Poisoned Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
Break the enchanted mirror. Burn the poisoned apple. Fight for your own version of happily ever after.
Once upon a time, a girl named Sophie rode into the forest. Her lips were as red as blood, her skin as pale as snow, and her hair as dark as night. When she stopped to rest, her huntsman companion took his knife, plunged it into Sophie’s chest...and removed her heart.
As she gasped for breath on the forest floor, Sophie was terrified but not surprised. She’d heard the rumors, the whispers. They said she was too weak and foolish to rule, a waste of a princess. A disaster of a future queen. And Sophie believed them. Because in this world, poisoned apples don’t put you into an enchanted sleep - they infect your mind with the cruelest things ever said about you. It’s what keeps girls like Sophie from becoming too powerful, too strong....
Yet Sophie doesn’t die. She’s rescued by seven mysterious engineers who manage to fashion her a temporary heart. It’s not perfect, but it has one advantage - it hasn’t been contaminated by fear. Now Sophie has the chance to hunt down the source of the poisoned apples, to find the person who stole her heart and take it back. To prove that even the darkest magic can’t extinguish the fire burning inside every girl.
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|Listening Length||10 hours and 35 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||October 05, 2020|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #78,379 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#166 in Dark Fantasy for Teens
#612 in Teen & Young Adult Fairy Tale & Folklore Adaptations
#627 in Teen & Young Adult Dark Fantasy
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Top reviews from the United States
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Fairytale retelling of Snow White with a pro-feminist twist that questions negative comments and the doubts they create. Princess Sophia has a kind heart and a selfless personality. She cares about everything and everyone. Her stepmother, Queen Adelaide, berates Sophia for being soft and weak and therefore will undoubtedly make a terrible ruler. Adelaide commands the huntsman to kill Sophia and take her heart but, amazingly, she survives. As she struggles to live and recapture her heart, Princess Sophia meets many people of different backgrounds and circumstances and she helps everyone in anyway she can. A tale of courage and confidence, 5 stars!
Poisoned is written mostly in the third person narrative, which works to its detriment. The lack of emotional attachment I felt to the protagonist, Sophie, made me wish I had a clearer idea of what was going on in her head. What is even more bizarre is that a small selection of chapters are written in the first-person perspective of the Huntsman. This would have been fine if the story was about him, but he played virtually no role in Sophie's tale outside of attempting to kill her one time just as he did in the original fairy tale. The difference is that in this version, he succeeds in cutting out her heart, a gruesome image that made me feel uncomfortable for the remainder of the book. If this story had taken place a normal world, Sophie would have been dead, and that would have been the end of the book. However, Jennifer Donnelly channels her inner Tim Buron by having Sophie encounter seven brothers who live in the woods and make her a clockwork heart that somehow brings her back to life even though her body had been missing its heart the entire time they worked on the prosthetic. For the rest of the book, she wanders the world with a gruesome scar on her chest and ticking gears underneath it.
I could have seen past the macabre imagery if it had been balanced out with an emotional plot, but all of the characters in this story are one-dimensional. At the beginning of the book, Sophie meets a prince named Hans Haakon who is so obviously evil that he might as well have been wearing a flashing neon sign on his head saying "Don't Trust Me." It felt like a chore to go through so many chapters before reaching the betrayal that anyone could see coming from a mile away. I also knew who Sophie's "real" love interest was the moment he showed up even though the author was trying to make the romance a surprise. The seven brothers who were inspired by the seven dwarfs had no real personalities outside of their professions, and it felt like Sophie had no time to form a bond with them even though they grew to love her just as much as the dwarfs from any other adaptation of "Snow White." There was also a new character who made his way through life by robbing corpses. Lovely. Amongst all the gothic and gruesome imagery, I did appreciate that the author incorporated all three methods that Snow White's stepmother used to try to kill her since most versions leave out everything except the apple.
The book gets even more weirdly existential when we learn that the true villain was not Sophie's stepmother, but instead a mysterious figure who turns out to be the personification of Fear. I rolled my eyes so hard at this. The author struggled so much with how to create an emotional connection to her characters that she decided to turn actual emotions into characters, a technique that only worked in Inside Out. I'm sure the imagery and symbolism presented in Poisoned would have looked lovely in a movie, but this is a book, so we need to feel it, not see it. The only thing that I ever felt for Sophie was pity for having to wander around with a bunch of mechanical gears in her chest. I also felt sorry that she trusted someone who was obviously no good. When she finally did meet her love interest, it came so late in the book that I was beyond the point of caring. Their romance felt forced and only seemed to be there to teach Sophie that it was her job as the future queen to reverse the people's negative perceptions about her kingdom's royals.
