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I had really high hopes for this one. The description sounded great and I previously read and really enjoyed The Girl From the Well books by Chupeco. I wish I could say I enjoyed Wicked As You Wish but it just never really grabbed me and if I'm being completely honest it ended up feeling like a chore to finish it. This is one of those times that I wish I was more of the DNF camp because it would have saved me weeks of dragging my heels through this book.
I'm trying to think of way to adequately describe what this story felt like, and the best I can come up with is it reminded me of leftover surprise. You know that ramshackle meal you throw together when you really need to go shopping or you're feeling kinda lazy and you just grab a bunch of random ingredients that are still good and you have on hand and throw them in a pot with broth or a casserole and call it dinner. This book was like that to me. Insert a handful of fairytale characters, a dash of legends and mythology, a pinch of hot topic social issues, a sprinkle of different cultures, and a side of LGBTQ. Voila, dinner is served! All of these on their own are wonderful ingredients, brought together they can make one incredibly tasty dish, but in this case it just didn't work for me as a cohesive recipe. Nothing quite married or really brought it all together.
It ended up feeling like instead of bringing these elements together in a new exciting way pieces of them were just mashed together but never quite fit as a whole. Getting thrown into the fantasy world blind at the beginning was jarring, which could have been ok for me if I understood it more as we went on, but honestly even after the end I'm still confused by it.
When the fantasy end falls short a reader can sometimes turn to the characters to carry them through, some cool peeps to get behind, or someone to root for. When I inevitably turned there I also felt like something was lacking. None of these characters were stand out for me.
Maybe the most interesting to me was 'the Scourge of Buyan' which seemed unfortunately used more to try and make Tala somewhat interesting rather than an intriguing character on its own. Ryker maybe being a younger version of that could have been something but we really didn't see much of him, especially not much beyond the surface level of his high school crushiness that dominated the beginning.
All in all this was just not for me, as much as I wish that wasn't the case. Definitely not something I'd be interested in continuing as a series.
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I received an ARC of this book from SOURCEBOOKS FIRE via Netgalley and this is my honest review.
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