The Price to be Paid (A Fairy Tale Romance) by Leigh Wilder
Summary From Goodreads:
Dairymaid Kay’s life is one trial after another, mostly caused by her father’s drinking. When he drunkenly brags of her ability to spin straw into gold (she can’t even spin wool) he attracts the attention of the cruel king. She has two options. Spin the straw into gold…or off with her head.
Fortunately she has some help…but is the price to save her life too high? This is an adult fairy tale and contains sexual situations. Short.
It’s time for another edition of Frodo’s Hobbit Sized Reviews! Short and sweet just like 2nd breakfast!
The Price to be Paid is a naughty version of the Rumpelstiltskin fairy tale and is written by Leigh Wilder, one of my favorite authors. However, I can’t say that this short story is very similar to her other works because the sexual scenes aren’t nearly as descriptive and are brief even if they are frequent enough. Normally Wilder offers some new twist or spin on the fairy tale and then gives depth to the naughtier bits by making the scenes vivid and entrancing. I can’t say that was the case for this.
The Price to be Paid does give a bit of backstory that many who are familiar with the Rumpelstiltskin tale will recognize as pretty close to the original, or some of the modern adaptations (such as Once Upon a Time), but it is much of the same really. There is more of a sexual twist and that theme carries through to the end of the story, but there doesn’t feel like much weight is behind it.
The “help” she has is an odd, lustful creature, that is mischievous and only in it for their own sake. While there is nothing wrong with that, they are the only real innovation of the tale, where as the MC is more of a shell that exists because the story requires it. So when, at the end, the odd creature doesn’t change in personality or intention, the MC just goes along for the ride, and the rest of the world is the same as the original I was left disappointed.
There is nothing specifically wrong with The Price to be Paid. The writing is still solid, the plot flows smoothly, and if you just want to experience a sexier Rumpelstiltskin story than this could work for you. As for me, I think I’m just too spoiled with Wilder’s usual level of expertise, so this didn’t do it for me. It was fine, just not special. Thanks as always for reading.
Summary From Goodreads:
“Lips red as rubies, hair dark as night. Drink your true love’s blood, become the Vampire, Snow White.”
EVERY THOUSAND YEARS THE VAMPIRE QUEEN SELECTS A NEW BODY, ALWAYS THE FAIREST IN THE LAND, AND THIS TIME SHE’S CHOSEN SNOW WHITE.
Snow White lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her dad, stepmother, and her cat, Gatsby. Her entire life she’s been teased for her fairy tale name, and the fact that her seven best friends happen to be guys whose names begin with the same letters as the seven dwarves.
Everything changes two months before her sixteenth birthday. She’s bitten by The Hunter, and transformed into a revenant—not quite human, not quite vampire.
It’s time for another edition of Frodo’s Hobbit Sized Reviews! This is where I write a review in the time I have before I go to work or before I go to bed. Short and sweet just like 2nd breakfast!
I found this completely at random when I was searching for eBooks on Amazon and figured I’d give it a shot since fairy tale retellings can be pretty fun reads every now and then. This version of Snow seems to be not only completely unaware of her “fairest in the land” level of beauty (inside or out) but even goes as far as to hide it, even if it might be unintentionally, by wearing baggy and nondescript clothing. However I did like her character from the beginning and thought it was pretty interesting having Snow White be a klutz. It made her seem more real. She had fears as well, some interesting lifestyle choices and even a romance you might not expect which were great twists. On the flip side of the coin is the love interest, Gabe. He felt like a schmoozer, using cutesy tactics to get what he wanted and when he accidentally revealed a bit of his “true personality” it wasn’t one I found endearing.
The writing was excellent and I think this could be a solid series of novellas and one that I might look into more in the near future. This is despite the way that Workman introduced the vampire elements. It was abrupt, seemed to be hurried, and maybe even forced which was unfortunate because up to that point she could write nothing but splendid prose. I’m hoping that since those parts are introduced already the rest of the series will flow more naturally. There is definite potential here. Thanks as always for reading and come back tomorrow for Day 70!
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #69/365
Summary From Goodreads:
This stunning debut captures the grotesque madness of a mystical under-land, as well as a girl’s pangs of first love and independence. Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell, the real-life inspiration for Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alyssa might be crazy, but she manages to keep it together. For now.
When her mother’s mental health takes a turn for the worse, Alyssa learns that what she thought was fiction is based in terrifying reality. The real Wonderland is a place far darker and more twisted than Lewis Carroll ever let on. There, Alyssa must pass a series of tests, including draining an ocean of Alice’s tears, waking the slumbering tea party, and subduing a vicious bandersnatch, to fix Alice’s mistakes and save her family. She must also decide whom to trust: Jeb, her gorgeous best friend and secret crush, or the sexy but suspicious Morpheus, her guide through Wonderland, who may have dark motives of his own.
I haven’t read a fairy tale retelling in quite some time, but if this is what they were all like I’d never stop. Splintered was a fantastic twist on the original Alice in Wonderland story, arguably better and more compelling than the original. It was much darker and more realistic, shredding away any sense of cutesy fairy tale creatures and replacing them with the true characters that our childlike selves refuse to let us see.
Alyssa is a bit of a mixed bag for me as the main character. While I do like her sense of humor and twisted sense of art, she is very, very clingy and boy-crazy. Whether it is Jeb or Morpheus, when one of them is around she is all over them fawning and wishing to be theirs, jealous at the slightest sign of either of them liking anyone else. While that part can get annoying, she does stand up for herself and though the guys in her life always seem to protect her, she truly doesn’t ask for it and does genuinely seem to want to handle her own problems which is admirable even if she does fail at it most epicly. Jeb is the standup guy that every girl seems to dream of, the whole knight in shining armor to a tee. Morpheus on the other hand is the polar opposite, if you aren’t into the super-good-guy routine, then maybe his slightly emo/tortured soul/kick-butt badass one works for you. They make for a fun dynamic.
Then there is the love triangle (I’m ignoring a girl from the beginning because she was never a threat really) which in this case works pretty well. Alyssa seems to actually have difficulty deciding who she wants to be with at times and there is legitimate uncertainty as to who she will choose for quite a while which is vital if you are going to try and pull one of these off. There is an excessive amount of lovey-dovey moments especially directed from Alyssa, as I mentioned earlier, and that did get a bit old. Overall it worked, I just didn’t want it to be quite as much of the focus, the next part is the reason why.
The plot & world that Howard built are just freaking amazing. The action is steady throughout but doesn’t overpower the more serious/informative parts of the storyline which isn’t always an easy feat. Alyssa manages to do something pretty incredible at every turn, usually by complete accident. The creepiness of the wonderland characters and the way they interact with each other and Alyssa keeps things interesting and the impending doom (in a variety of ways) keeps the reader on their toes. At every turn a new way of tearing down the facade of the Alice in Wonderland innocent world is shown and I thought it was brilliantly done.
The book was great. What made it even more amazing was that this was a freaking debut, how the heck is Howard filled with that much awesome already?! Regardless, I can’t wait for their next book to come out so I can devour it immediately. Thanks as always for reading, if you haven’t read Splintered go get it now and come back tomorrow for Day 46!
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge #45/365