by Terry Moore
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I don’t normally consider this when forming an opinion of books, but this was a bit overpriced for how short it turned out to be. It did sadly put me in a bit of a sour mood when I started.
That aside, this book struggles a bit from having a lot happening, and not very much happening at all. Like everything Terry Moore does, this ties into the world and plot he has created with every other project he has done. That’s something I always enjoy and this was no exception. I enjoyed the way he looped it into the rest of his plots and I hope that it is relevant and eludes to what is going to be in his upcoming works.
This book was heavy with biblical reference that I can assume is twisted to serve his purpose. I don’t have any knowledge so I can’t say for sure. I found what he did with these very interesting though. I just wish it had been longer.
While it was interesting, this almost feels like a prequel or filler meant to be read before something else. Sadly because of this, I would not recommend it to anyone that hasn’t read his other work. I feel like you would get so much less out of it without knowing who some of the people referenced are.
Full Review with Spoilers
I went into this book with high expectations. A sapphic retelling of a classic fairytale is something I will always jump on. I was extremely happy to see that this book delivered and then some. The entire story is told from the perspective of Alyce, the traditional villain of Sleeping Beauty. The books acts as much like an origin story as much as it is a retelling.
Alyce is a fantastic character. She is told she is essentially evil and dark her whole life, that she is something other. It was heartbreaking to see how she deals with this her whole life and as much as she tries not to be that person, it definitely shaped who she is. She does what is essentially considered bad things because it is what is expected of her and what she is brought up to believe is the only thing she can do. Aurora is also a great main character. She is a princess and at first glance Alyce’s total opposite. The relationship that builds between them through the book is so well done. It was great to see them connect over their general dislike of everyone around them then it progress to Alyce trying to help her break the curse that will kill her when she turns 21. I loved seeing Alyce’s emotion progress and escalate even if she could quite see it for what it is.
There was a very interesting magic, social structure, and history developed in this book. I especially loved how the decline in ruling from a Queendom to a Kingdom where the queens have essentially given all their power to her husband over time really hinted at the same type of direction the story was going to take. The author did a great job placing these hints and connecting everything in a smooth flow that never felt like an information overload to the reader.
The storyline flowed so very well. There was a fantastic mix of emotional drama, angst and the sweeter buildup on the romance side. The romance was definitely not the focus of the story, though it was very much there. It really focus on Alyce’s build up to becoming a villain. And it was such a ride! Once Alyce crosses that line into actually killing people I have no idea what I should feel. Up to that point we get to see everything that has just been stacking against her and in a way we really see the justification for her actions. I ended the book completely blown away by the turn of events. We see Alyce exactly how we expect, guarding a sleeping princess against a kingdom that hates her.
This was a great retelling that gives the reader a new way of looking at a classic and very well known fairytale. Good story telling and great character development make this an extremely enjoyable read and one you won’t want to put down.
Like I said above, this is a pretty short book for the amount it costs. This isn’t usually a factor when I form an opinion, but I started this book feeling unhappy because of this fact. Though I will admit, as a preorder, that was on me.
This book comes of as a side store or prequel when reading it. Naturally it ties in with all of Terry Moore’s other projects. The connection is small in the grand scheme of things. Everly, the protagonist is related to Lillith, who is a major factor in Rachel Rising. This, from what I could tell is the only connection, but that’s also because of that prequel feeling. I legitimately hope that the events in this book are important moving forward. If that is the case, this book holds a lot more value. If not, then the book wasn’t as good. It gets a little involved with how much it goes into its explanation of what the hell is going on. At the same time, it feels like very little actually happens. A lot of talking, very little action.
Everything in this book is based on biblical reference, that was actually really interesting. I liked how Moore was able to take something established an interpret it with a light twist to work for his story. Since I know only the very basics, this isn’t something I found any major faults in. It created a new layer to his lore that I again hope gets explore more in depth in the future.
This was… okay. I genuinely feel like I can’t form a firm opinion until I know what’s coming next from Moore. Because of his way of writing and connecting every project he does together, I can’t comfortably recommend this to anyone that hasn’t read his other work, and in order. I just don’t think you will get anything from it otherwise.