ARC Review ~ A Wicked Thing by Rhiannon Thomas

Series: A Wicked Thing #1
Genre: YA Fantasy/Fairytale Retelling
Page Length:  352 Pages
Publication Date: February 24th, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: ARC via publisher (Thank you Harper Collins!) 

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."

Although I was excited for this book, I had no idea what to expect. Only in the midst of reading A Wicked Thing did I start to form the idea of what I thought or wanted to happen. Unfortunately what actually happened was a lot less eventful and just plain slow. This book had its flaws, yet I enjoyed some aspects of it.

I think I'll start by stating the things I liked about this book. I love Aurora's devotion to her people and how she genuinely cares for them. Too often in these types of books the royals claim they care for the people yet they don't show it. Aurora, through her thoughts and actions, truly conveys how much she cares for her people, and I really liked that. There's unrest in the city. People are unhappy and are starting to fight back. The tension behind it all was exciting. Unlike other fairytale retellings that put a twist to the story, A Wicked Thing is more of a continuation. It's the "What next?". Rhiannon weaved in all of the Sleeping Beauty details so well; in terms of retellings this one was great! 

The writing was fair, yet the dialogue was awkward and flat in places. Speaking of flat, these characters!! Although I admire Aurora, she's aloof and so very unfeeling. I sympathized for her and her situation but couldn't connect with her. Her thoughts and feelings were quite unrealistic based on what had happened to her. There are fleeting mentions to her parents and her sadness and torment over losing them, but all in all she doesn't seem too upset about sleeping for over a hundred years and losing her family. The other characters were nothing special. The prince, Rodric, was bashful and shy beyond annoyance. I couldn't get a read on Isabelle. All I can think is meek. The queen and king were both total brats, but of course that's to be expected. Even then, I didn't see much character development. They were so cynical and calculated and cold, I wish we delved more into their characters. Prince Finnegan was the only mildly interesting character. Snarky and sexy, the only person actually "alive" in this book. The world-building was sparse as were descriptions in general. 

I flew through this book, yet I felt as though nothing happened. Barely any action or romance occurs in this book. The plot hardly developed, I felt that the pacing was quite off and that this book was just filler. It wasn't a good start to the series, but it had a good end. It sets up the next book to be good, or at least I hope so. Although not my favorite, I think I'd recommend this book to people who are looking for a unique fairytale retelling.


  1. The characters here sound one dimensional, and the flat sounding dialogue and not much happening in the book kind of sounds a bit boring. Thanks for the honest review Rachel!

  2. The characters don't sound like a lot of fun, Rachel. I like to be able to emotionally connect with my characters, not be emotionless to them, so I won't be picking this one up. I'm sad though because I was really excited for this book and thought it would be amazing. I hope the next book will be better for you!
    Lovely review, Rachel.

  3. I was expecting so much from this book so I wish it delivered more! I love finding little details from the original tale in the retelling:) So many retellings are amazing (Cinder and Beastly:D) because of how the author develops the characters we thought we knew well. Not being able to connect to the protagonist sounds frustrating:( If only the other characters were as alive as Prince Finnegan;)
    Great review Rachel!
    Maya @

  4. Oh no! I've been eyeing this one for a while, but I've been seeing a lot of people saying that it's just not as great as they were hoping for. I guess I'll borrow this one from the library, especially if the dialogue is awkward. That can either make or break a book for me.

  5. I actually DNFed this one really early to be honest - Sleeping Beauty was one of my favorite fairy tales back when I was a kid, but I totally feel what you're saying. Rodric just seemed to blush and stammer SO MUCH in the beginning and Aurora just seemed meh. .-.

    Fab review, Rachel! :)

  6. Aurora sounds like such a noble character, and it's always great to see a main character that actually cares for her people and her family. I've also heard from other reviews that the retelling aspect of this book was phenomenal, which is wonderful because I love nicely told fairytale retellings. I'm not sure that I'll actually read A Wicked Thing, though, because it does sound pretty slow and boring.

  7. I also felt like the story didn't go anywhere even though I did overall enjoy the book. Sad there was little romance when there were three love interests. I'm excited to see what the next book can bring though! Will you be continuing the series? :)

  8. I've been seeing so many not good reviews on this, I'm hoping I like the audiobook better...

  9. I've been hearing negative reviews about this one which is depressing, because I'm really excited for this one! The cover is so catchy x thank you for the honest review! I shall check this out for myself soon :)

    Benish | Feminist Reflections

  10. At least you read the book pretty fast, so even if nothing much seemed to happen, it didn't drag along while you were reading it!
    I wasn't very sure about this one just by the summary and your review is one of those that convinces me that I'll skip it! Thank you!

  11. I'm sorry that you weren't able to enjoy this one as much as you'd hoped Rachel, it does sound like this book has a lot of potential, but just seems to fall flat in a lot of places, but at least it still leaves you excited for the next book! Thanks for the honest review!

  12. Bummer. I am hearing so many people say the same thing about the pacing and the lack of things happening in this one. I have it to read myself, so I am glad to know ahead of time not to get my hopes up.

  13. I'm sorry to hear this didn't live up to your expectations, Rachel. It's really hard to enjoy a book fully when you don't connect with the main character, and it sounds like this was the case with Aurora. Great honest review! :)

  14. I have to agree about Prince Finnegan. He did seem to be the only one to have a spark of life. I DNFed this one somewhere between 40 and 50 percent and I don't regret it. Flat characters make it so tough for me to get into a book. Great review, Rachel!

  15. Hm, this book sounds a little boring. :/
    Great review though (:

    - Love, Felicia
    ( )

  16. I want to read this book mainly because I haven't read a Sleeping Beauty retelling yet!I am trying to read atleast one retelling per fairytale this year,and this one sounds interesting.
    Great review,Rach!

  17. FELT THE SAME WAY! I really liked the idea and it had a lot of potential. I'm hoping that the next book has more character development (and more Finnegan) Great review!

  18. I was looking forward to this book for a couple of months. The cover was what had caught my eye and fell in love.
    But as I read reviews they all seem to say the same thing. Not enough character building. It's a bit disappointed since I love retellings abdominal fantasy. But who knows maybe I'll still pick it up.
    This was an awesome review Rachel :) xoxo

  19. I did enjoy this one, but I felt a lot of the same things that you did. It was almost unbearably slow in places, and some of the characters weren't well-written. However, I think I had a better time with it at the halfway point, and by the end my enjoyment was much higher than it had been. I think there is a good chance that the sequel, if there is one, will be pretty darn good. I mean, there is the possibility of DRAGONS! That has to add some action, I would think!

  20. Hmm... I was really interested in reading this one, but I haven't been seeing a lot of positive reviews for this lately, which makes me a bit worried :/ Yours was one of the more positive ones! It's a shame this was so slow paced though...


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