Loved the concept...

Ash & Bramble - Sarah Prineas

Arc provided by Harper Teen through Edelweiss

Release Date: September 15 th


Part of me can't help wonder how much I would have _ or not _ enjoyed this title if I wasn't reviewing it.

Thing is, reading for reviewing purpose is different from reading for enjoyment: I find myself constantly trying to analyse this and that, without mentioning the fact that I am constantly evaluating which rating I should give.

Then there's the second guessing myself, especially in cases such as this, in which the story's quality is unquestionable.


This definitely has quality and has to have had a lot of hard work behind it: the plot twists, basically being able to interwove a great number of retellings into a cohesive plot has to have taken a lot of hard effort. And it isn't as if this is a simple story. It most definitely isn't.

But, I can't say that as a whole it was perfect...

The pace of the story

For me this was the main culprit: one minute I was wondering what was going to happen next, and a couple pages later, the story had stalled. And I was bored.

But then it would pick up again until too many descriptions would stall it once again.


The main character

I am afraid she starts and ends as a mystery, and if at the beginning that is completely understandable, I can't say I was happy about it...

No, that isn't right. It isn't the case of me being happy or not _ don't worry, the story has a perfectly acceptable finale _ it was the vagueness of it all that left me unsatisfied.

The story took so long to get there, to the beginning of a new start that I wanted a little more . I wanted to have a little idea of what was it than Pen wanted for her life.

Also _maybe that was the author's idea _ I could never really fit Pen into some sort of "role": okay, she's fierce, but also a little reckless, while keeping hold of a certain aloofness all around her.

She wants to be her own self, that's probably what characterizes her in the end.
However besides that, I could never establish a connection with the girl: what should come out as strength of character sometimes sounded to me more like selfishness and reckless behaviour.

Also I ended up disliking the way the love triangle _ that shouldn't be a love triangle _ was dealt. Thing is, were Pen a guy, the cavalier way she deals with "certain things" would be less than tolerated.

In face of all this, it comes as no surprise that my favourite character ended up being Shoe. He ended feeling more complete and with more depth than Pen.

The fact that he reminds me of Peeta with his quiet way of being ( not that it matters, but yes he has blond hair) is another point in his favour.

In here, you'll find stories within stories... do not expect a basic Cinderella retelling.

If any of you has already read Mercedes Lackey, The Fairy Godmother, book one in the Five Hundred Kingdoms you must be aware of the concept of a Story _ in Lackey's that concept goes by Tradition _ that forces characters into certain roles. Fairy tale roles. Sometimes things work out... most times they don't.

This is a dark take on a concept of a Story, determined to feed itself and to find strength in its constant never ending circle.

I loved that the author introduced some great plot twists that go against what we normally get in these type of stories: from the Godmother's role, to the evil Witch's role, to characters that are given a whole new direction like a lesbian couple whose half of it is a very well known princess.

That was great. Things like these would get a five star rating.

But then _like I mentioned before_ we would start getting a little too much description on certain moments, and not enough on others: it was driving me insane!

This was what was going through my head while reading this tale:

"okay... 4.5 stars... no, 4 stars...maybe 3.5...this last part is boring 3stars... but this should get at least a four... but are you enjoying it... do you think you're going to re-read it... 3.5 stars maybe... oh, God how am I going to review this?"

I wanted to know more about the thimble: well the thimbles, plural.
Why did they have power? Where did it came from? Why a thimble from all objects?

I wanted more information on the sisters. Not to mention details about how Pen's life used to be.

I didn't find logical that .... how to say this without spoilers... there was someone that maybe could have shed some light on Pen's background, and she has that "attitude"? And then she "throws the problem" at someone else?
o_O

Also, wouldn't that, place her in the same path of that... *cough* person?

Finishing a story and having more questions than answers is never a good thing.

To finish this mess of a review I can only say that I don't know if you're going to enjoy it.
The only thing I can say is that it does have quality.

Oh, and the cover girl with the red dress?
Well, there's a perfectly good reason for the colour red :D

For the modern cut of the dress?
No. -_-

For the blankness of what surrounds the girl?
Okay, it can be comprehensible due to "things"....although I would prefer to see a certain lighted path of the mushrooms in the cover ;)

"Who am I? I am nothing."(1)


(1)quote removed from arc *don't kill me, it is just a tiny little sentence* and prone to changes.