Once Upon a Time: Reawakened by Odette Beane
Series: Once Upon a Time #1
Publication: July 5th 2013 by Titan Books
Format: Paperback Pages: 400
‘Emma Swan’s life has been anything but a fairy tale. She’s been on her own since she was abandoned as a baby–that is, until the night of her twenty-eighth birthday, when Henry, a ten-year-old boy, shows up on her doorstep. He’s the son Emma gave up for adoption, and this surprise visit turns her life upside down.
Henry takes Emma back to his home in Storybrooke, Maine, where, Henry claims, all the residents are actually fairy tale characters who can’t remember their true identities. And if Henry’s right, that means that his sweet-natured, lonely schoolteacher Mary Margaret Blanchard is really Snow White, the iconic princess … and also Emma’s long-lost mother.
In Fairy Tale Land, we meet Snow White as a bandit on the run, forced into exile by her stepmother, the Evil Queen. Snow’s a young woman learning to become a hero, who will do anything to live happily ever after with her one true love, Prince Charming.
The closer Emma comes to Henry in Storybrooke, the harder it is for her to ignore the dark curse that haunts this small New England town and binds her to Mary Margaret. If Emma can learn to accept her destiny as Storybrooke’s savior and break the curse, she just might get the family reunion she’s dreamed about her entire life.
ABC’s “ONCE UPON A TIME” is a modern adventure with thrilling twists and hints of darkness, brimming with wonder, and filled with the magic of our most beloved fairy tales’ – Goodreads
If you don’t know already, Once Upon a Time is an awesome TV series that airs on ABC (you can watch it on Netflix). Reawakened is the novelisation of the first season. Since I am a fan of the TV series, I thought it would be cool if the series was actually available to read in book form, and that’s how I stumbled across Reawakened. Since I live and breathe #thebookwasbetter, I expected the novelisation to be better than the TV series. Because books make everything better, right?
Nope. I was actually disappointed with Reawakened. I wasn’t expecting deviation from the plot on TV, but I was hoping the novelisation would be more detailed and would have some behind-the-scenes action. Although the TV series does a spectacular job at building and developing characters, I was expecting to really get to know the characters by reading their thoughts. Reawakened did give a little insight into characters’ thoughts but it felt like a half-hearted attempt, the characters in the book paled in comparison to those on-screen. One of the most complex and extraordinary characters, Rumpelstiltskin, was flat and boring in the book. And Henry, who is a smart, patient and brave kid full of imagination, sounded whiney and lacklustre in the book.
The writing wasn’t cluttered or difficult to get around, but it felt disjointed. The transitions between one scene to the other were abrupt and would most likely confuse someone who hasn’t seen the TV series first. If I hadn’t already watched the series on TV, I wouldn’t start after reading Reawakened.
The fact that Reawakened was so simplified meant that a lot of the depth and magic was missing from the book. The dialogues were condensed and each chapter was basically a summary; it felt like I was reading a SparkNotes version of OUAT. The magical elements appeared dull and I thought the descriptions failed to do Storybrooke justice. It was strange that the chapters were based on each episode in season one, but some episodes had been cut out, so you don’t even get to read season one entirely!
Reawakened might be for you if you want to refresh your memory in time for the next season, or if you just want to read a summary of what you already watched.