Pricked by Scott Mooney – ARC Review

Pricked by Scott Mooney Bookstagram Photo.pngSummary:

Briar Pryce has the power to change the emotions of others by handing them a rose. It is a talent that has done surprisingly little for her, besides landing her a dead-end enchantment delivery job and killing any chance she had with her childhood-crush-turned-roommate. Worst of all, her ability might be responsible for getting her best friend transformed into a cat via a cursed muffin basket. Needless to say, Briar is nowhere near happily-ever-after. But that’s just life as a twenty-something in the Poisoned Apple, New York City’s lost borough of fairy-tale wonder and rent-controlled magic.

When Briar reluctantly agrees to help find a princess’s kidnapped boyfriend in exchange for reversing the curse on her friend, she gets the heroic quest she never really wanted. Unfortunately, the life of a noble heroine is not all it’s cracked up­­ to be – the hours blow, and Briar suspect that the Royal family employing her might be evil, Republican, or both. To complete the suckage, a killer smoke magician is stalking Briar as she searches both the Poisoned Apple and Manhattan for the missing boy. As tensions between the Poisoned Apple royalty ignite and civil war looms, Briar must figure out how to write her own happy ending–or she’ll just be ending.

Review: 4 Stars

It has been a while since I’ve read an urban fantasy novel, and as soon as I saw this title I knew I had to have it. Pricked is set in a fairy tale version of NYC, called The Poisoned Apple, that is within the normal NYC and can be accessed through a magical door. The Poisoned Apple holds elements of NYC, but is also a fairy tale world. Pricked is not a re-telling, but has its own original plot and characters. This entire book was incredibly funny and almost felt like a spoof on fairy tales, but it had a real plot, great world building and interesting characters.

“I thought you guys had to sing happy-go-lucky nonsense songs when you did these magical makeovers?” I said as the cloth spun lazily above Crea’s head.

“Oh, please,” Crea scoffed. “That’s all Disney’s idea. If you ever catch me saying any Mary Poppins bullshit, just punch me in the face.

The world building was done really well. Scott Mooney wrote vivid descriptions of The Poisoned Apple so it could be easily pictured by the readers. I loved the magical elements to it all. The Poisoned Apple was a place where you shouldn’t trust step mothers and had to be wary of curses, anything that was common in fairy tales was also common in The Poisoned Apple. Pricked included so many fairy tale elements, but also felt incredibly unique. Briar’s magic was so interesting and one of my favorite aspects of the story. She could put her emotions into a rose and then give them to someone else and she could also smell how people were feeling. The myriad of ways that Briar used her magic was entertaining and creative.

It was my second break-in during the last eighteen hours. What happened to my life? It was like my high school counselor had been right about me all along.

My favorite part of this book was how much it made me laugh or smile. The dialogue is filled with banter, the internal thoughts of Briar made me laugh and even aspects of the world were funny. I also really enjoyed the plot. It felt like a combination of a mystery and a fairy tale. The pacing of the novel was really fast and it was a very light read, so it was a perfect read after I had finished a dense epic fantasy, and a perfect choice if you are in search of a lighter fantasy read.

If I was going to be devoured by flesh-eating wolves, my last thoughts were definitely not going to be, ‘Does he like me, or does he like me like me?’

I almost passed this one by and I am so glad that I gave it a chance. The world was so immersive, I really enjoyed the characters, it made me laugh over and over and I enjoyed the plot. The ending left me wanting to read the sequel, but also didn’t feel like a cliffhanger. It clearly set up for the next book, but left me feeling happy and satisfied. I can’t wait for the sequel to come out so I can return to these characters and The Poisoned Apple.

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