Book Review

Phoebe Douse: S3A2 – Book Review

Book Rating: ★★★★☆ (4.5 / 5 stars)

Phoebe Douse has always felt like she was a bit different. As a young girl, she embraced it, especially under Grandmother Naan’s guise. But as she gets older and enters high school, she can feel herself slipping away from the life she has in Crockett. But, at seemingly the most convenient time, she is accepted to the Murray School in Scotland for a  once in a lifetime opportunity. She takes the chance, but it turns out there is more to the Murray School than meets the eye: a strange chemistry and history class, students with odd abilities, and a secret society all exist right under the school’s otherwise normal exterior. Phoebe is skeptical at first, but as she begins to exhibit strange abilities, her entire world is thrown out of balance. Who can she trust? What secrets are worth sharing? And what did her Grandmother know about all this? And can she uncover the truth before one of her friends get hurt? 

Phoebe Douse: Secret Society for Special Abilities and Artefacts (or S3A2) is a wonderful story reminiscent of the Harry Potter or Charlie Bone series. In fact, in a way, Phoebe Douse is everything we wish Harry Potter could have been. The cast is diverse and well thought out, with individuals from all backgrounds. It might not be the same “magical wizarding school” we grew up with, but there is something new and charming about Phoebe Douse that could bring about a new era. 

Phoebe is easy to connect with as a protagonist. Her constant hesitation and skepticism is something all teenagers could relate to, especially those escaping bullying and entering a new school. She slowly develops friendships with Zoe, Ingrid, Renaud, and the other, all of whom are unique in personality and characteristics. Just like Phoebe, I slowly grew more interested in “robotic Renaud”, and saw the character open up to her, and to the readers. And I was relieved that Phoebe seemed to have more of an interest in him than “Prince Charming” Colin. In fact, as Phoebe’s interest in Renaud grows, Colin’s presence in the story fades, which masterfully shows the way a teenage girl’s mind works: as friendships grow, others disappear…and that’s okay!

The reason why I can’t rate this more than 4.5 stars, despite being unable to put it down was for a couple very small reasons. The beginning was slow, taking until about 100 pages in to really get moving. Once Phoebe arrived in Scotland of course, the story took off. There are some little logistical things I wondered about of course: how Phoebe was able to get ready to go to Scotland in 2 weeks, why no one really gave her an orientation of the school, etc. This all may have been with purpose… after all, we are talking about “special abilities” here! I also hope, as I have this worry with a lot of YA books, that the author avoids creating a love triangle in the next book. All the pieces are there for one with Renaud and Colin…and I do hope it is avoided. (Perhaps this is because I am already in love with Renaud and Phoebe’s friendship…and like Ingrid and Zoe, I’m hoping to see it become something more!) 

Yet, overall, I really enjoyed this story! I want to find out more about the secrets of S3A2, the powers and abilities of Phoebe and her friends, and what dangers they will face next! In fact, I’ve already put book 2 on my TBR and intend to preorder it very soon.

So if you enjoy YA, special abilities, and want something to replace Harry Potter…I highly suggest checking out Phoebe Douse: S3A2. It’s definitely worth it!

What’s it about?

Grandmother Naan’s superstitious stories seem too peculiar and childish to Phoebe Douse. But when surprising and unfortunate circumstances in Texas lead her to accept a timely invitation to attend a remote boarding school, thousands of miles away in Scotland, Phoebe finds that everything is not what she made herself believe. Unwittingly, Phoebe is thrown onto the stage of power and danger as events unfold that reveal the extent of her abilities and Naan s connection to the school. There, Phoebe is introduced to the clandestine world of S3A2 and is forced to decide between her new friends and the promises of power and S3A2 status from the welcoming but strangely mysterious Headmaster Duff. In this first installment of a YA trilogy (for ages 12 and up), Phoebe Douse: S3A2 presents an adventure-filled, coming-of-age novel, with mystery and a touch of the paranormal. There are also themes on self-discovery, valuing culture and diversity, and building trust and friendship.

Book Review

Dreaming Your Dream – Book Review

Book Rating: ★★★★☆ (3.75 / 5 stars)

 The war has passed, and humanity has lost the ability to feel. Operating in a state of emotionless dissonance, John navigates his life behind his gas mask, completing his usual routine. Sometimes, he gets a dangerous narcotic called “soap” to help him feel again. One day, when he is out obtaining “soap”, he happens upon a young woman named Kira being attacked by one of the dealers. What ensues unleashes a chain of events that leave John wondering: who is watching his emotions, is he at risk for being “removed” and if there is more going on that meets the eye? 

