Review: Sleeping Beauty No More by Aisha Urooj

Whenever I’m accepting ARCs, I always tell authors: if you write romance, I am probably not the best person for you. I’ll read romantic fantasy (I’ll read anything that isn’t nailed down), but I am not an ideal audience for it, especially if it’s not queer.

Sleeping Beauty No More doesn’t change this preconceived notion for me, but I suspect there’s much to appreciate about the book for someone who is a fan of the genre. I found things I enjoyed too! I really liked Devon as a character. He was likable as well as heroic, and he had a great dynamic with Aurora. However, the jealousy dynamic between the two of them felt strained and rather petty (this is one of the things I have a hard time getting behind in romance-focused books). Nonetheless, I was definitely rooting for the couple the whole time!

The side-plot with Morgan and Xavier was very compelling, and I wish it had gotten more time in the book. However, my favorite character was Anya, for obvious reasons.

Also, Malorna’s entrance right near the end was truly kick-ass. A great plot twist, and really well-written. (For the most part, the author’s style felt unpolished to me, but this scene was an exception).

It was also a cool reimagining of the Sleeping Beauty story. It’s a very troubling myth, thematically speaking and in terms of its treatment of women, so it was nice to see it get this reinvention. Urooj definitely succeeded in recasting it as a love story.

Other than these things, though, I felt like the book focused on romance to the exclusion of other factors–the worldbuilding was really underdeveloped, most of the characters were hard to tell apart, and the writing style was very simplistic. However, for a reader of fantasy romance, I suspect this would be a great fit!


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