I’m actually reading the entire thing now, rather than skipping to the good bits (and those are few and far between, lemme tell you) and I’m somewhat confused as to what sort of interpretation we’re being given. Yes; I understand that it’s from Emma and Snow’s POV but all the same…way to completely overhaul what the show was telling us. Or, rather, what I suspect the show was trying to tell us. I suppose interpretation is just that, and considering that Eddie and Adam gave their okay to the novel, it confounds me even more that it got written in the first place.
I just finished Chapter 6: The Heart Is A Lonely Hunter. And I’m meant to believe in the following things:
1) "Did I see you kiss me without my consent?" Emma said angrily. "It’s not okay. You’re drunk, and that was a little too close to assault for my comfort."
And then, the day after… "She hadn’t stopped thinking about the kiss since then." Do you see the trouble I’m having with that? That the words “consent” and “assault” were used, and then a few paragraphs later we’re supposed to believe that Emma has true and romantic feelings for this man? Uh, no. NO. You don’t get to do that, novel. Not to Emma Swan and certainly not to women.
2) Snow’s POV in this chapter talks about her father, "the man who’d showed her the world. The man who’d taught her to know reason, and kindness, and compassion." Uh huh. All those things that we suspect he never showed towards Regina, as he was reading her diary and locking her up inside her chambers? Yep. We know that Snow thinks the world of Leopold and we know that he’s supposed to be a “good” king as well, but then there’s this… "the man whom she had watched fall in love with Regina, all those years ago…"
When did THAT happen? When in the show were we EVER given the slightest cause to consider that Leopold actually loved Regina? Well, we weren’t. It was a marriage of convenience - for HIM. Not for Regina. And to suggest that Leopold LOVED Regina is kind of gross, IMO.
3) Regina visits Emma at the Sheriff’s office, just like in the episode. But she says "If I were you, I’d be very careful that you don’t paint yourself as the town slut." It’s really hard for me to imagine Regina saying that, to be honest. It’s such a horrid, judgmental word and yeah, even though Regina is a Grade A bitch in the story, that’s not something I’d expect to come out of her mouth. Character fail, novel.
4) The scene at the crypt has both Graham and Regina mentioning the word “love”. For me, that was something that was NEVER a part of their relationship. It wasn’t romantic. It was functional. For both of them. And to bring romance into it and feelings kind of perverts the nature of what I had interpreted from the show, to be honest.
And then Regina punches Emma. And in the novel…Emma does NOTHING and WALKS AWAY. Yep, she doesn’t fight back; she doesn’t throw Regina up against the crypt wall and she just removes herself from the situation. So Regina loses control but Emma? Emma doesn’t. And for me, that completely detracts from that entire scene because on the show, that scene was about BOTH of them lacking the self-control when it came to the other and it was the first (if I remember correctly) physical altercation between them. It was important for both their characters but here, it just seems that it’s all Regina. Sigh.
5) Before Graham dies, he tells Emma that he loves her. Yep, he does. You know, because two days prior to that he was quite happily going to Regina’s door and then sleeping with her. But okay, let’s go with this. We’re supposed to believe that Emma and Graham are this huge romantic couple; star-crossed lovers, so to speak. Is it just me or did anyone else fail to see that in the show? Sure, given time, it might have grown into something else but as it was presented to us…no. Just, no.
This novel is irritating because I feel like I KNOW what happened and now I’m being told that it happened quite differently to the way I thought. And that just…well, it confuses me as to exactly what I’m being presented with. For me, the show is canon. This novel is like fanfic. And not the good kind…