Series: Twisted Tales #2
Publisher: Disney Press
Release Date:April 5th 2016
My Rating: 3 cups
Blurb (from Goodreads):
What if the sleeping beauty never woke up? Once Upon a Dream marks the second book in a new YA line that reimagines classic Disney stories in surprising new ways.*Disclaimer: I received an ecopy of this book from Netgalley and Disney Press in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my opinion of this book or my rating in any way.
It should be simple--a dragon defeated, a slumbering maiden, a prince poised to wake her. But when said prince falls asleep as soon as his lips meet the princess's, it is clear that this fairy tale is far from over.
With a desperate fairy's last curse infiltrating her mind, Princess Aurora will have to navigate a dangerous and magical landscape deep in the depths of her dreams. Soon she stumbles upon Phillip, a charming prince eager to join her quest. But with Maleficent's agents following her every move, Aurora struggles to discover who her true allies are, and moreover, who she truly is. Time is running out. Will the sleeping beauty be able to wake herself up?
Sleeping Beauty has always been one of my Top 3 Disney animated movies. As a little girl, I remember being captivated by Aurora's relationship with the animals, but also by the three fairy godmothers. One thing I've always been attracted to, that I don't think I've ever told anyone before, was Maleficent's raven. I had a soft spot for that animal, even though he did ultimately belong to Maleficent, making him one of the bad guys, but he was a pretty bird. I was always sad when he ended up being turned into stone. Anyway...
I was very excited to see how the author would remake this story and make the villain win. There have been many remakes of the story, but I was really curious to see if this book could match the original movie's lavish world, with the medieval-looking drawings and details.
I have to say, I was a bit disappointed with the first quarter or so of the book. The plot was slow-paced and the language used made me think the book was intended for middle-grade aged readers. Which is not bad, except I was expecting more, for some reason.
I have to say though, I'm glad I pushed through and kept reading. Around the middle of the book, the story started picking up and it became the dark story I hoped it would be. It touched on some really delicate themes, like suicide and child abandonment, and I'm really happy the story went there. It was also really interesting to see that Aurora/Rose isn't shown as the delicate princess with the pretty voice and gorgeous hair that the movie shown, but she's more than that. She basically becomes the hero in this story, and I liked that very, very much.
I can't say I liked Prince Phillip very much. Probably because we see him mostly from Aurora's perspective, and he is yet another person who hid things from her. Even so, I was expecting more from the daring prince who faced a dragon for a girl he didn't even know.
The world-building was good. I liked how the story is told from the lens of a war won by the villain. Unlike the previous book in the series, I felt like Maleficent really was a villain in this story. She was cruel, she was ruthless, and she was deranged. Far more dark than the movie allows the audience to see. I still feel that, for a story where the villain wins at first, there were so few scenes told from her perspective.
I did enjoy this book more than the other one, however I think the first part of the book, as I said before, could have been a bit more fast paced, and maybe used a more mature language. I saw that the next book in the series is about Beauty and the Beast, and I can't even explain how much I want to read about that library that Beast has in his castle. So I'll definitely read the next book in this series.