Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Book Shelf: Briar Rose by Jana Oliver

A dark and sexy reimagining of the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale from the author of THE DEMON TRAPPERS.

For Briar Rose, life is anything but a fairy tale. She's stuck in a small town in deepest Georgia with parents who won't let her out of their sight, a bunch of small-minded, gossiping neighbours and an evil ex who's spreading nasty rumours about what she may or may not have done in the back of his car. She's tired of it all, so when, on her sixteenth birthday, her parents tell her that she is cursed and will go to sleep for a hundred years when the clock strikes midnight, she's actually kind of glad to leave it all behind. She says her goodbyes, lies down, and closes her eyes . . . And then she wakes up.

Cold, alone and in the middle of the darkest, most twisted fairy tale she could ever have dreamed of. Now Briar must fight her way out of the story that has been created for her, but she can't do it alone. She never believed in handsome princes, but now she's met one her only chance is to put her life in his hands, or there will be no happy ever after and no waking up.

More info on Goodreads....


Briar Rose is a uniquely told fairytale retelling of Sleeping Beauty by Jana Oliver that transports you into a whimsical world of metal monsters, tyrant leaders and fighting heroes!

In all honesty, I’m a big Jana Oliver fan. Her Demon Trappers series sits as one of my favourites so it stands to reason that I had high hopes for this book. Unfortunately Briar Rose is a bit of a mixed bucket for me. It didn’t quite meet my expectations and while I did enjoy it for the most part, unfortunately it wasn’t the intensely thrilling read I’ve come to expect from Oliver.

Briar Rose is a fairytale retelling through and through. It reads like a retelling and tells like a retelling, sweeping the reader into the mind of our “sleeping beauty” like never before. I have to point out, I didn’t dislike this book. As far as fairytale retelling’s go (which, I love by the way) it was decent; well written and well told, with a different take on the traditional tale and story I’ve previously seen. It was just missing that something; that wow factor that takes the book out of the okay-read sector and into the OMG pile. In all honesty Briar Rose is worth reading—if you’re a fairytale fan or a Jana Oliver fan that it’s definitely for you….if not…well, it may still be.

I liked the characters in this book, even if I was never overly blown away with them. Briar was alright as a heroine, but in saying that I never felt as though I was completely drawn into her plight in this far away land inside her mind. I wanted to be, but I just wasn’t.

Unfortunately for as likable as Joshua was, I found him bland for the most part. Together he and Briar were sweet, but came on waaay to fast, too soon for my liking. Their relationship just wasn't completely believable for me. I’m sorry, as much as I love Jana Oliver, and I do, I really do, I just couldn’t buy this; not a hundred percent.

To me, the best aspect of the characters was the dynamic they shared with each other. As individuals they weren’t overly much, but throw them together, especially Reena and Pat, and they were hilarious to behold.

Featuring a different take on Sleeping Beauty and with plenty of mysterious family feuds, hoodoo magic and devious intensions, Briar Rose is worth reading if you’re looking for an easy fairytale story but don’t want too much depth!

Source: Sent for review by Pan Macmillan Australia (Thank you Laura!)
Format: Paperback
Buy it: BookworldThe Book Depository | Amazon
My Recommendation: Fans of Jana Oliver and fairytale retellings will enjoy this.
Cover: I think the cover is really pretty!
Will I read sequel/continue with series: This is a stand alone, but I'll read more by Jana Oliver without a doubt!


  1. I'm a huge fairytale lover, so I want to read this book of course. It's a shame that their romance was a bit too rushed, but overall, I'm looking forward to it :)


    1. I think fans of fairy tales will definitely enjoy this one :)

  2. I haven't read Jana Oliver yet. Looks like I should start with her Demon Trappers series. :-)

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    1. Absolutely! Begin with The Demon Trappers! It's a wonderful series and will without a doubt begin your Jana Olivet live affair ;)


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