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  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    Flat characters and an unrelentingly bleak story

    This fairy tale retelling is definitely more adult in tone than the original. The Brothers Grimm version was violent and disturbing and likely to give children nightmares as is the case with most of the Brother’s stories and this retelling maintains that gruesome sense of twisted horror. To spice things up a bit it includes moderately graphic sex scenes. You might think that this would add some lightness or erotic enjoyment to a rather dark story but the sex felt nasty, and not even slightly titillating. While Greta’s love interest, Barin, had some potential for sex appeal it was never developed in a truly satisfying manner. There was no joy in this book. It was unrelentingly bleak and I truthfully had a difficult time getting through it. Greta and Hans weren’t fleshed out enough for me to care very much about them. Greta was a weak doormat to her brother and Hans was completely insufferable to the point that I just wanted the witch to eat him. The character I cared the most about was Greta’s baby lamb at the beginning of the story. This is a hard one for me to rate because while I appreciate that it was attempting to do something different with a familiar story I didn’t enjoy the one dimensional characters, the awkward writing, or the weird sex scenes interspersed within a very depressing tale. It gets points for trying but unfortunately for me it wasn’t a success. Thank you to The Parliament House for providing an Electronic Advance Reader Copy via NetGalley for review.
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