In a harrowing story that poses multiple questions about our reliance on AI (in this case, an artificial intelligence known as Celeste), the humanity of a machine, and the danger of emotions, we venture into a dystopian future that can easily be seen on our horizon. At what point will AI control our world, to the extent that it might just monitor and provide us with dreams? What about control our emotions? 

But is this AI also sentient? 

Starwing, coupled with illustrations by Melinda Maria, is a descriptive piece of work that will draw you into each dream, while also letting you see John’s world unfold. Every dream that John enters is coupled with symbolism, at times so subtle that even John doesn’t know it, while other times a blatant hint over what is to come. I feel like this is the type of book you could comb over multiple times and still miss some of the details! In these details, we can experience John’s emotions, and the idea of “feeling” is so central to the plot, that if we couldn’t feel with John, the story would be callous. 

These details also provide great foreshadowing: I was able to guess the “twist” behind  John’s romantic interest, long before John uncovered it. This is a huge kudos to the author – it takes skill to foreshadow with enough hints that the twist is still satisfying upon discovery, even if the reader uncovers it. 

Yet, Starwing’s amazing descriptors are also the story’s small flaw. It’s a slow paced book, meandering through John’s life as he slowly uncovers each secret. While each day has it reason, each dream has it’s purpose, I did find myself skimming in some parts to get to either the next revelation or bit of “action.” 

Overall though, Dreaming Your Dreams is a fascinating story, with beautiful illustrations and relatable characters. I’m always excited to read something that very well could occur in our world in the not-so-distant future. 

So celebrate your emotions…because who knows when you may have to tame them and put on a gas mask. 

What’s it about?

This illustrated novel tells the tale of a dystopian future where, following a war that nearly devastated humanity, the survivors partnered with Artificial Intelligence to create a brighter future. The people enjoy a virtual utopia every night by using interactive dream technology, but their computer-generated dreams are the only source of entertainment available. The AI determined that the root cause of all harmful human behaviours was uncontrolled emotions, but balanced, harmonious emotions are an integral aspect of wellness. It concluded that the only way to reliably achieve that was to eliminate emotion while a person was awake, then provide a safe way to experience the complete range of human emotions while engaged in dreaming. The story follows a man who struggles to hide the fact that he can still feel a low level of emotions during the day. He must keep his secret emotions and his mind strictly controlled-through the use of meditation-but he continues to make that harder and harder to accomplish when his life is on the line.

Book Review

How to Train Your Dragon – Book Review

Book Rating: ★★★☆☆   (3.5 / 5 stars)
Audio Book Performance: ★★★★★ (5 / 5 Stars)

How do you train a dragon?

You yell at it, of course!

Or, well, that’s what Hiccup has been told by his tribe for years now. But, when it is finally time for his initiation, yelling at his small (and stubborn) dragon, Toothless, just doesn’t seem to work. Can he manage to get his dragon to obey and pass initiation? Or will he risk being banished from his tribe for good?

How to Train Your Dragon is the novel inspiration for the hit movie series, but it is quite different from the movie that many have come to know and love! While Hiccup is still a “weaker” and less “brave” Viking, compared to his comrades, the movie’s Toothless is a loveable beast that helps bring about acceptance to dragons again. But in the novel, there is quite a different tale. Toothless is stubborn and stuck up, more interested in himself than helping others, and quite miniscule in size. Even with Hiccup able to speak dragonese, Toothless doesn’t have any desire to respond. 

Yet, like in all great stories, Hiccup and Toothless do manage to come together in the end to defeat a great foe! 

I knew going into this book that it was quite different than the movie franchise. It’s more violent, with characters a bit less likeable, and a much different type of tribe. Dragons are loved by the Hooligans, and they are part of the initiation into adulthood. So if you decide to pick up this story, know you won’t necessarily meet the Hiccup and Toothless you met in the movies.

That being said, I do think the movie is a better overall story. Toothless isn’t necessarily as loveable (at least in David Tennant’s rendition), more of a nuisance than anything else. (Then again, who isn’t?) The story is also broken into two distinctive parts, less about how to actually train your dragon than the chaos that ensued. 

