14 April 2016

ARC Review: Once Upon a Dream (A Twisted Tale #2), Liz Braswell

Once Upon a Dream (A Twisted Tale, #2)

Title: Once Upon a Dream
Series: A Twisted Tale #2
Author: Liz Braswell
Published: 05/04/2016, Disney Press
Pages: 448
Source: Netgalley
Format: Ebook

Rating: 2/5

"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.

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?"

Before reading Once Upon a Dream, I was apprehensive. Although I had enjoyed A Whole New World, I hadn't enjoyed it as much as I'd have liked. I was worried I would feel the same way about this Twisted Tale. And in a way, I was right.

Once Upon a Dream is a retelling of Disney's classic, Sleeping Beauty. It begins the moment Prince Philip attempts to wake Aurora and, of course, it doesn't go entirely to plan. Instead, Aurora is thrust into an alternative dream world, i.e. Maleficent's plan B.

The story felt so different from the original and I barely related any of it. I also didn't warm much to the characters. For the majority of the story, Aurora seemed quite weak and stupid. To be fair, the whole dream world is very confusing, but she grew up in the woods. Surely she must have learned some sort of skills growing up. However, she does become more kick-ass as the story progresses.

I felt Philip was quite close to his original character. But there were moments where it just felt like he was the man so he should do all the fighting etc. To be fair, though, Aurora needs all the help she can get. Philip was also a bit too keen on the whole "love at first sight" theme which I found both amusing and pathetic. I loved how Aurora questioned it.

I didn't find Once Upon a Dream predictable at all. It was just so confusing in places that there was no way of knowing what would happen. I think this is a key part of the story though as Aurora herself is confused and doesn't know what is real. There's plenty of twists to the story.

The pacing is slightly off and it didn't flow that great. A good portion of the story was very slow and just seemed to drag on and on. But then, the last few chapters were very hard to put down. So much was happening that it was also very hard to keep up.

I also wish there was slightly more to Maleficent's backstory. I would have liked to hear more reasoning behind her decision to curse a baby. There's a slight touch to this but it's never really explained from her own mouth.

Overall, Once Upon a Dream is an okay read. I think fans of Sleeping Beauty may enjoy it. And although I didn't enjoy it as much as I would have liked, I continue to be intrigued by Liz Braswell's retellings of classic Disney movies and I look forward to her Beauty and the Beast retelling.

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