Overall, Poisoned is a hot mess of a "Snow White" retelling. It wants to be a deep and existential movie, but its characters are shallow and in some cases, literally heartless. Jennifer Donnelly would be better suited to writing a script for a Tim Burton movie than a novel. The macabre imagery in the book made me reluctant to finish it, and the "plot twists" were so obvious that it felt like a waste of time. The only positive thing I have to say about it is that she succeeded in making it even darker than the Brothers Grimm fairy tale. Next time I see an ad on Facebook for a book that I know nothing about, I'll think twice before purchasing it.
Once upon long ago, always and evermore, there was a story. A story about a girl without a heart. Also is the story of a queen, a mirror, some crows and an apple.
This book is about Sophie, the Princess of the Greenlands, a girl who loves her people, her kingdom and Prince Haakoon. Sophie loves with all her heart, and it's because of that heart, that this story begins. The Queen wants Sophie's heart, and her huntsman took it from Sophie's chest and left her "dead" in the darkwood. There, a group of men and a spider help her and her race begins.
A race to give her heart and her kingdom back, a race to face the villain of this story, a race to find love in unsuspected places.
No more details, but this Snow White retelling is beautiful, a little creepy, twisty and dark. And I love those kinds of stories. And I love this book, is so magical, there's magic on every page.
Sophie and Will are amazing, both of them are so cute, and the seven dwarfs and their spider too.
But let's talk about Sophie, a princess with no kingdom who's running against everything in this book, she will do everything she can to save her people and I love her development through this book.
Will on the other hand was that kind of guy that I enjoy reading about, he was kind, selfless and has a heart full of good intentions. He loves birds and animals in general, he is fighting too, to save his family.
Now, I don't usually love spiders, but I love one that appears here, also I love Sophie's dog, because everything is better with a dog.
The essence of the original fairy tale was in this book, with some dark twists that make this book wonderful. The apple and the mirror was definitely the best development "original" elements.
Finally the end was awesome and I loved it. But the epilogue was epic, I need to know if more of these retellings are going to be written.
In general, this grim tale was everything I was expecting and even more.
5/5 for this one
Top reviews from other countries
Mit Stepsister und Poisend hat sie jetzt nochmal auf einem neuen Level den Vogel abgeschossen (natürlich nur im positivsten Sinne).
Es Ich liebe Jennifer Donnelly als Autorin einfach. Schon ihre vorherigen Bücher wie Teerose, Winterrose, Das Licht des Nordens, etc fand ich einfach genial. Einige davon gehören sogar zu meinen absoluten Lieblingsbüchern.
Mit Stepsister und Poisend hat sie jetzt nochmal auf einem neuen Level den Vogel abgeschossen (natürlich im absolut positivem Sinne).
Es ist diesmal eine komplett andere Art von Geschichte als die, die ich sonst von ihr gewohnt bin. Diesmal ist es eine Mischung aus Fantasy und Thriller. Dabei handelt es sich um eine Märchenadaption von Schneewittchen.
Die Message ist dabei eine wunderschöne, nämlich, dass man zuerst die Stärke in sich selbst finden muss, damit sie auch andere in dir sehen und dass eine Frau nicht unbedingt einen Mann braucht, um stark zu sein. Frauen brauchen keinen Ritter in glänzender Rüstung, der sie rettet, sondern können ihren Mann selber stehen. Einfach nur genial ein so modernes Thema in einer so altertümlichen Geschichte wie Schneewittchen unterzubringen. Das Thema der Stärke und des Feminismus ist permanent präsent, was ich sehr schön fand.
Es ist gleichermaßen märchenhaft wie gruselig. Es ist nach der älteren, unheimlicheren Erzählung von Schneewittchen nach den Gebrüdern Grimm. Alle wichtigen Elemente waren enthalten.
Mal wieder eine sehr starke Leistung von Jennifer Donnelly. Sehr empfehlens- und Lesens wert !
Reviewed in Brazil on December 17, 2020