Cover Image: Wicked As You Wish

Wicked As You Wish

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The characters in this book are one of its biggest weak points. Characters like Alex, Tala and her parents are given quite a lot of development and complexity. I enjoyed both Tala and Alex as characters. The issue is that not every character got that same amount of development or even any depth to them. This novel has a pretty big cast of characters, but most of them feel underdeveloped and one-dimensional. I will give credit where credit is due, the cast of this book is incredibly not just in terms of ethnicity but also in terms of sexuality and gender expression. However, I struggled to keep track of which character was which and it felt like, for some at least, I wasn’t remembering the character for who they were or their backstory, but rather for being the gay character or the non-binary character and so on. Since I only really connected with a few characters, it was difficult to feel invested in the story as a whole.

The writing in this novel is very good. The author showed an incredible amount of skill in putting the pieces of the story together and writing an engaging plot. The tone of the novel struck a good balance between being completely serious and having a good sense of humor. I found the chapter titles, for example the first chapter is titled “In Which A Kiss Does The Exact Opposite” to be a good example of that balance being on display. The chapter titles were both compelling and they foreshadowed events without revealing too much. The plot twists in this book were kind of hit or miss. Some twists I found to be unsurprising, while others showed a great deal of forethought and creativity to execute. The ending of this book is fantastic, even if getting there isn’t easy. The reader was also treated to some great, descriptive imagery.

The world-building in the novel is another weak point. The world this novel takes place in is much like our own, but it has a fantasy twist. Wonderland, Avalon and Neverland exist, as does the Royal States of America. I was on-board with the idea, as well as the idea that every fairytale we’ve heard is true, but the execution didn’t quite work. My first criticism is that it didn’t feel like enough thought was put into how “our world” would be different if magic was real. The United States became the Royal States and there are references to major historical events being altered as a result of magic, but not much else. As a result, the inclusion of magic felt like an afterthought at times. There was also an issue of info-dumping. Important information and details that matter to the plot are just revealed through Tala asking a question, and some other character giving a long speech to answer her. That style of revealing details works fine if it happened rarely or was used to just to tell the reader that certain characters exist in this world, like Briar Rose, but not for important and significant things. There was also a lot of information being introduced to the reader very quickly, so it was even harder to get into the world and understand the setting that way.

I’m a fan of most fairytales and “classic” stories, so I enjoyed the magic system. It was nice to see elements from fairytales and mythology and legends all combine within this story. I enjoyed reading about each ability and how they were all able to coexist in the same world. Additionally, there are magic weapons and creatures within the novel and it was nice to see how those fit into the overall story. However, like with the world-building, there is a lot too the magic system, perhaps too much for the author to be able to explain or display in one novel, even if it is the first in a series.

Wicked As You Wish is a novel that I’m not sure how to feel about. I loved the idea and the writing itself was very good. However, it felt to me like the author was trying to introduce too many things, too quickly from the characters to the world and the story suffered from trying to do too much at once. Rin Chupeco put a great deal of work into creating this story and has a clear vision for the kind of story this series is going to tell. There’s an astounding amount of creativity on display in this novel. But the novel didn’t quite work for me. In short, this is a book that I’m not sure what to do with.
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I really liked this book. I enjoyed the urban but almost high fantasy world it’s set in and the cast of lovable diverse characters. there was gay, filipino american, non binary, chinese and latinx representation and i really appreciated that. the whole story was just really unique and i’m hoping to read more of this author in the future!
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This was a beautifully written, well-developed text that will appeal to the imagination of the one who deems to pick it up and open its cover. From the start, the reader is enraptured by the story, the ups and downs of the character, and the seemingly unknown choices that will be made. Truly a story worth reading!
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Oof, this was a struggle for me.

Throughout the book I felt like the author had about a million ideas that she tried putting into this story all at once, which made it completely incoherent and difficult to read for me. Especially the myriad references to different fairytales felt off. I would have prefered original names and ideas, since the well-known characters didn't add anything to the story. They were just side characters with no particular role whatsoever.

I realise that this is just my opinion, though. Other people might rrally enjoy this novel, but it just wasn't for me.
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An ambitious adventure filled with fairy tales, mythology, diverse characters, and more. Excellent worldbuilding and intrigue to keep you engaged throughout the story.
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A very fast paced Young adult fantasy, if you are ready to catch lots of lore, love a dynamic diverse group of student fighters, this is for you. And the 1st two chapters are intense with Filipino culture and then with world building information. I love the mismatched Mashup. There is definitely not enough books out there that take time to introduce a real culture,
there are some nice twists along the way, and that always makes for fun reading. My only problem with this book is that it doesn’t let you breathe. We go from action action action to more action, and I think for me that destroys the tension. It lost my interest at various moments when I needed A breather, something to make me believe that they were almost there, not just going from bad to bad to worst but had glimmers of hope in between. 
But maybe that’s just me, in fact it felt like it was built very much like superhero films that have been coming out recently. So I’m sure many will love that. But I think different mediums need different patterns, and books take a lot longer to read. I like to have little digesting periods in my books for introspection. The short chapters in many more action driven books is what gives the breathing space, even if those are often nail-biting cliffhangers. For some reason the chapters of this book felt really long and wrapped up too neatly. 
It was still a fun read that I would have loved in high-school.
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When I struggled focusing on this book I decided to get it on audio and see if that would help; rather, I discovered it wasn’t the format but the storyline that kept leaving me lost and disinterested. There were so many keywords in the description for this story that hit my interests: fairy tales, myths, firebirds, heroes, magic, etc.. Unfortunately, there was just too much happening that seemed thrown in, lacked transition, or development. Ultimately, I love the idea of the story but it was not an easy or enjoyable read; it took work to pay attention to what the characters were saying/thinking and putting together what was happening with too much description that didn’t propel the storyline. 

