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I gave brief thoughts on each of the books during my monthly round-ups, but I thought I would discuss the three books released in the Never After Series by Emily McIntire in one post. I find these to be really interesting. Each book is standalone, so you don’t have to read them in order for each of them to understand what’s happening. They are fractured fairy tales, meaning they have references to the original stories but are not retellings by any means. They are also dark and feature mature and graphic content. So, there are trigger warnings (different ones) for each of the books.
The books so far released in the series are:
- Published: September 7, 2021
- Page Count: 340
- Genres: Organized Crime, Kidnapping, Romance
- Fractured Fairy Tale of Peter Pan
- Published: January 4, 2022
- Page Count: 348
- Genres: Vigilante Justice, Fairy Tale, Gothic Romance
- Fractured Fairy Tale of The Lion King
- Published: April 19, 2022
- Page Count: 308
- Genres: Organized Crime, Fairy Tale, Romance
- Fractured Fairy Tale of The Wizard of Oz
For each of these books, I would give a 3.5-star rating out of 5 stars. I could not put these books down, but each had elements that held me back from rating them higher. Generally revolving around the dark elements of the book. I read a lot of books of this nature, so it doesn’t “trigger” me but that still doesn’t mean I jive with it. Especially with the language used during the sex scenes. I’m all for dirty talk, but some of the dirty talks just turn me off. Some people like degrading comments, others don’t, I fall into the last group and that’s often what is used during those scenes. To each their own. I still enjoyed the books, but that’s where the ratings went down for me.
I seriously loved reading each of these books to find references to the original tale. Some of the books made it more obvious than others, especially on the name front. In Hooked, almost all names are identical to the original tale except for Tinkerbell who becomes Tina Belle. And Wendy is the daughter of Peter. In Scarred, the names were similar or at least started with the same first letter: Paul is Pumba, Simon is Simba, Timothy is Timon, etc. There were also more Hamlet references which is what The Lion King was inspired by included in Scarred. Whereas in Wretched, the characters have completely different names and it’s more of a guessing game of who’s who. The only character that didn’t have a completely different name was Dorothy and their mother Glinda. The rest are changed mainly as you’re not going to call characters: the cowardly lion, the tin man, etc. My guess on who’s who is: Eveline (Wicked Witch of the West), Nessa (Wicked Witch of the East), Zeke (the cowardly lion), Cody (the Wizard of Oz), and Eveline’s father (the scarecrow). There are of course others but those are the main ones.
Each tale also has different tropes as far as the romance goes. Hooked is kidnapped with a bit of Stockholm Syndrome, Scarred is a forbidden relationship as the MC is engaged to the brother of the Scarred Prince so she would be killed for being with him, and Wretched is enemies to lovers granted one party is not aware they are enemies but there’s definitely distrust/hatred between the pair leading up to that discovery. And while two of the books cover organized crime, it’s from different perspectives. The first (Hooked) is rival crime organizations going against each other Hook vs Pan, and the second (Wretched) is DEA trying to bust a drug organization by using an undercover agent to find their supplier who turns out to be Eveline (not a spoiler since it’s revealed at the beginning of the book).
I’m curious to see what the next book in the series is going to be. I’m guessing it won’t get released until August or September based on the timing between the books released so far. As of right now, there is not another listing for this series posted yet. But I’m sure there is more coming. I think a Little Mermaid would be interesting, especially from a dark, fractured “re-telling” perspective. But that might be hard since I doubt there would be actual mermaids involved (these don’t involve magic or fantasy creatures, though that could always change), but it could be pirate-themed which would be interesting.
Have you read the Never After Series or any of these books? If so, what did you think?
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