By: Celine | January 31, 2015 | (37) Comments

Review: A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon ThomasA Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas
Series: A Wicked Thing, #1
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: February 24th 2015
Genres: Fairytale Retelling, YA
Source: Received in exchange for review
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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.

We all know our fairy tales, and we all know how they end: the heroine ends up with the prince, her one true love, and they live happily ever after. Have you ever thought about that? At the start of the story, the heroine and the prince have never met, and by the end they’re living together. Sometimes they spend time together throughout the story, sometimes, say, a princess is woken up by the kiss of a handsome stranger and is then expected to marry him.

That’s the story A Wicked Thing tells. Aurora wakes up through a kiss from someone she’s never met, and now she is expected to marry him. Except she doesn’t know him at all. And then she is also told that she’s been kissed by countless strangers while she was asleep. A Wicked Thing makes very clear that perhaps Sleeping Beauty isn’t such a happy story after all. And it’s about the happily ever after, which may not exactly be happy and maybe also not ever after.

I absolutely adored the concept of this book. Because let’s face it, most fairy tales are actually pretty creepy. I know I wouldn’t like to be kissed awake by some random stranger and then marry him. Thomas really adds an element of realism to the story we all know and shows us Aurora’s emotions, which are, understandably, not all that positive. Sure, the prince is nice enough, but to marry him? Our dear Aurora has other plans.

The prose in which the story is written is also lovely. Thomas’ writing is lush and beautiful. It really encaptures Aurora and it just fits the magical fairy tale feeling of the story. An example:

A hundred possible worlds, more true to her than her own, more compelling than a life of staring at the same walls and same trees, waiting for the day when the lock would click and she would finally be allowed to be free. A story could not hurt her.

It’s rich but subdued, and that is also where my problem lies. Because although the writing is certainly lovely, it also feels distanced, and so I could not connect to the story or the characters. I liked reading this book, but I had no emotional reaction to it whatsoever.

Despite that, the story definitely was original and I liked it. I also liked how Thomas handled the romance. Of course, Aurora is supposed to be madly in love with “her” prince, but really, she doesn’t know him. She certainly doesn’t love him. Then there were two other possible love interests, and the dynamic was… interesting. I don’t think you can speak of a love triangle, because first of all the book just really doesn’t dwell on romance and secondly, I don’t think Aurora has realized yet that the other guy is actually a possible love interest. But whatever, I HAVE PLANS FOR THIS SHIP. And I have a feeling that those plans just might come true in the next book. *gleeful laugh*

In all, A Wicked Thing was a solid story. The plot, to me, was still slightly underdeveloped, but this is the first in a series so I’m willing to overlook that. I have a feeling that more things might go down in the next installment in this series, and also that my secret ship just might sail. The writing, though it slowed the story down a bit, was undoubtedly lovely and I’m curious where Thomas is going with this story.

~Thank you HarperTeen for the review copy!~

3 Stars
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Celine is 17 years old and from the Netherlands. Quite obviously, she loves books! She has been a reader for as long as she can remember, and she believes she will be a reader forever. Celine is also obsessed with food, and loves singing along to music as loud as possible, dancing and doodling on nearly everything.

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37 Responses to Review: A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas

  1. Hilary says:

    Hurrah for secret ships! I am in love with fantastic fairytale retellings and this looks right up my alley especially with that generous dose of realism added on.

    Fantastic review Celine!
    Hilary recently posted…Review: Throne of Glass by Sarah J. MaasMy Profile

  2. I think I’m gonna pass this one 🙁 All those who are reading it these days seem not to like it. so.. I don’t know 🙁
    Frannie Pan @ In Clouds of Pages recently posted…Cover Reveal: “Nowhere but Here”My Profile

  3. I’m reading this one now! 🙂 I just feel bad for Aurora so far.
    Bieke @ Istyria book blog recently posted…Mirror Mirror: A Week of Mermaids & Making Best Friends HappyMy Profile

  4. Melliane says:

    I saw another review of the book today and I confess that I’m intrigued because I love retellings and the idea of this one sounds so great but even if it’s like that you’re also the second review with 3/5 stars even if it’s not about the same things so I’m not sure… I would have liked it to be a little more. thanks for the review.
    Melliane recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #128My Profile

  5. I’ve seen a lot of mixed reviews for this book. They seem to be around the same issues and ratings. Retelling can be a hit or miss with me, I tried reading Cruel Beauty but I just couldn’t grasp it for some reason. It didn’t spark the imagination I’ve heard so much about. I may give this a go still as I have this for review, Great honest review, Celine!
    Emma @ Never Judge a Book by its Cover recently posted…REVIEW – BREAKING NOVA by Jessica SorensenMy Profile