Thank you NetGalley and Sourcebooks for a copy in exchange for an honest review.
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Think about all the classic tales of myths and legends King Arthur, the firebird, tales of the Snow Queen. Fairy tales and folklore come together in epic read about an exiled prince, his fierce best friend, and their ragtag group of magical guardians who go on a quest to save their kingdom from the icy clutches of an evil queen.
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dnf @ 11%

i give up. i was hoping for something once upon a time-esque (chaotic and full of plot holes, but entertaining), but wicked as you wish manages to be both confusing and boring and i swear half of what i read was just info dump after info dump.
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This story and it's set up was really messy. The premise sounded so good, but its delivery was not so good.

Every few pages are filled with info dumping. There were way too many characters that had no depth to establish any sort of connection. The world-building was sooo messy; it's labelled as an alternative history mixed with well know literary place that just became altogether butchered. The story was trying to be too many things at once which made it very confusing and poorly executed.

The chapter titles are cringy and eyerolling juvenile. The Carly Rae Jepsen chapter title was so cringeworthy and was when I first lost interest in the book. I don't even know what the actual plot was about, was there any?

It did have a good dose of diverse characters which was its only redeeming point but even that fell flat at completion.

Will not be continuing.
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I love Rin Chupeco's work and was so excited to get a chance to read this one since I love a good fairy tale based retellings. I was expecting great things!

Unfortunately this one just did not work for me. The urban fantasy / mishmash of fairy-tale combined seemed messy and a bit too ambitious. It felt like an overload of world building information with so many characters. Whilst there was good diversity representation in this book, there wasn’t enough focus on just a few characters. 
I really wanted to love this but ended up being confused throughout.

Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for a chance to read this book, all thoughts are my own.
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After the Kingdom of Avalon is left to freeze over, encased in ice by the Snow Queen, it’s young prince spends 12 years shuffling between homes, hidden from those who wish to keep Avalon from being restored. Which is how Prince Alexei ends up with Tala’s family in Arizona, until the arrival of the firebird alerts enemies to his location. Tala and Alexei, along with their band of misfit heroes, end up back in Avalon, on a quest to restore their home and bring back Spring.

Wicked as You Wish is the first in a series by Rin Chupeco, released in hardback in 202o and releasing in paperback ahead of the release of book 2, An Unreliable Magic, coming 2022. 

While fairytale retellings are not uncommon in the publishing world lately, this one does something the rest don’t: it encompasses nearly every fairytale you know in love, in one form or another. The world of Wicked as You Wish assumes that every story and tale you’ve heard is true. The result of this, however, is overwhelming worldbuilding with too many side stories and anecdotes that overpower the relevant information. This book opens by assuming the reader knows more than they do and fills them in slowly, but by the time you connect dots, that point is no longer relevant. This book needed to pick a handful of tales, highlight them very well, and save the rest for future books in the series.

Characters were just as confusing as the plot. This book follows a band of 8 teens on their quest to save Avalon: Alex, Tala, Loki, Ken, West, Cole, Zoe and Nya. These characters represent a broad spectrum of races, ethnicity, gender identities and sexualities, which is amazing to see represent in books finally. But by following so many characters at once, especially against so many side characters, their individual stories and growth gets stunted by other characters. 

