Review: Locks: Rapunzel Unhinged by Sarah J. Pepper

Sarah J. Pepper is one of my favorite Indie Authors since I started to review books. Before this book, I had read two of her other works and fell in love with her. However, this book is proof that even you can  dislike a book by a favorite author.

From the very first page I knew this wasn’t my type of book. I tried to keep an open mind but each chapter made me want to pull my hairs outs, both at frustration for the book, and thinking there must have been something wrong with me not liking it.

The writing was great, as always. I loved the descriptions of the Château de Immortelle, a castle carved from a mountain where the villain lived and controlled the whole place. Sarah’s descriptions were extremely vivid, creative, and easy to grasp in my mind. I had this whole setting in my head, a morph of Tim Burton with classical fairy tale. Details didn’t go missing here at all, and I loved every bit of them, from the beautiful ones to the creepy ones. 

The plot was also good, in general. Rapunzel is a prisoner of Taryn, Master of Time and Queen of the Enigmatic Realms. Taryn was a tyrant who imprisoned anyone with seemed worthy of adding to her collection of sorcerers form whom she took power from. When Rapunzel finally makes a break for it from the highest tower, she’s caught by the panty-dropping and sexy Mercenary. Tired of being hit, spat on, being used and ridiculed, Rapunzel is made into the leader of the Iconoclast, rebels who are slaves of Taryn as well who want to be free as well. Rapunzel is thrown in a whirlwind of lies, mysteries, and romance as she tried to uncover the truth of everything around her, and how to defeat Taryn and gain her freedom once and for all.

Thing is, it was really interesting. What got me motivated to keep reading was the urge and hunger to know more of this fantastical place where there were warlocks, sorcerers and sorceresses, and so much more! I wanted to know about Taryn, her motivations and backstory, and know more about how Rapunzel was going to defeat her.

But my problem here was–tada!–Rapunzel herself. I couldn’t stand her. From the first chapter on all she seems to think about is the Mercenary called Flynn. He’s sex on legs, carved by the gods (maybe a god himself), and she couldn’t help herself but want to jump him. I tried to see from her point of view of things, but it got to a point where the story, the plot and problems I mentioned about, were going extremely well, when all of a sudden Rapunzel is mouthing Flynn for this or that, acting all brave and all. And he follows suit. They have this banter of who will get who begging for sex, who wins the game of staring or resisting, and so on. I was full of it. Sigh in relief, there’s no insta-love. But beware of the insta-lust!

And I mean, fine, there’s that. There are people who like that, and I don’t judge them! I’m not one to talk because I’m a big fan of Harlequin KISS titles, and we all know what those have *ahem*. But here, with Rapunzel and a rebellion brewing to take out Taryn, I didn’t want any of it. Not so much at least. Most of the book was about that, or at least it felt for me. I even skipped reading the most intense part where Rapunzel and Flynn get to it and have sex and confess stuff and all. Imagine how I was…

In general, the book was great. Sarah delivered a great twist on the Rapunzel classic that’s sure to blog the minds of the readers, specially those who enjoy retellings. However, this wasn’t my type of book. But because it wasn’t my type, it doesn’t mean it wasn’t great either. Sarah is a great and talented author, and this is another great work to add to her list. If you’re like me and don’t want that type of romance, maybe this one isn’t for you. If so, then go on and devour it! I’m sure a few readers out there will like it more than I. Though I am curious to know what will happen next, if the author decided to do a sequel.

Rating: 2.5 stars

9 thoughts on “Review: Locks: Rapunzel Unhinged by Sarah J. Pepper

  1. What a shame, the cover is so intriguing with beautiful art, but I totally agree how a favourite author won’t always deliver. Rapunzel sounds like the typical YA heroine who turns stupid at a love interest, one of my pet peeves. Nonetheless, lovely review Jennifer!


  2. That’s too bad for you 😦 I love retellings, at least the writing is great. When the main character doesn’t get along with the reader, everything will just fall apart like a domino. Thanks so much for sharing!


    1. That happened to me a lot, the domino effect. The main character usually is the main element in a story that’ll help keep everything together, and if it fails then the rest follows suit. But oh well, maybe next time it’ll be better. Thanks for reading and commenting! 🙂


  3. It makes me so so sad when a favourite author doesn’t live up to expectations. But I guess they enjoy trying new stuff, too, right? I try to always read with an open mind, but yeeeeah. I haven’t actually had much like with good NA’s anyway. I like the cover though.


    1. I LOVED the cover. I’m on Sarah’s street team and it was really cool to see how the model got prepped up to become Rapunzel. I always try to keep an open mind too, but oh well, this just was’t for me. After this, and a few other books, I am trying to steer clear of NA. I’ve noticed they usually just involve a lot of wild sec in college, and just no. I like sweet and cute love from YA, and Harlequin KISS… xD Thanks for reading and commenting 🙂


  4. Yeah, I think I’m going to skip this one. Rapunzel was my favorite fairy tale growing up, so I’m a harsher critic of retellings to begin with, but a retelling where Rapunzel is an unlikable . . . until suddenly, she’s not? Not a big fan of inconsistent characters. Maybe I try something else from this author that’s not my favorite fairy tale 😉 Great review, Jennifer!


  5. I have also read and enjoyed SJP’s books and I’m really sorry this didn’t work out for you. I understand where you’re coming from though, there’s a time and place for sexy thoughts and banter and the situation the characters are in is definitely not it. I would still read this, but I would definitely keep your review in mind adjust my expectations regarding Rapunzel. Awesome review 🙂


  6. That cover! It’s definitely intriguing. Plus a Rapunzel retelling! That totally call to me. But seeing as how you grew distasteful of the romance aspect, I’m thinking twice whether I should read it. Like you, I do not like it when the lusting gets in the way of the book. I don’t know why there’s so much of that nowadays.


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