This is a bit different for me, since this is a series of prequels leading up to the release of the first book in The Grimm Diaries series, Snow White Sorrow. I decided the best way to do it is to group the prequels together in bundles, since they are such short reads, and review them all together. I noticed after downloading the prequels that this book is getting quite a bit of buzz on GoodReads.com right now, and not all of the buzz is favorable. I haven’t read the book(s) that this one is being likened to so, without any comparisons, this will be a completely honest review.
What if all you knew about fairy tales was wrong?
Snow White Blood Red by Cameron Jace
I have always wondered why you never asked about my name. Was I so superficial to you? So stereotypical and mundane? Why did you treat me as if I were just the monster of the week? You know what I think? You never had the time to really hate me. You wanted to hate me, long before you even met me. You wanted to scrape my existence and avenge your childhood princess by laying all blame on me. What if they didn’t call me the Evil Queen, what if I told you the real story from my point of view instead of hers, would you ever think of me as an angel? Could I ever make you care? I know that deep inside of you, you adore me,but you’re just scared, afraid to admit how much you love the Snow White Queen.
This short story just sucked me right in. This one is in the form of a letter from the Snow White Queen to one of the Brothers Grimm, and it pulled me right along. I’m not usually into vampires and paranormal stuff, but for whatever reason, this one grabbed my attention (possibly because I like the idea of how the author is building up anticipation for his book Snow White Sorrow).
Anyhow, back to this short story/prequel. It has a prologue in which we learn the basics of the story – the Brothers Grimm and the fairy tales not being true. And then we read the Snow White Queen’s version of events – which was actually really interesting. The author has managed to stir together several fairy tales, letting on that these characters all know each other. It’s a short little tale, but it’s got my curiosity piqued – and I’m quite excited for the debut of the novel (and now I’m off to read the next of the prequels).
My Rating: 4 stars
Ashes to Ashes and Cinder to Cinder by Cameron Jace
Seventeen-year-old Alice Grimm lives a dangerously enchanted live. Other than being distracted by a Dreamhunter called Loki Blackstar who has a heart of gold but acts like a jerk, she has a job to do. Being a descendant of the Brothers Grimm, she is one of few in the world who can locate the fairy tale characters and remind them of who they are. This time, Alice flies to Venice where an 800 hundred year old witch’s skeleton surrounded with seventeen glass slippers was found by archeologists in the city that invented the art of glassblowing. When Alice and Loki follow the lead, they find one of the fairy tale characters she had been searching for. It’s a famous girl character that you know by name, but never really knew what actually happened to her.
In this prequel to The Grimm Diaries series, we are introduced to Loki (a Dreamhunter who, I understand, is going to be a big part of the first book, if not the whole series), and Alice Grimm. And we are treated to the usual YA girl-meets-boy-but-doesn’t-want-to-admit-she-likes-him banter between them. It was amusing, albeit slightly over-the-top, and their dialogue made me smile in a couple places. In this one, we learn the story behind Cinderella…or at least the very beginning, mixed in with some historical fact. Jace does a good job of using these prequels to sell the stories he’s about to tell – expertly explaining (without being too obvious) parts that will be important in the series.
My Rating: 3 stars
Beauty Never Dies by Cameron Jace
Peter Pan has a plan. Since it’s been hundred years since his friends were all cursed by the Brothers Grimm, he is about to wake up Sleeping Beauty, his eternal lover. Oops, you didn’t know that. Blame it on the Grimms.
But in the middle of the ceremony, he is visited by the Evil Queen who manipulates him into helping her with information about Snow White. This or she will expose him as he has been secretly kidnapping kids to help him rebuild Neverland in the Dreamworld.
After the deal is made, Peter continues with the ceremony, bringing Sleeping Beauty back into life. What Sleeping Beauty is capable of and who she really is are like nothing ever written in the books.
Well, this one was a surprise…a big one. Here we reunite with the first prequel, and meet Peter Pan, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Count Dracula, and Sleeping Beauty as Jace now weaves characters from other authors into his storytelling, drawing them in on what I hope will be some elaborate plot. It’s told from the point-of-view of Peter Pan, the boy who never grows up…and he acts (and talks) like a kid. I’m not sure yet if that’s annoying or endearing. Now the plot thickens, as the Evil Queen tries to figure out the clues of the Lost Seven (aka The Seven Dwarfs), while Peter Pan is very little help at all. The writing is juvenile in places, but it’s entertaining enough to keep me wanting to read, I’m starting to get high hopes for the plot of the book.
My Rating: 3 stars
Watch for my thoughts on The Grimm Diaries Prequels #4-6, and (once the book is published), my review of Snow White Sorrow. If you’re interested in picking up these prequels, they’re just $0.99 each on Amazon (for Kindle only), you can grab them here.