Will readers have fun though? Absolutely! It’s a great story and inspiration for a hit movie series, and it is definitely worth checking out…no matter how much your familiar with the tale. 

Plus, if you listen to the audio book, David Tennant is a wonderful narrator. 

What’s it about?

In the beginning, Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III was the most put upon Viking you’d ever seen. Not loud enough to make himself heard at dinner with his father, Stoick the Vast; not hard enough to beat his chief rival, Snotlout, at Bashyball, the number one school sport and CERTAINLY not stupid enough to go into a cave full of dragons to find a pet…

News, Updates

General Update

Hey everyone.

I know I’ve been a bit quieter on social media lately. I’ve kind of hit a bit of a wall. While my writing is still doing awesome, I think I was trying to wear too many hats: my full-time career, my author stuff, reading books by indie authors, creating features, and writing blog posts. While I sold more books last month than I did in awhile (thanks in part to my new TikTok page), the work-to-return ratio has been quite low.

Don’t get me wrong, I will continue building up this indie writer community with every fiber in my body. My TBR still consists of MANY indie books, and I will continue to take review requests. But, I really wanted to feature authors regularly and get this blog series going…but it has kind of fallen by the way-side. 

It’s hard when you have to run most of your author stuff by yourself. While I have amazing support from my fiance, I have a wonderful editor, and I have some great friends…99% of the work is all me. I am sure most of you understand this. 

I am just going through a rut right now. I’m sure I’ll be fine, but it’s been difficult for me lately when I put SO MUCH of myself into my author stuff, and the return is maybe a few sales or a review or two. 

Will I stop supporting everyone in this community? Absolutely not. But if you’ve notice how I’ve had to take a step back, or that I’m being quieter…these are the reasons why.

I will still be posting regularly here, just my overall engagement will be a bit lower until I can find the right place…mentally. I’m posting a ton on TikTok because it’s fresh and new, so if you want to see or here from me MORE regularly, you can follow  me there at esbarrison_author. 

For now, stay on the look out for details on my upcoming short-story, Tuppence, as well as more book reviews. I’ll have a few more complete by the end of the month!

Thanks for understanding ❤

ESB

Book Review

The Magic Flower Shop – Book Review

Book Rating: ★★★☆☆   (3 / 5 stars)
Audio Book Performance: ★★★★☆ (4 / 5 Stars)

 Violet loves visiting her Aunt Abigail’s flower shop. But one day when a mysterious woman comes to visit, Aunt Abigail suddenly has to leave on an overnight trip…meaning Violet isn’t able to stay with her for the day! Yet, Violet’s own imagination is going wild: who was the strange woman? Why was Aunt Abigail going to Scotland of all places in the middle of winter? And what is the strange yellow book with magical flowers doing behind Aunt Abigail’s mirror? 

Violet, with her friends Jack and Zack, uncovers Aunt Abigail’s magical secret, begins to uncover the magical properties of the flowers in the shop. In an endearing story about making mistakes and doing what’s right, this is a tale that all ages will enjoy!

Quite frankly, I picked up this story as a freebee on Audible. I love to listen to children’s books and middle-grade novels on Audible. There is something about them that brings me back to a simpler time. So, it is fair to note that I am not the ideal audience for this book. While it was adorable, and I enjoyed the narration, there was one element of the story that didn’t feel quite right. Children won’t notice this issue, and for the most part it can be overlooked.

So as a fair warning…there are spoilers below!

There’s a part in the middle of this children’s story that didn’t sit right with me. Violet and her friends receive a flower order from their school teacher (named “Mr. Bachelor”) for Ms. Hedgehog (another teacher at the school). They decide to “help” their teacher out by putting a love potion in the flowers. That’s all well and good, sort of…not really, but then another man switches out the flowers after Vilet leaves them on Ms. Hedgehog’s doorstep (though he probably didn’t know about the love potion). Ms. Hedgehog is initially repulsed by this new man, but upon sniffing the flowers, she “falls in love with him” and invites him into her house. 

So it’s not just a mild love potion, but an implied intimate moment that is further signified by the fact that this man is wearing Ms. Hedgehog’s robe when Violet and her friends stop by again. 

Basically, it came off to me as a little bit of an uncomfortable scenario, especially for a children’s book. While children might think of this as a funny moment, all I found myself thinking was: “Poor Ms. Hedgehog.” 

