Lawyer, mother, avid reader. Game host extraordinaire! Partner in crime to Obsidian Black Plague! My bookish weaknesses include classics, fantasy, YA, and agreeing to read more books than is even remotely possible.
This review was previously posted on amazon on May 2, 2012:
I am a huge fan of fairy tale retellings, and have read a lot of them. This one falls into the middle of the pack. I enjoyed it, but didn't find it especially compelling. It is set in a modern world as opposed to a historical world, and it is sort of a pastiche, with elements from many fairy tales, although it obviously primarily focuses on the Sleeping Beauty tale. This will become apparent in approximately the first 10 pages, so it's not a spoiler by any stretch of the imagination.
I was very much underwhelmed for the first half of the book - so much so that I considered not finishing it. I am glad that I didn't, though, because I thought that the story picked up at around 40%.
The positives: I liked the world, and I liked the whole concept of the Marchen marks, and the curses community. I really enjoyed the way that the author organized the fairy tales/curses into different classes. I thought it was clever and unique.
However, there were some weaknesses. First, I am completely over the whole YA love triangle trope, which was a huge aspect of this book. Please, just once, could we have a YA romance that doesn't involve a love triangle? Please. (*** mild spoiler ***) Also I found the romance between Felix and Mira completely unconvincing. Completely. Unconvincing. I didn't like Felix, and so the attraction was a total mystery to me.
As far as the characters go, I liked several of the supporting characters quite a lot. I liked Viv - prickly and self-centered though she was, and Blue, and Jewel. I thought the ending was a bit convenient. I don't want to spoiler it, but it didn't ring true that a monumental problem could be solved quite so easily. I'm not unhappy about the ending, but felt that the author could've ended the book in a more convincing fashion.
***Addendum to Review***
This book has not fared well in my memory. I remember very little about it, and have pretty much ruled out reading the sequels unless someone reviews them in such a way that I am convinced that the weaknesses in this book are not present in the next.