Go The Distance: A Twisted Tale – Jen Calonita
Retellings, Hercules, Megara, gods, goddesses, young adult, fiction.
Megara and Hercules go to Mount Olympus together after he defeats the Titans and rescues her from the River of Souls. As he has a family reunion she doubts that she would be welcomed up here. Zeus tells Hercules he can’t go back to earth and he has to stay up on Mount Olympus. However, Hera makes an offer to Megara that if she can retrieve Athena’s double flute that she would give more and further instructions to help her become a God. Megara, wanting to be with Hercules, agrees. She goes and manages to retrieve the flute and Phil plus Pegasus helped her along the way. Now she has to make a choice of going to save her ex-boyfriend’s wife from the Underworld or never be able to be at Hercules’ side. Her heart and guts guide her to the right choice she must make and the trials she must face to gain Godhood.
The moment that this book was announced and was available for preorder I had to get it. I love Hercules and Meg from the Disney movie. They were so adorably cute and in this one they are still adorable and cute. I loved this book because there was an intriguing plot and purpose for Megara that she also learned about herself along the way. As well as what truly happened about her ex-boyfriend and how Hades deceived and lied to Megara. The bad person there was Hades for being a manipulative God. Every time I read any parts that had Phil talking, I read it with Danny DeVito’s voice which was ironically funny. I hope if they should come out with a sequel to Hercules, Disney should use this book because it’s an excellent idea. The writing is phenomenal and feels really immersive as well. I HIGHLY recommend going and getting this book to read.
Malice – Heather Walter
LGBTQ+, retellings, Sapphic, Sleeping Beauty, fiction.
Alyce is known as the Dark Grace. Her blood is green and more deadlier than her fellow Graces. However, she is made harmless as she can’t use magic to cause harm as it is illegal. Her ancestors cursed the Briar’s women. The women unless they kiss their true love they die at the ripe age of 21. Aurora, the last surviving heir, is almost turning 21 and she must find her true love so that she can rule and change the rules. She meets Alyce and both combined alliances work towards making the world fairer towards Graces. Alyce finds her father and he reveals that Alyce is not only half Grace but half Shifter. He slowly teaches her about her untapped potential. There are darker forces at hand that do not want change for the better but rather for the worst. The one who breaks the Aurora’s curse is one twist that no one in the Kingdom would expect.
I had heard and seen this book everywhere. I don’t really love Sleeping Beauty but I don’t hate her. She is an alright princess. However, this book was hyped and I understand why. This was so well written and kept me hooked from page one to the last page. I finished this within a day which is hard because some days are busier than others for me. I just was like thrown into this world I didn’t want to leave. Another book caused me to have a book hangover. The whole idea that Maleficent and Aurora together really was something I wasn’t expecting. I highly recommend this book. It is so good and I can’t wait for the sequel. I’m anticipating the sequel since this was marked as the first in a duology.
The Wrath & The Dawn – Renee Adhieh
Fairy tales, reimagining, retelling, Arabian Nights, young adult, fiction.
Shahrzad volunteered to be Khalid’s bride. Everyone knows that each bride was dead by sunrise and she doesn’t care. She wants revenge for her best friend who was murdered by him. The first night she tells him a story but doesn’t finish telling the story. He demands her to finish but she wants to live another day. He let her live another day to finish the story. Second day goes by and he is enthralled by her storytelling. She intends to drag out these stories as long as she needs to create a plan to murder him. Along the way, she loses interest in murdering him and falls for the monster who isn’t really a monster. He is simply misunderstood.
I had read this novel before and wanted to reread it. Mainly because I remembered how good this novel was and how different it was. I love different retellings and I got tired of beauty and the beast retellings even as they all are great in their own ways but it gets repetitive. This is a retelling of Arabian Nights and I loved it. She tells a story every night or so to stay alive and to prolong the possible execution as a form of revenge. She does learn about his history but honestly it should have ended differently. I’m fine with the ending. The author outdid herself in this novel with the characters and interactions. I recommend this if one loves Arabian Nights. Its a fun read and I would go on this journey of rereading it for sure.
A Heart So Fierce and Broken (The Curse Breaker Series: Book 2) – Brigid Kemmerer
Fairy tales, retellings, fantasy, young adult, fiction.
Grey is on the run with the new information that can get him killed. He is the true heir to Ember Fall. He nearly escaped and murdered the Enchantress who told him the truth of his birth. Karis Luran and her two daughters travel to Ember Fall to try to make a treaty of marriage to solidify the two nations. Lia Mara knows the true intentions of her vicious sister and wants peace between the two-warring kingdoms. Karis Luran meets with Rhen and blackmails him into trying to make a treatise. Rhen doesn’t want any of that. Lia decides into her own hands that led to her to becoming her mother’s pawn. Rhen finds Grey and confronts him about the heir. Grey is the heir but Rhen doesn’t know. The manhunt becomes benevolent.
I wasn’t fully into the second installment of the trilogy. The writing is amazing, and organization of the different narratives helped build the world in making this world easier to understand. The new characters in this story were interesting and this revealed a lot more than the first book of the magical world. I should say not fully invested as I was with the first book. For those who have read the first book would be into the second book. Someone let me know if the third is good or comment below if I should continue. Convince me in other words without spoiling. I see this series all over TikTok and so many others. For those who are into the first book and are deeply invested in the series then this book is for those who are into it. I just personally am good with having the first book as a standalone because the second book was all over the place for me personally.