  6. Melanie says:

    I’m looking at my friend ratings for this book on GR and they’re all over the place, gah. I think I’m still going to try this because I wanna read all the fairytale retellings, hah! Anyway, I like how the MC doesn’t really love her “prince” that’s a pretty nice twist xD

    Fantastic review, love <33

  7. Nara says:

    I definitely agree that the premise of the book was absolutely awesome! I never really thought about it, but Sleeping Beauty is pretty effed up haha. I agree that the writing was pretty fantastic, and really helped consolidate the fairytale atmosphere, but the pacing was just so badly done. I feel like on the whole, the plot was a bit generic as well. Hopefully things are better in the sequel!
    Nara recently posted…Read ALL THE BOOKS Update: JanuaryMy Profile

  8. “I have plans for this ship” this made me laugh haha. It’s so true that we never get the after or we never get the reality of things with these stories. I need to add this to my tbr. Great review!!
    Genesis @ GenGen’s Book Blog recently posted…Monthly Wrap Up & Stacking The Shelves #28My Profile

  9. I started this book ages ago but it got pushed to the side for other books. I really need to get back to it. I was enjoying it but like you said-I was disconnected. Great review!
    Kristen@My Friends Are Fiction recently posted…Stacking the ShelvesMy Profile

  10. Mary Claire says:

    I’ve heard lots of mixed thoughts on this one, but I do think I’ll pick it up because of the fairy tale twist and the beautiful prose. Glad that there’s finally a book that airs away from that Disney’s “Happy Ever After” concept and has a dose of realism, especially since most original fairy-tales are actually gory and terrifying.
    Nice review!
    Mary Claire recently posted…ARC Review: Inherit Midnight by Kate Kae MeyersMy Profile

  11. A Wicked Thing seems interesting enough and I love beautiful prose. However, I totally understand what you mean when you say that the prose sometimes gets in the way in the story. There’s a fine line between using beautiful prose and seamlessly integrating it into the story, and using beautiful prose to detract from the story. That’s what I’m going through right now with Seraphina by Rachel Hartman. The prose is descriptive and beautiful, but I feel so detached from the main character.
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  12. YES, I COMPLETELY agree, fairy tales are creepy. This seems to add such a realistic twist to the disney movie tale, and I can’t wait to get my hands on it because even though there was no emotional attachment for you, Celine (sorry about that, btw), they’re FAIRYTALE re-tellings, and I <3 them all. If there's a ship worth shipping, this book is MINES. Wonderful review!
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  13. Alreem says:

    sound like a good book but I’m not really interesting right now to read it 🙂 Lovely review
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  14. I’m intrigued by this book now! It’s interesting that there’s not a lot of romance in the story…I don’t think I’ve ever read a retelling where romance isn’t a major part of the plot. I think I’m going to try this one. Fantastic review! 🙂
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  15. This sounds soooo interesting. I have been fascinated by the synopsis itself but your review made me even more curious about this book!
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  16. Lily says:

    I’ve had my eye on this one for what seems like ever since i’m a retelling girl at the heart. I love that you enjoyed this one although I do understand your Issues with the pros. Authors who can seemingly weave beautiful pros into a story are amazing but sometimes authors weave beautiful pros that feel a bit too much and detract from the story. Great review 🙂
    Lily recently posted…All Fall Down (Embassy Row #1): ReviewMy Profile

  17. blodeuedd says:

    I like the sound of this and yes why should she be in love with some stranger
    blodeuedd recently posted…#FitReaders: Weekly Check-In Jan 30 2015 and A Dark Guardian ReviewMy Profile

  18. Maisha says:

    I am so excited for this book!! I’m glad you enjoyed because I’ve been hearing a lot of mediocre reviews for this book, and that worries me 🙁 I love how it’s a Speeping Beauty and retelling! It sounds so cool! I hope your plans for the ship happens 😉

    Great review, Celine!
    Maisha recently posted…Review: Upside Down by Lia RileyMy Profile

  19. JennRenee says:

    I get what you are saying about the writing. Its beautiful but I too have a hard time with pacing and connecting with the rich writing. I am going to listen to this one audio and hope it helps. I am excited for it still.
    JennRenee recently posted…Stacking the Shelves #93My Profile

  20. I absolutely adored the concept of this book. Because let’s face it, most fairy tales are actually pretty creepy. I know I wouldn’t like to be kissed awake by some random stranger and then marry him. – You said

