FANTASY:  With a single rose Briar is able to control the emotions of others and has the ability to track missing people. Growing up in a place where fairy tales are a part of everyday life, including royal families, Briar’s gift is used to its fullest extent by the majesties of the land. When the princess' beloved is kidnapped, she is hired to find him and bring him to the castle, though he is of non-magic folk. A war is imminent with one royal family blaming the other. With many innocent lives at risk, Briar’s best attempt to stop the upcoming battle is to find the missing man, but many twists and turns make finding the truth more and more complex.

"Pricked" is an intriguing blend of modern times and fairy tale lore — happening at the same time and almost the same places. Though this meshing is a solid premise, this story is found wanting as there is some inconsistency within the story. It has the feel of needing to be part of a series, but can be read as a shaky stand-alone and the writing comes across as fairly scattered and flighty. The characters and the story itself are relatively flat with nothing making it stand out in the genre. Questions are raised which then go unanswered, though it feels like there is supposed to be a big reveal. The biggest redeeming trait is the banter between the characters — it is done well enough that the audience will find themselves giggling once or twice. All in all, for fans of this genre, "Pricked" is not a bad way to spend an afternoon. 

Yannie Sorensen