A Wicked Thing
Author: Rhiannon Thomas
Series: A Wicked Thing #1
Genre: Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy, Retelling
Release Date: February 24, 2015
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.
First Sentence: She woke up with a kiss.
I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for a honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.
A Wicked Thing was definitely one of my most anticipated books of 2015. Not only is a fairytale retelling (I have a HUGE weakness for fairytale retellings), but the cover is beyond gorgeous. However, as reviews started flowing in, I slowly became more and more depressed since everyone wasn’t overly fond with it – as of now, the date I’m writing this review, A Wicked Thing has a 3.57 rating on Goodreads, which translates to not worth reading in my opinion. (I’m not trying to degrade A Wicked Thing – it’s just there are so many books out there to read and so little time that you just have to choose very carefully which books you give your time to.) However, since I’ve already received an ARC of A Wicked Thing, I thought the fair thing to do was to give it a chance despite what the majority other people said about it. In the end, I have to agree with the majority.
“I didn’t ask for this.” Aurora felt stupid even for saying it, but she could not stop the defiance in her from issuing a final plea. “I didn’t want this.” (ARC 158)
The first thing I’m a bit annoyed about is how Rhiannon Thomas changed the Sleeping Beauty retelling I knew and loved as a child. Instead of Aurora’s parents and staff falling asleep along with Aurora, Aurora was the only one who fell asleep and didn’t age, changing things drastically. Now, Aurora is all alone when she wakes up (which is kind of the point of the book, I know, but I can’t help but be annoyed that this was changed) since her parents and everyone around her was wake, ended up aging, and died. Another thing that was changed from the original Sleeping Beauty retelling was the aspect of magic. Apparently, Aurora and her dead family has a distaste for magic and magic had disappeared while Aurora was asleep. I’m not completely sure about this, but I am 99% sure that in Sleeping Beauty, magic was beloved by the royal family (why else would they invite fairies to give baby Aurora magical gifts?) and didn’t disappear when Aurora woke up. I normally wouldn’t mind if the author changed a bit of the original fairytale in a fairytale retelling, but since A Wicked Thing tells the story of Aurora after she woke up from the ending of Sleeping Beauty, I expect things to remain exactly the same as the original fairytale.
I can also sum up A Wicked Thing in one simple sentence: Aurora wakes up and has to decide whether she supports the current royal family, support the rebel’s cause, or take the coward’s way out and run away. (Guess which path she takes.) That’s it. That’s the whole essence of the book. Or, I can also describe A Wicked Thing in three words: Aurora does nothing. Nothing happens in A Wicked Thing – more than half of the book is about Aurora trying to gain courage, her submissively listening and following other people’s directions, and her mainly keeping her thoughts to herself, otherwise known as things I just don’t care about. I wanted to see some action. The closest thing we ever get to real action was a very little part of the book and the last eight or so pages at the end. That’s it. The rest of A Wicked Thing was about dresses and outfits and Aurora passively doing nothing while thinking another thing. Just, ugh. I feel so ripped off after finishing this book.
Smile. Curtsy. Be silent and beautiful. Her presence would add wordless legitimacy to everything that the king said, but her input itself was unwanted. (ARC 46)
For people who are expecting a swoony, epic romance (because whenever I think of Sleeping Beauty, I think of a very cute romance for some reason), I’m sorry to disappoint you guys and say that there isn’t any swoony or epic romance in this one. In fact, what little romance developed was quickly shot down and grinded into dust, not that the romance was believable in the first place. There are also hints of Aurora having three love interests. Be prepared for a love square guys, if you plan on reading the sequel to this one.
Overall, although it really saddens me to say this, I strongly recommend you guys to skip A Wicked Thing altogether. I can’t think of any redeeming qualities it has besides that gorgeous cover and the fact that it’s a fairytale retelling. I can guarantee you that if you’re like me and prefer a book filled with action and not characters thinking one thing, but never actually doing anything, you’ll feel so ripped off after finishing this book too.