While I found this book to be written well and the representation to be immaculate, the overwhelming worldbuilding and sheer number of key players really took away from my enjoyment of it. Its redeeming epilogue will keep me on board for book 2, but overall, this wasn’t my favorite read.
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I know a lot of people are annoyed that she didn’t build her own world and instead used a lot of different, already built worlds, but I enjoyed the story. It might not be an original world, but she still did an incredible job building this world. I personally really enjoyed reading about a combination of all these worlds and gave me quite a thrill to recognise characters. That said, Alex is really annoying the crap out of me. I did enjoy all the inclusivity of the characters and I’m excited to see what happens next!
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Oh my what on earth do I say ? If you can imagine every fairy tale, myth and legend not to mention fictional world all regurgitated into one new series then you have a slight inclination about what this author has set about. It's a contemporary setting in Arizona of all places with a neighbourhood that has more than a few displaced citizens. Tala has grown up loving her family but occasionally struggling to meet expectations regarding her ability to cancel out spells. When a new boy arrives in town Tala quickly realises that Alexei isn't just any orphan but the missing cursed Prince of Avalon ! A land left frozen and unreachable after battling the fiendish Snow Queen. Can Tala help hide Alexei in a world where magic is both feared and outlawed ?
This is hard to review because as much as I absolutely loved that the author took my favourite villain the Snow Queen and made her integral to this story there is an awful lot thrown in. We get a lot about the Filipinos who are hiding in plain sight and if I'm blunt I struggled a little with their terms of endearment and just how they referred to each other but cannot fault their loyalty and bravery. Of course bad guys come hunting Alexei but this also allowed for protectors to show up and they dear reader just defied belief ! I won't spoil the surprises but they have abilities and gumption that I found as much baffling at times as I did entertaining. I think the author had fun with these characters because she frequently set them up with seemingly impossible odds against them !
This is not a typical YA with romance and the dreaded triangle. Yes Tala is growing up and on the verge of womanhood but she's definitely Alexeis best friend. There is clearly relationships blossoming potentially here but this was all about the journey as good faced up to evil. I do wish that perhaps some of the fairy tales and myths had been saved for the next book because honestly there's an awful lot mentioned here. However I enjoyed the surprises with only a slight inclination of how this might end so as much as I had initially thought perhaps three I will rate this a four simply because it's unlike any other book I've read.
This voluntary take is of a copy I requested from Netgalley and my thoughts and comments are honest and I believe fair
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I have always been a complete sucker for Fairytale inspired worlds from getting my hands on ever Alice in Wonderland retelling to Once Upon a Time (the show), I came into this book expecting the usual retelling. However, I was pleasantly surprised of how much I throughly enjoyed this book. In recent years, it’s always been hard to find books with representation and when I got access to this title I was amazed at the inclusion of this book, with characters of different gender identities, sexualities and nationalities I was beyond happy that people who related to these characters were going to be getting represented in this book! This book also tackled very real problems such as immigration, xenophobia, poverty and racism. This book is one of a kind and will be something that will stay with me for a long time!
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A world that combines every fairytale together into one? Sign me up! The idea and concept of this book really had potential, however I found it to be lacking for me. I often found that the main characters were very difficult for me to relate to and I had a hard time picturing them off the page. They often felt a bit too flat and lacking personality. What I absolutely did love about the characters, was the diversity. We don't see enough of it in books, especially YA Fantasy books. It was extremely refreshing to see and read about. I just wish that their personality wasn't as dry as it was. 

The book has a lot of details. So much to the point that it can actually be overwhelming to the reader. I felt like I was constantly being info dumped on. I honestly felt a bit confused the majority of the time I was reading it. 

The books covers a lot of important topics: child abuse, racism, genocide, ICE & deportation, police brutality and bullying, just to name some of the big ones. 

This book had the potential to be so, so good. I mean: the combination of all fairytales paired with modern day issues?? Sounds amazing. Unfortunately, the story just fell too flat for me and let me down. I really did want to enjoy this and tried really hard to force myself to enjoy. But I mostly found myself very confused while reading it.
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This has a great premise but there are just so many elements it was hard to keep track of everything. 

The magic system was a little confusing to me, and although I absolutely loved the Filipino references, as someone who is unfamiliar with the community, I didn’t find that I learned anything about the culture because I was confused by the language and customs. I understand that if the author’s purpose was not to to teach but to just include it, they may not have needed to do that.
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This is a very ambitious book. An ambitious book that I really wanted to love cause I love fairy tales and magic and a story are merged with our world. 

But it was incredibly heavy with information, a lot of which seemed to take away from the main plot of the narrative. To the point where I put it down before finishing because I felt as though the lore of the novel became more relevant than a tangible plot. 

I salute the author for attempting it, but the editing needed to be a bit more forceful and structured.
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I received a copy through Net Galley for review.

3.5 stars.

So there was a lot going on in this book. It's a cool mash up of different fairytales, specifically - Alice in wonderland (which is a separate former country in this which was destroyed), King Arthur and The Snow Queen. Plus cultural Filipino references.

So mixing all that in it took me a bit to gather what exactly was going on. I feel somewhat like this book should have had a better prologue to really describe what had happened and the various players before dumping you right into something that had happened previously. The premise was big. Almost too big.

But once you get past it, the meat is there. It just took a lot of sifting though info. 
Everyone is living in exile. Avalon where most characters are from is under ice. The living king is in hiding. The Snow Queen is the reason. Avalon took in refugees over the years from various wars, so it's a melting pot of different cultures. 

Its a shame there wasn't a preface to this to ease you in, and dump you right in the middle of it. That's my biggest complaint. Because thus far the magic and characters were really cool and I like the mix of fairytales.
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I DNF'ed Wicked as You Wish at 33%, and I tried really hard. I read the first 3 chapters, and then I got the audio book. I was so confused by the third chapter that when I got the audio book I started the book over. Having the audio book helped a little, but not enough to make me want to keep reading it. There are too many characters with too many back stories, and it was really hard to keep up. What finally made me quit was the introduction of a new character. This book feels like a collage of a bunch of fairy tales, and it was too hard to get through.
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