Sunday, 29 September 2013

Review: Briar Rose by Jana Oliver

Title: Briar Rose
Author: Jana Oliver
Author Info: Website|Blog|Twitter|Facebook
Genre: Young Adult
Source: Publisher
Publication Date: 12th September 2013

Tell Me About It
For Briar Rose, life is anything but a fairy tale. She's stuck in a small town in deepest Georgia with parents who won't let her out of their sight, a bunch of small-minded, gossiping neighbours and an evil ex who's spreading nasty rumours about what she may or may not have done in the back of his car. She's tired of it all, so when, on her sixteenth birthday, her parents tell her that she is cursed and will go to sleep for a hundred years when the clock strikes midnight, she's actually kind of glad to leave it all behind. She says her goodbyes, lies down, and closes her eyes . . . And then she wakes up. Cold, alone and in the middle of the darkest, most twisted fairy tale she could ever have dreamed of. Now Briar must fight her way out of the story that has been created for her, but she can't do it alone. She never believed in handsome princes, but now she's met one her only chance is to put her life in his hands, or there will be no happy ever after and no waking up.
My Thoughts
I absolutely loved The Demon Trappers Series, so when I saw Jana had written another book, Briar Rose, I did not hesitate in requesting a copy for review.  From the minute I began reading Briar Rose I was hooked.  Briar Rose is a fantastically woven story with hints of fairy tales we know and love, with a touch of the gruesome side of the older traditional fairy tales.

Briar Rose, the protagonist, is best friends with Reena. Joshua Quinn, is friends with Reena, and an old friend of Briar's, but is forbidden to have friendship with her.  They used to play together until something happened at the old mill, and both families forbade the children to play together, or even have contact with each other.
Briar Rose is a darker retelling of sleeping beauty with a twist, instead of falling asleep Briar is meant to die, however she shows how tough she is by stopping her repeating nightmare, and facing the unknown, this then enables her to sleep, instead of dying, for the moment.  But the fight isn't over, and she must fight with every fibre of her being to get back to her family.

While in her nightmare Briar is in the company of Ruric, who teaches her about the ways of his world and keeps an eye on her.  In this new world people accept metal from the regent as a way of showing their favour towards her, she rules over all in place of the princess who is sleeping an everlasting sleep, awaiting to be woken up by whomever is worthy.  Whilst trapped in this new world, Briar's friends Reena and Joshua are trying to find a way to rescue Briar and bring her back home, to them, and to her family.

I devoured every single page of Briar Rose.  The world Jana has created is original and full of wonder and magic.  I have never been so engrossed in a fairy tale before, and I love how the two sides of a fairy tale blend so perfectly together.  Every single character plays an important role in this story, not only as an individual, but also a part of a whole.  While some took me a while to actually like them, like Pat who was an ass when we first meet him, he quickly redeems himself and I loved getting to see a different side to him.  I love how we see Briar change as a person.  She is initially quiet, but when she is thrown into this new world we get to see her grow as a person, and make a stand, fighting for what she believes in, but also having the belief in herself, and finally realising that all she has to do is open her eyes to see what her heart desires.

I would love to see what else Jana can do with other fairy tales and see how she can put a new spin on these.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like it has some great character development and a great new fairy tale! Thanks for your great review.

    Jeann @ Happy Indulgence


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