If you can get past that, the story overall is cute though, which is why I am still giving this 3 out of 5 stars, especially since I was not the target audience. Violet is a curious and precocious child, and there is a clear air of magic in the flower shop. 

Children will be yearning for more by the end of it, especially to see if Violet ever learns about her magical past! 

What’s it about?

Nine-year-old Violet loves spending time in her Aunt Abigail’s flower shop in their small British town. And she’s so excited to stay overnight with her Aunt Abigail for the first time! But when Aunt Abigail has to leave to deal with an emergency, Violet and her friends, twins Jack and Zack, start poking around – and discover that her aunt owns an ancient magical flower book and uses her flower magic to make people happy! 

Violet wants to do that, too. Her first mission: making a match between two of her teachers. Unfortunately, it all goes wrong! Until Aunt Abigail comes to the rescue, that is. It’s not long until Violet finds another opportunity to test out some magic: helping her classmate Fiorella, who’s deeply unhappy even though she’s an amazing piano player. Can Violet help Fiorella stand up for what she wants? Or is there more magical mayhem in store?

Book Review

Card Holders: Red Blood – Book Review

Book Rating: ★★★★☆ (3.75 / 5 stars)

There are two types of people: bound and unbound. While the ideas of super human strength, super speed, and other such powers might sound like a blessing, it reality it is much difference. Society sees the unbound as a curse, and Neela Blydes knows this all too well. But, when the domain’s cardholder dies, Neela is thrown into the a contest of power and wits, that threatens not only Neela’s life, but the life of those she cares about. Why is a group of assassins after her? Does this have to do with her father’s death? Can he trust her new friend, Amil? Or is it all coincidence?

In an action pact first novel, we enter the domain of the cardholders. Reminiscent, in a way, to the Hunger Games, Battle Royale, My Hero Academia, and other stories that throw young competitors into a ring, Kaitlyn Legaspi perfectly captures the anxiety and confusion a 17-year-old girl might feel upon having an entire competition on her shoulders.

Neela is tough; she doesn’t want to appear weak, constantly standing her ground against her trainer, Brochlan, and her brother, Jacen, while trying to appear just as powerful as two well known assassins, Claec and Amil. But, while being tough, she doesn’t sacrifice her own principles: kindness before anger, sympathy before pain. This makes her a rising star in the tournament, and one that the reader (as well as the ficitonal audience) will cheer for along the way. 

Card Holders: Red Blood serves as an introduction to the conflicts, ending with tear-jerking heartbreak that makes you want more. With the direction of the narrative, I wasn’t surprised over the terrible fate handed to Neela, but it still made me tear up all the same.

Yet, while the characters shine in Red Blood, what it lacked was some of the worldbuilding that I oh-so-selfishly desired. There was clearly an interesting hierarchy going on with the cardholders, the unbound, and the bound, but not all of it is laid out clearly. Neela is forced from being a vigilante into being a competitor by someone else’s hand, and even by the end of it all, I wasn’t entirely sure “who” the Queen of Hearts is supposed to be. Perhaps that is on purpose though, making me yearn to come back for more.

While the book is a marvelous introduction to the world of the Card Holders, it felt more like the first half of a bigger story. A true turning point didn’t come right until the end for Neela. Though, this obvious change in her does excite me for the next book.

Card Holders: Red Blood is definitely a fabulous start to this series! It left me with some anime vibes, and I absolutely cannot wait for the next book. Spring 2022 can’t come soon enough!

Card Holders: Red Blood comes out on February 19th. I definitely recommend everyone check it out!

Note: I received a copy of this book at no cost in exchange for my honest review.

What’s it about?

There are two kinds of people in this world: the bound and unbound. The unbound are born with unnatural, inhuman abilities. While having powers may come with its perks, to be unbound is to be cursed. Unbound individuals are treated as freaks, yet despite this, they hold the highest positions in the government: the Card Holders of the fifty-two domains.

When her domain’s Card Holder dies, unbound seventeen-year-old Neela Blydes is forced to participate in a tournament to find the unbound most worthy of leading the Queen of Hearts Domain. But the tournament isn’t as glorious as it seems. It’s a tournament that herds unique unbound called Specialists into deadly combat, a tournament where winning by default is nonexistent and killing is permitted.

