Title: Bad Apple (Once Upon a Time… Series, Book 3) Pages: 216 Published on: October 8, 2016
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform Genre: Fantasy Age: 13+
Bad Apple, by Aneta Cruz, is a dark, new view into the Snow White fairy tale. In Ms. Cruz’s version, the evil Stepmother needs a daughter in order to keep power as a Russian Czarina. Using magic and selfish reasons, Princess Zarya “steals” the daughter of Mother Earth to remain in Russia’s throne. However, as the child grows and turns into a strikingly beautiful girl, Zarya sees her own beauty be eclipsed by her daughter’s. I very much enjoyed this book. It is a page-turner, full of darkness and twisted turns to the original plot. The fact that the book is written from the perspective of the Evil Queen is a very interesting choice.
The author plunges into the psyche of the Princess/Czarina. We see how her vanity and selfishness destroys her bit by bit. Everything she does, from picking a husband as an accessory to creating a child out of interest, is always powered by narcissism and greed. Then, once she has a child that she needs to care for, she suddenly suffers what most mothers go through: worries and many other things that directly impact on our “beauty.” It is a sort of allegory on aging and leaving room for new generations. The evil Queen can’t stand the idea of growing old, of losing her beauty. The story evolves and ends in an unexpected way. As I’d rather have readers discover this on their own, I won’t write any spoilers here.
Bad Apple is a dark journey into the female psyche, turning a well-known tale into something completely new and fresh. There are several elements of sexuality and violence that prevent me from recommending this book to younger audiences, but it’s profoundly enjoyable for adults and teenagers who love the fantasy genre.
I received a complimentary copy of this book to write a review for Readers’ Favorite. All my opinions are my own.
About the Author
Award-winning author, Aneta Cruz, holds a BA in English Literature and an MFA in Creative Writing. By day, she teaches preschoolers with Autism. By night, she imagineers stories that make hearts pound and minds ponder. The spooky paranormal, monster-ridden fairytales, and hot & hilarious chick-lit genres are her forte. While books take up most of the space in her home, the nooks and crannies of her mind are filled with knowledge about the Cosmos. She hopes it isn’t too late to become an astronaut.
You can make her happy with a great cup of coffee in the morning and silence until she’s done drinking it.
The authoress divides her time between the Czech Republic and Southern California where she lives with her husband, two children, and Poe–the cutest ugly dog in the world.