Dead Upon a Time by Elizabeth Paulson

Title: Dead Upon a Time
Author: Elizabeth Paulson
Publisher: Scholastic
Release Date: August 25th 2015
Source: ARC from Publisher (thanks Scholastic!!)

Summary from Goodreads:
It's a fairy-tale nightmare . . .

One girl is kept in a room where every day the only food she's given is a poisoned apple. Another is kept in a room covered in needles -- and if she pricks her finger, she'll die. Then there are the brother and sister kept in a cell that keeps getting hotter and hotter. . .

A sinister kidnapper is on the loose in Kate's world. She's not involved until one day she heads to her grandmother's house in the woods -- and finds her grandmother has also been taken. Already an outcast, Kate can't get any help from the villagers who hate her. Only Jack, another outsider, will listen to what's happened.

Then a princess is taken, and suddenly the king is paying attention -- even though the girl's stepmother would rather he didn't. It's up to Kate and Jack to track down the victims before an ever after arrives that's far from happy.


Dead Upon a Time is an imaginative, dark, and creepy blend of classic fairy tales in a page-turning thriller.  The main character while like-able is a town outcast.  She is constantly turned away even when truly in need.  The reader quickly feels sympathetic for the young girl.  She is alone with no parents and now has a missing grandmother (**see the hints of Red Riding Hood**).  These small hints and traces of other fairy tales were so fun to pick out and find throughout the book.  Some of the more subtle ones took me much longer to notice.  It was a great addition to the mysterious story line.

The dark mood kept me on my toes, I was surprised all the way up to the end of the book; a trait I look for in my mysteries.  The romance while typically prominent in fairy tales, was not a major factor in Dead Upon of Time.  Speaking of the romance, Jack's character was a welcome addition to the plot.  While there were hints of a developing romance it never overshadowed the suspense of the plot.

This short book is a quick read, weaving a combination of fairy tales to create an unpredictable and enjoyable book.  I definitely wish the story continued; the writing was unique, descriptive, yet concise.  I recommend Dead Upon a Time if you are looking for a creepier blend of fairy tales.  I look forward to reading more from Elizabeth Paulson.  

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