Publisher: Silver Dolphin Books (Expected publication date: April 1, 2011)
Paperback: 320 pages
Source: ARC (Thanks NetGalley!)
For Challenge: 2011 Once Upon a Time Challenge
Summary (taken from Goodreads):
In this thrilling story full of adventure and romance, Sleeping Beauty is more than just a lonely princess waiting for her prince—she's a brave, tenacious girl who never backs down from a challenge. With vampire-slaying talents that she practices in secret, Sleeping Beauty puts her courage to the test in the dark of night, fighting evil as she searches for a way to break the spell that has cut her off from her family. In a special twist, readers have the opportunity to make key decisions for Sleeping Beauty and decide where she goes next—but no matter the choice; the result is a story unlike any fairy tale you've ever read!
Sleeping Beauty: Vampire Slayer is an entirely new type of fairy tale–one that will keep today's kids guessing and offer them hours of magical fun.
I thought this book was somewhat entertaining. It does, after all, have a lot of coolness factors going for it:
1) It's a choose-your-own adventure story. At critical moments, you get to decide what Lucette, the main character, will do. There are a total of 8 different ways this story can be read.
2) It has vampires.
3) It's a retold fairy tale.
However, there were a lot of things about this story that really bothered me. The main thing was that the characters lack depth. The good characters are all good and the evil are all evil. There are no shades of gray. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it certainly makes the story less interesting and much more predictable.
Another main thing was that I didn't really like Lucette, especially before the curse got laid on her. She kept complaining about wanting people to take her seriously, but there was a good reason for that! She said she wanted to be trained as a slayer, but then all she can focus on is how hot her trainer is instead of the lessons. I didn't feel sympathy for her. This did get remedied near the end. Once the curse falls upon her, Lucette becomes a much more likeable character.
The ending was also really rushed. The whole book is leading up to this big showdown between Lucette and Natasha (Queen of the vampires), and it gets resolved so easily. There's hardly any challenge in it. The whole climax scene takes less than four pages, which was really disappointing. And for a supposedly great plotter and planner, Natasha certainly is gullible.
There were other minor things that took away from the story, but it wasn't all bad. I was interested to see how things went and there were a few unique things about these vampires that I thought were creative. I would have loved to see a little more of the country of vampires, but I understand that the story is about Lucette and not the vampires, so that's okay.
I wouldn't recommend this book as something that's a fantastic read. But, if you're looking for time to kill and have an interest in either of the three "cool factors" I listed before, it's not bad.