Release Date: June 25, 2018
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While I was lucky enough to receive a free ARC of this book from a friend who worked at a bookstore, I also pre-ordered this one in eBook format as well. The ARC gets added to my collectible pretties (I had a signed bookplate I got in addition to four others I had the pleasure of doling out in our local bookstore. Well, two of them were placed; one was given to my friend’s daughter and the other was mailed to another Gena fan.)
That being said, this will still be an honest review.
Official Blurb (Courtesy of Goodreads)
WELCOME TO THE FOREST OF GOOD AND EVIL.
A DREAM COME TRUE…AND A LIVING NIGHTMARE.
Far, far away, in the realm of Enchantia, creatures of legend still exist, magic is the norm and fairy tales are real. Except, fairy tales aren’t based on myths and legends of the past—they are prophecies of the future.
Raised in the mortal realm, Everly Morrow has no idea she’s a real-life fairy-tale princess—until she manifests an ability to commune with mirrors.
Look. See… What will one peek hurt?
Soon, a horrifying truth is revealed. She is fated to be Snow White’s greatest enemy, the Evil Queen.
With powers beyond her imagination or control, Everly returns to the land of her birth. There, she meets Roth Charmaine, the supposed Prince Charming. Their attraction is undeniable, but their relationship is doomed. As the prophecy unfolds, Everly faces one betrayal after another, and giving in to her dark side proves more tempting every day. Can she resist, or will she become the queen—and villain—she was born to be?
The battle between good and evil is on.
I am a HUGE Gena Showalter fan and I am a HUGE fan of fairy tale retellings, but I have to admit that I had a hard time getting into The Evil Queen compared to her other books. But don’t let that scare you off from this book; I also had a difficult time getting into the first Harry Potter book when I was in 6th grade.
A brief-ish explanation: I was basically forced to pick out a book for class reading time because I left my other book at home. Harry Potter was the first book I saw on display in our school’s library, so I just checked it out. I took the book back to the classroom and miserably started to read it and lamented over how lame this book about a scrawny little was and how I’d rather be reading something else. It took a minor temper tantrum from me (in my mom’s version, not mine 🤣) for my mom to start reading it and to tell me to give it a shot and that it got better after the first few chapters. So, I took my mom’s word for it because she was my main referrer of books at the time and pressed on. She was right; I loved Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and all of the following books after.
Sorry for that little bit of history, but I wanted to make a point. There are quite a few of my favorite books that started out slow and I begin wondering, “am I going to hate this book?”
With The Evil Queen, I honestly started feeling that way until about chapter five or six (sorry Gena! I will never doubt you again!). Everly was just a little whiny in the first few chapters and I didn’t really care for her. But as the story progresses and she grows into her own, I could see where this was going.
Everly’s story was about growing into herself and the badass female she could be, and that meant growing out of who she used to be in the mortal world. She is one character that I felt could do without a love interest, because there was so much going on with her sister and cousin that could lead to her evilness and growth, but her love and interest in Roth just adds that Gena romantic flair that we Gena fans come to love and expect.
To be honest, my favorite character was the oracle, Noel. She’s a little batshit crazy and stuck perpetually in the past, present, and the future. She reminds me of another batshit crazy oracle, one by the name of Nucking Futs Nix from Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark series. I love the crazy ones and I really want a book about Noel!
I also love Ty! He’s dark and mysterious; and he kind of reminds me of an early Rhysand in A Court of Thorns and Roses. I would also love to read a book involving him, and possibly Noel and Ty hooking up? Yes, please!
I thought the ending was pleasantly wrapped up and I enjoyed the twist that depending on their choices of the day, everyone played each character of the Snow White fairy tale at some point of the story.
I did feel that some of the romance scenes were a tad awkward, but I think that speaks more of me growing up (gasp!) and thinking, “um, darling? When I was 17, I did not think those things about boys.” It’s kind of like the Little Mermaid shift. When we were little girls, we totally sided with Ariel and her love for Prince Eric at the age of 16. As an adult? I have to agree with King Triton.
Also, I feel that maybe this should be marketed to the slightly older young adults, maybe 15 plus? I bought this for my friend’s 13-year-old daughter and I caught myself thinking, “Is this appropriate for her? Will her mom kill me?” Don’t worry friends, there are no explicit sex scenes, but it’s definitely inferred. But I also read Zel by Donna Jo Napoli in 6th or 7th grade and that story involved some questionable things, so maybe I’m overthinking this.
Did I love the book? Yes. Will I read more of the series when they are released? Heck yes! Do I recommend this book? Of course! As always, my opinion is mine and yours is yours, so I encourage you to read The Evil Queen and form your own review.
5 stars because I love the crazy and whacky ones 😃