ARC Review: Malice by Heather Walter

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I struggled with how to rate this one. For much of the book I was completely hooked and fascinated by the magic of the Graces and Alyce’s goodness despite all she’s been put through. But then… that ending. I feel like everything that had been built up was just thrown out for a shock ending. It didn’t feel like Alyce at all. It was as if they threw out all of Alyce’s character growth and convictions – it wasn’t a believable character shift. And even though it ends on that shocking cliffhanger, I don’t find myself interested in seeking out the sequel at all, which is a shame.

This book is sort of a mix of Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella (especially at the beginning), and Maleficent (especially toward the end). Toward the end, the similarities begin to add up and are rather more pointed than subtle. It felt like a lot of the imagery from the ending was taken from the Disney movie, which was odd as the rest of the book had stayed rather far from the Disney movie.

The romance is only hinted at until near the end, and then suddenly they rush to sleeping with each other which… I don’t know. It felt too sudden. The story dragged rather a lot in the middle and then rushed everything at the end, and I wish that had been smoothed out more.

*Thanks to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine for providing an e-arc for review.

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