I was really looking forward to reading this book when I picked it up in the shop as a cheer-me-up treat after a painful dentist appointment. It stood out on the shelf, the premise sounded fantastic and I love modern day adaptations of fairytales. Sadly when I did I was very, very, very disappointed.
The pacing for the book is just dreadful. It jumps around from scene to scene far too quickly and some events just seem completely out of the blue whilst others just do not contribute at all to the plot. I got the impression that maybe the author was trying to imitate the style of fairytales, since their plots tend to move quite fast, but those stories are often short. This is a novel, albeit a slightly short one and so you would think the time would be taken to develop the plot. Instead, any problem that occurred were resolved almost immediately. Everything mentioned in the blurb on the back of the book is solved within the first third of the story. There was very little tension anywhere and any that does exist is usually destroyed by a convenient solution which comes out of nowhere. The way the final issues of the story are resolved really irritated me because there was no previous indication that certain characters would change sides at the last minute. The specific one I am thinking about really should have had some hint of something happening, even if it was Jack saying, 'I have a proposition for you' a couple of scenes beforehand. It would also give that previous scene a point too.
The characters really needed more development. We don't learn much about any of them. They are all quite one dimensional. The thing that annoyed me the most was the non-existent build up for any of the relationships. We end up with four couples by the end of the book and aside from one which started before the book even begun, they all just happen in a love at first sight sense. Yes that happens in fairytales but when you're working with a modern setting it is just irritating because no one behaves like that. I am also aware that it is not entirely meant to be our reality, given some animals can talk and have rights (something that is never fully explained, it's just there so the Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf can be a part of the story), but for the most part they are modern day people and that's not how you would expect them to behave.
As I said, I was looking forward to this. I think the premise has amazing potential. Unfortunately it just was not pulled off and I would not recommend this to anybody.