    I so agree with you in the creepy part. Rosamund Hodge makes the creepiest retellings that’s why I don’t get along with her books. I think the only retelling I’ve read that I enjoyed was Marissa Meyer’s Cinder. That was the best. I probably won’t be enjoying a Wicker Thing since I won’t be having anything emotional that will occur like what happened to you. HAHAHA
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  21. I like the sound of the subtle twist on the fairytale, but the unemotive writing style does make me a bit weary, as connecting to characters can definitely affect my enjoyment of a book. Thanks for sharing a lovely review Celine 🙂
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  22. Diamond says:

    I’m excited to get to this one. For some reason I thought it was a stand alone? Interesting that there’s a (possible) alternate romance in the future. That is intriguing. I love the idea of this one too. The instant I read the blurb i was like gotta have this haha. Can’t wait to read it.
    Great review Celine! 😀

  23. I knew this was a Sleeping Beauty retelling but I wasn’t sure exactly how it would tell the tale. Waking up to find out you’d been kissed by many people and were expected to marry a stranger would be creepy and terrifying, so I’m really interested in finding out how this story explores that aspect!

    Thanks for the great review! I hope the sequel fleshes things out a bit more so you can connect better 🙂
    Bec @ Readers in Wonderland recently posted…January 2015 Wrap UpMy Profile

  24. Loved this review! You pretty much mirror my thoughts with regards to this book. Originality and refreshingess-meter, this book really rocks. It had concepts that I never really saw anywhere else before. The fairy tale ended with the kiss and the happily ever after, but what if it doesn’t end there? What if our heroine wakes up only to find someone she doesn’t know and then expected to marry him? It really was creepy and I found Aurora’s reaction to the situation really realistic. The writing was lovely as well, and the romance definitely was unique in a way that it was there but… also kinda nonexistent? Haha. My only problem was it felt too dragging sometimes 🙁
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  25. Ugh YES fairy tales are creepy. Just reading the original Grimm’s the other day gave me the heebies. Although, I totally want to read these. No emotional attachment sucks though…meh. BUT. I’m glad it’s a solid story. I’m also glad that finally people think it’s seriously weird/wrong to have a random stranger kiss you and then marry him. *shudders*
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  26. This book has such a pretty cover. I want to read this books so much! I love retellings and I love the idea of the author putting a realistic spin on this. Great review, I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  27. Maddy E says:

    I’m glad that this one addresses how CREEPY fairy tails are. It’s not “romantic” to be kissed by tons of strangers while you are asleep. I think I’ll pick this one up, and see if I can guess your ~secret~ ship.
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  28. I don’t think I’ve read a super-positive review of this one yet. It’s too bad, because it sounds like a good premise for a retelling.

    Thanks for the review!
    La Coccinelle @ The Ladybug Reads… recently posted…The Ladybug Looks Back… January 2015My Profile

  29. Kim says:

    There are so many mixed reviews about this one, and I just don’t know who to listen to! Nevertheless, great review! 🙂
    Kim @ Divergent Gryffindor: BLOG || VLOG

  30. Stephanie B says:

    I found this book last week (at least, I think…) and it really peeked by interest. I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed it! Lovely review.
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  31. Lexa Cain says:

    I agree with you – I love the premise! There have been books that I liked while not quite connecting to either. Thanks for the great review! 🙂
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  32. I think your proposed ship is the same as mine 😉 And nope, Aurora doesn’t have a clue. But we do! I agree with most of what you said, really. The story was quite unique, and yes, fairy tales ARE rather creepy, now that you mention it! I did connect with Aurora a bit more than you did, but overall, I think we feel similarly. I am definitely going to need the sequel to this one, because I think there is a ton of potential in this story. Very nice review!
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  33. Alexandra says:

    I love any that has to do with retellings! Especially Beauty and the Beast! Thank you for the post!
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  34. Yeah having to marry the first guy who comes along and kisses you would suck. I agree I don’t like to be distanced from the characters and what they’re going through. It’s cool that it wasn’t really a romance but you still cared about the couple. I wasn’t sure about this one so I’m glad you liked it.
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  35. benish khan says:

    Yikes three stars? I’ve been wanting to read this novel for a while now, I love fantasy retelling and the cover is so pretty as well – Great review Melanie! Thanks for the honesty.
    benish khan recently posted…Blackout by Meredith McCardle ♥ ReviewMy Profile

  36. Sabrina says:

    Thanks for the review. Distancing prose can be a huge deal breaker for me in a book, so I’m glad you mentioned it! Still, I love the concept on this one. Maybe I should try to find a longer excerpt.

  37. I think your review rating is the norm for this one. I have not seen any fours or fives at all for this. Oh well, I hadn’t planned on reading it anyway. Thanks for the review. 🙂
    La La in the Library recently posted…THE SUNDAY POST #SEVENMy Profile

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