Review – The Evil Queen by Gena Showalter

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Title The Evil Queen (The Forest of Good and Evil #1)

Author Gena Showalter

Description from Amazon

WELCOME TO THE FOREST OF GOOD AND EVIL.

A DREAM COME TRUE…AND A LIVING NIGHTMARE.

Far, far away, in the realm of Enchantia, creatures of legend still exist, magic is the norm and fairy tales are real. Except, fairy tales aren’t based on myths and legends of the past—they are prophecies of the future.

Raised in the mortal realm, Everly Morrow has no idea she’s a real-life fairy-tale princess—until she manifests an ability to commune with mirrors.

Look. See… What will one peek hurt?

Soon, a horrifying truth is revealed. She is fated to be Snow White’s greatest enemy, the Evil Queen.

With powers beyond her imagination or control, Everly returns to the land of her birth. There, she meets Roth Charmaine, the supposed Prince Charming. Their attraction is undeniable, but their relationship is doomed. As the prophecy unfolds, Everly faces one betrayal after another, and giving in to her dark side proves more tempting every day. Can she resist, or will she become the queen—and villain—she was born to be?

The battle between good and evil is on.

Initial Thoughts

Please see my hype post for my full thoughts, but I was very excited for this book.  I love fairytale retellings and I was excited about the prospect of a semi-modern setting for a portion of the story.  I thought it would be like the TV Show Once Upon a Time.

Some Things I Liked

  • The Forest of Good and Evil.  I liked Enchantia as a world.  I hated the modern setting (but more on that later).  I actually really liked the structure of the fantasy world.  I thought it was rich with details and hints and nods to other fairy tales.
  • The representation of Snow White.  I did think this was a unique version of the story and I like the use of self-fulfilling prophecy throughout this story.

Some Things I Wasn’t Crazy About

  • The writing.  I’ll be honest, I really didn’t enjoy the writing.  It read like it was a romance book writer who wrote their first YA book.  Oh wait!  That’s exactly what this was.  Everyone was angsty and annoying and I thought it was all just too much.  It really detracted from the story.
  • The obvious holes in the plot.  There were waaaaay to many loop holes for the characters to get around elements of the plot and yet there were so many places where the characters were too dumb to take advantage of situations.
  • The death toll.  Why give us all of these characters only to kill them off?  I didn’t get it at all.

Series Value

It seems like there are other “prophecies” out there with other people trapped in fairy tales that need to be solved before the story concludes so I think there is potential here.  I didn’t enjoy the writing very much but I like the idea that other stories, like Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, etc. will be told in this series.  I would give this series another shot if, and only if, the next book is about a fairytale that I like.  (Please note, I like most of them, but I really don’t care for Sleeping Beauty.  So, if that’s the next story, I’ll probably be done with this series.)

Final Thoughts

This book had a lot of promise.  It has a lot of good ideas that just aren’t executed well.  I’m not sure if the next book can redeem the series but I would be willing to consider reading it.  This book did have some redeeming qualities and I think I was just the wrong reader.

⭐⭐⭐

Recommendations for Further Reading

  • Crimson Bound by Rosamund Hodge – if you liked the fairytale retelling aspect of this book, definitely check out Rosamund Hodge’s books.  They are all super unique spins on the classics.
  • Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte – if you liked the moral ambiguity of the main character and her questioning if she is good or evil, you will definitely enjoy the main character in Four Dead Queens.
  • Furyborn and Kingsbane by Claire Legrand – if you enjoyed the angst and general attitudes of all of the characters, you will like the Empirium Series by Claire Legrand.  There are many similarities between the characters.

6 thoughts on “Review – The Evil Queen by Gena Showalter

  1. I totally agree that you could tell that a romance writer wrote it. That was one thing I had written down in my notes but decided not to put in my review. I would rather the relationships not sound like a romance writer had created them – if that makes any sense.

    Liked by 1 person

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