As Neela progresses through the rounds with her life on the line, she forges new alliances and encounters dangerous unbound adversaries. Among them is a white-haired man with crimson eyes.

Dangerously familiar crimson eyes.

Book Review

The Princess Game – Book Review

Book Rating: ★★★☆☆   (3.5 / 5 stars)
Audio Book Performance: ★★★★★ (5 / 5 Stars)

There is murder afoot…and the popular girls (or princesses) of Chaminade High are at risk! Rookie detective, Callum Pederson is on the case, going under cover with his partner as a student at the high school. But, after getting wrapped up in the ins-and-outs of the school, Callum finds himself reliving his own high school years, trying to impress the other “princes” while wooing the heart of the 18-year-old daughter of the principal. Will he uncover who is murdering these girls? Or will he fall victim to the same game?

In dark high-school twist on both murder and fairytales, this story in the Faraway collection once again takes familiar aspects of princesses and princes and turn them on their head. Written as a police transcript, this was very effective as an audiobook, giving us a more emotional insight into the motives of each potential culprit, as well as Callum’s own uncertainty.

I think the fact that I listened to this as an audiobook rather than read it is what made this book 3.5 stars for me rather than 3 stars. While the story is compelling, it is definitely very dark, focusing on toxic masculinity, assault, and gruesome murders. While it was executed well, it definitely took me off guard how dark these high schoolers were portrayed in the story. In addition, I think the most uncomfortable part for me was how they placed this 21-year-old detective as a student, rather than a teacher. This led to questions of authority, which are addressed in the book. But, if that makes you uncomfortable, then I don’t recommend reading this book.

Overall, it was still quite an entertaining read/listen, with an evident commentary on toxicity of cliques, male or female. Sometimes, we really are doing something to impress others…and that might lead to the harm of those you care the most about. 

What’s it about?

There are no happy endings for the Princesses of Chaminade High in this short, twisty tale of teenage murder games by the New York Times bestselling author of The School for Good and Evil series.

The victims are the most popular girls in school, each murdered and arranged in a grim fairy-tale tableau. To find the killer, rookie detective Callum Pederson has gone undercover where the Princes hold court. He’s found enough secrets among the bros to bring them in for questioning—but he could very well get lost in the games the Princes play.

Book Review

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making – Book Review

Book Rating: ★★★★☆ (4.5 / 5 stars)

It’s every girl’s dream: whisked away by the Green Wind, September leaves her bland life in Nebraska behind and journeys to Fairyland! But while Fairyland is filled with creatures and magic that she adores, there is something wicked afoot about the Marquees overseeing Fairyland that is stopping wyveraries from flying, fairies from smiling, and witches from predicting the future. With the Green Wind barred from entering fairyland, September has to figure out how to stop fairyland from succumbing to the evil Marquees before its too late. 

In a book reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz, and other similar “portal” fantasies, we are lifted onto the back of a Leopard and transported to Fairyland. But Fairyland bends the rules of all things magical, in a way that feels new and different. September is a precocious child, knowledgeable of all things fairy-like, but still willing to take help from a Golem named Lye, a wyverary named A-through-L, and a Maird named Saturday. While she is initially portrayed as being heartless, September slowly works her way not only into the hearts of those throughout fairyland, but also into that of the reader. She has the biggest heart imaginable, going on a quest for witches she just met, or to save her wyverary friend! September is a clear picture of not judging someone by first glance, for she is filled with so much more compassion. 

The whimsical nature of the story turns this tale into a true classic. Fairyland is not just a world of gumdrops and lollipops, but a world sorting through problems, with a satisfying conclusion that leaves the reader excited to voyage back. Already I’ve ordered the next four books in the series!

There are also some darker elements to the book that adults and children both will enjoy. This is a story about not just a child, but about the world at large, about growing up, and about experiencing new things. If you enjoy Alice in Wonderland or The Wizard of Oz, then you will enjoy this!

It did take me a bit to get into the story though, for as I mentioned above, September starts off as the overly precocious, almost heartless child. The writing style can be hard to get into at first, but once you get absorbed in the story, it is almost hard to book down!

I cannot wait until I receive the copies of the next books in the mail! I’m anxiously awaiting their arrival! Until then, I’ll just dream a bit of fairyland, and pretend I’m riding on the back of a Leopard with the Green Wind. 

What’s it about?

