13 October 2015

Reawakened by Odette Beane

Hey everyone,

Before spying this at the library I had no idea that one of my favourite TV series even had accompanying books. I’ve been a fan of Once Upon A Time since discovering it on Amazon Instant during my last year of university, so I borrowed this from the library without reading the blurb. Would I have still borrowed this if I had?

The book:

Emma Swan's life has been anything but a fairy tale. She's been on her own since she was abandoned as a baby--that is, until the night of her twenty-eighth birthday, when Henry, a ten-year-old boy, shows up on her doorstep. He's the son Emma gave up for adoption, and this surprise visit turns her life upside down.

Henry takes Emma back to his home in Storybrooke, Maine, where, Henry claims, all the residents are actually fairy tale characters who can't remember their true identities. And if Henry's right, that means that his sweet-natured, lonely schoolteacher Mary Margaret Blanchard is really Snow White, the iconic princess ... and also Emma's long-lost mother.

In Fairy Tale Land, we meet Snow White as a bandit on the run, forced into exile by her stepmother, the Evil Queen. Snow's a young woman learning to become a hero, who will do anything to live happily ever after with her one true love, Prince Charming.

The closer Emma comes to Henry in Storybrooke, the harder it is for her to ignore the dark curse that haunts this small New England town and binds her to Mary Margaret. If Emma can learn to accept her destiny as Storybrooke's savior and break the curse, she just might get the family reunion she's dreamed about her entire life.

My thoughts:

In all honesty I probably would have because I love these characters, I love both Fairy Tale Land and Storybrooke and most of all I love how the show twists these well-known fairytales. Yet by reading the blurb I would realised that Reawakened isn’t an expansive of the Once Upon A Time universe. Instead its a written version of Season One.

“Look, dude. The cocoa is a nice gesture. And it’s impressive that you were able to guess that I like cinnamon on my chocolate - not many people do - but i’m not here to flirt.

Although most of the characters backstories have been condensed, and are mainly told to Emma and the reader through Henry, the main plot is identical. Like in Season One of the show, the book by Odette Beane mainly revolves around Emma’s relationship with Henry, Mary Margaret and Regina. Even after I realised Reawakened would follow the some plot as the show I was hoping for more character development behind some of Emma’s actions. What where are thought processes in certain scenes? Why did she choose to trust Mr. Gold when she did?

“Because that wouldn’t be real,” he said. “Because it would always be deep down in you somewhere, eating at you. You can’t pretend that what is true is not true.”

To a limited extended this was offered. Generally though events would happen, and the reader would watch as the characters reacted to them. Also certain aspects of the book felt extremely rushed, for example Emma’s election to Town Sheriff. This is where I believed the show to book adaptation just didn’t work. The episodic nature of the show, which usually has one big event providing the structure, just didn’t work in book form.

“The sheriff!” He cried, smiling. “No, I don’t believe we have. I don’t get out much.” He shook her hand. “But it’s good to meet you. My name’s Jefferson”. 

If I hadn’t watched the show I think I’d have easily become confused due to the fast pace, the amount of important moments and the instant connection between some characters. Also the only characters to retain their full backstory where Snow White, Charming and Ruby. If I hadn’t known the backstory of the characters from the show I would have had problems connecting with them and understanding their place in both Storybrooke and Fairy Tale Land. Overall I’ve given Reawakened three stars because it was a quick, easy read and I did enjoy revisiting Season One. I wouldn’t say it was a fantastic read, however, or that it added anything to the Once Upon A Time universe.

My rating:
Happy reading and see you next time!