Saturday, 11 January 2014

(ARC) Book Review (295):Cruel Beauty - Rosamund Hodge

Cruel Beauty

Publication: 28th January 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pages: 352
Genre: Fantasy
Age Appropriate: Young Adult
Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast in this sweeping fantasy about one girl's journey to fulfill her destiny and the monster who gets in her way-by stealing her heart.

Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle-a shifting maze of magical rooms-enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex's secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.
My Thoughts.
Cruel Beauty is a 2014 debut novel by Rosamund Hodge.

Described as Beauty And The Beast crossed with Graceling, this was one of my most highly anticipated books of the year, unfortunately it didn't quite hit the mark, maybe my expectations were too high I don't really know, it was still good, just not as good as I'd built it up in my head that it was going to be.

I have to start by saying that Beauty And The Beast is my all time favorite Disney movie, so anytime that there is a  book I find that's described as a retelling you can bet your ass that I'll be all over it, I think what had me disappointed in this book is that I got bored, it was too long and whenever I put the book down I wasn't ever in a rush to pick it back up again.

I didn't really find any of the characters that likeable, maybe Shade and that was about it, I find once you discover no redeeming qualities in the lead characters, you're not going to find it that enjoyable, that may have been another problem I had with this book too.

The concept was a great idea, that was another reason that I was initially drawn to to this book as well as the gorgeous cover, if the story had of been a lot shorter I'm sure I would have liked it a whole lot more.

I would still recommend this to fans of fantasy and fairy tale retellings, as this seems to be rating very well on Goodreads, unfortunately it wasn't really for me.

I give this 3/5 stars.

When my older brother was thirteen, he started a writing club with his friends and wouldn’t let me join because I was only eight. I promptly swore that I would become a writer and make him sorry.
He still isn’t sorry. (I checked.) But in 2014 I will publish my first novel with Balzer+Bray/HarperCollins, so I guess everything worked out okay.
Some other facts about me:
• I practice Shorinji Kempo, a Japanese martial art based on Shaolin Kung Fu.
• Cruel Beauty is my debut novel, but it is somewhere between the third and sixth that I ever completed, depending on how you count things. (There was the 40,000-word mess I called a novel when I was sixteen, and the 220,000-word mess I briefly pretended was a single novel in 2009.)
• NaNoWriMo changed my life and got me finishing novels again after a long hiatus. But Cruel Beauty is not a NaNoWriMo novel. (The NaNoWriMo project that changed everything was the 220,000-word mess. Someday I may even revise it.)
• I grew up as a homeschooler in Los Angeles, and I spent my childhood marinating in Greek mythology, which is where all the Greek elements in Cruel Beauty come from.
• Then I got a B.A. in English at the University of Dallas, and an M.St. in Medieval English at Oxford. Naturally, I moved to Seattle and got a job with computers.
• I have studied five languages (Spanish, French, Latin, Old Norse, and Japanese), though sadly I am still not able to speak any of them.
• I love some things more than T. S. Eliot’s poetry. But not many things.

1 comment:

  1. Well nice honest review! I have to admit I am dying to read this one! I requested it like 3 times on Edelweiss months ago and received promptly 3 rejections. No matter what I say in my profile about my blogging and reviewing creds, they don't seem to care. I feel heartbroken! Well, at least with this particular title it is almost out!

    Hope you have a better and more loved read next time! Still nice review!