Twelve-year-old September lives in Omaha, and used to have an ordinary life, until her father went to war and her mother went to work. One day, September is met at her kitchen window by a Green Wind (taking the form of a gentleman in a green jacket), who invites her on an adventure, implying that her help is needed in Fairyland. The new Marquess is unpredictable and fickle, and also not much older than September. Only September can retrieve a talisman the Marquess wants from the enchanted woods, and if she doesn’t . . . then the Marquess will make life impossible for the inhabitants of Fairyland. September is already making new friends, including a book-loving Wyvern and a mysterious boy named Saturday. 

With exquisite illustrations by acclaimed artist Ana Juan, Fairyland lives up to the sensation it created when the author first posted it online. For readers of all ages who love the charm of Alice in Wonderland and the soul of The Golden Compass, here is a reading experience unto itself: unforgettable, and so very beautiful.

Book Review

Nevada Noir – Book Review

Book Rating: ★★★★☆ (4 / 5 stars)

Money isn’t everything, but unfortunately for a few unlucky souls, it costs them everything. A group of unsuspecting individuals soon become entwined in a mystery revolving around $100K of cash, and with each turn, this cash leads them down the path of wrong. Can any of them escape the lust and greed of wealth? Or will it cause them to meet untimely demises?

In a set of three short stories that are woven together through one common thread, we see how greed leads to death, destruction, and heartbreak. The stories reminded me of Pulp Fiction, and similar stories, where a common factor links multiple individuals together.

David Arrowsmith is without a doubt a skilled writer, able to paint the picture of Nevada clearly in our minds and heart. The tension is high in the air, the money lust aplenty, and sadness a clear trickle in the air. The imagery is the type you might see when reading a book for an English class, but all in the right ways. 

Of all three stories, my favorite was the middle; this one had the most direct storyline that linked the start and finish, with the chance to really get to know the characters more than the rest. These two bank robbers are the focal point, and from here the stories branch out. Without this middle one, the other two stories don’t quite make as much sense, which I feel like was done masterfully and on purpose.

It did take a bit for me to get into this short book (and by that I mean it took me 30 minutes to really start it rather than getting sucked in right away). In addition, the stories are dark, filled with violence and murder, so they are not for the feint of heart.

Definitely a fascinating read though, with a vital message: greed isn’t always worth it. 

What’s it about?

In these three dark and brooding short stories, set in and around the US state of Nevada, a cast of disparate characters struggle with greed and temptation, and the cursed lure of easy money… an old man goes in search of his son in the aftermath of a terrible storm, a couple down on their luck make a life-changing discovery and an ex-cop has one last impossible decision to make…

Book Review

The Wickeds – Book Review

Book Rating: ★★★★☆ (4.5 / 5 stars)

 They say we only know the stories of the victors. Is that not true of our favorite fairytales? We hear Rapunzel, Snow White, and Cinderella’s sides of the stories, detailing their wicked mothers. But what if these matriarchs weren’t so bad? What if their stories were just misunderstood? 

In a short story that tells the villainous side of these well known fairytales, we see these “wicked” mothers as worn out old women, trying to live their lives without such horrendous reputations. Though bitterness ultimately gets the better of them, and they are forced to seek out revenge against those who harmed them. Who is right? Who is wrong? Or were neither sides of blame?

In an examination of motherhood, we see sometimes how mother and daughter are pitted against each other. Teenage rebellion can lead into fairy-tale like stories, that put a stake between the mother-daughter relationship. It’s a circle that continues. As one generation ages, the next runs away. This short story was an introspective look at this, with a wonderful fairytale twist. While I would have loved a moment exploring this more at the end, the message is clear: sometimes stories aren’t what they seem…

And sometimes, being a teenager means you aren’t all that rational in your behavior.

Because sometimes, you just want a prince and not your mother.

What’s it about?

The reviled villainesses of Snow White, Cinderella, and Rapunzel team up to set the record straight in a subversively funny short story by the #1 New York Times bestselling author of If I Stay.

Envious queen? Evil stepmother? Kidnapping hag? Elsinora, Gwendolyn, and Marguerite are through with warts-and-all tabloids, ugly lies, and the three ungrateful brats who pitted them against each other and the world. But maybe there’s more to the stories than even the Wickeds know. Is it time to finally get revenge? After all, they’re due for a happily-enough-ever-after. Even if they have to write it themselves.