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.Any book having to do with fairy tales is automatically placed on my “to read” list, and A Wicked Thing was no exception. I waited very patiently for this book to come out and once it did, I read it the second I brought it home from the library. I’ve seen a ton of authors take elements of fairy tales and incorporate them into their stories (for example, Marissa Meyer and The Lunar Chronicles) but continuing a fairy tale is something new to me.
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.
A Wicked Thing takes place right after Aurora (or Sleeping Beauty, as we may be more familiar with) wakes up from “true love’s kiss.” Society has been waiting for her to rise and rule the kingdom, but she has no direction and doesn’t know whom to trust. She knows her story ends with “happily ever after,” but she sure doesn’t feel like that’s happening for her.
I guess all the hype that accompanies fairy tales (I’m looking at you, Disney) placed my expectations for A Wicked Thing fairly high. I was hoping for lots of action, plotting, and risky decision-making … but not much happened. Aurora is, unfortunately, locked in a room for the majority of this story and spends that time complaining about her situation. I understand she has absolutely no experience with what she’s dealing with, but she never does anything about it. People try to control her actions, and she doesn’t question it!
The few characters that Aurora interacts with seem either intentionally mysterious or underdeveloped. Are they good or are they evil? Or are they just poorly represented? (I may never know.) It didn’t really bother me that much, but it was hard to get a sense of who the characters are when things are tossed into the air like that.
Although I was a bit disappointed by the direction of the plot, I read through the story pretty quickly. It was still interesting enough for me to continue following Aurora and see what path she chooses to take. I can see the sequel having potential, but I’m not sure I will pick it up.
Are you a fan of fairy tale retellings? (If yes, please tell me your favorites!)