Release date May 28, 2017!
Hansel and Gretel Herrscher survived the witch in the woods, but the experience has made Hansel paranoid for the past ten years. He sees dark magic at every turn. When Gretel has a marriage arranged to a much older man, and Hansel discovers he's about to be sent halfway across the galaxy, he knows something sinister is afoot.
Partial synopsis provided by Goodreads.
Series: Fairytale Galaxy Chronicles #2
Author: Katie Hamstead
Publication Date: March 28, 2017
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Page Count: 245
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Retellings, Romance
Cover Artist: Eugene Teplitsky
My Rating: ★★★
1) Princess of Tyrone: ★★★★½
“Fear is very powerful, almost as powerful as love.”
Escaping from the woods and the evil witch only proved to be one narrow escape for Hansel and Gretel as they found themselves in another hostile situation once they return home. Their new stepmother is sneaky, tricky, and manipulative. Years go by and her treachery of leading the children into the forest fades from everyone’s mind–except Hansel’s. He knows something is off about the woman.
Wilhelmine, once embarrassingly love-struck with the famous and heroic Hansel, has accidentally classified herself as being dull and airheaded in Hansel’s eyes. The daughter of an important man, she finds herself thrown uncomfortably back into the presence of Hansel, as his younger sister Gretel is betrothed to her father for the sake of political gain. Gretel, being good friends with Minna, becomes the mediator between their awkward relationship. Hansel sees the marriage as a scheme orchestrated by their stepmother to do away with the brother and sister. Deciding before they are split from one another, the two flee before the marriage can take place. Minna, catching them as they escape, joins in their adventure and is taken on a ride that will change her life, and all of their lives, forever.
This is the first retelling I’ve read that hasn’t opened into a scene of insta-love! I didn’t enjoy this retelling as much as its predecessor, Princess of Tyrone. I did like how this book ended and tied back to the prior installment. The first half of the book I had a hard time getting into. Hansel’s bipolar attitude was irritating, and I felt terrible for Wilhelmine. Once the plot got moving, the second half took me by surprise as it made a 180-turn. I was drawn in by the sudden twists and didn’t see them coming one bit. I won’t say further what those were for wanting to keep this review spoiler-free.
Wilhelmine (Minna): Poor girl. Talk about emotional and verbal abuse. Hansel put her through the ringer and played with her mind at every turn for years. His reasoning is divulged later on, but it didn’t necessarily justify the extent of his treatment of her. However much she had been through, Minna somehow remained gracious enough to rise above Hansel’s offense.
Hansel: He drove me nuts through the first half of the book. His irrational dislike of Wilhelmine and unjustifiable cruelty was opposite of what I was expecting in a fairy tale retelling. As he spends more time with Minna, he thankfully manages to grow out of his childish demeanor.
Gretel: She is proof that petty jealousy can get you in a bind if one isn’t willing to hear the truth. Her innocence makes her susceptible to believing everything that she sees, rather than investigating further into the story.
Overall, I enjoyed this story. There are lessons for the characters and readers to learn. It wasn’t as captivating as the first book in this series but was entertaining in its own way.
If you enjoy science fiction lite retellings with a side of mythology, this series is for you.