Monday, June 22, 2015

Cruel Beauty

by Rosamund Hodge

Story summary: Retelling of "Beauty and the Beast" (with maybe a bit of Hades & Persephone thrown in?).

Why You Might Like This Book:
  • The characters are flawed and faulty without being morally repugnant. Complexity, ftw!
  • The cover is beautiful. Yes, don't judge a book by its cover and all that, but sometimes sitting down to read something that looks so nice has a reward of its own.
  • In a similar isn't-supposed-to-be-relevant vein, the main characters are called Nyx and Ignifex! How cool are those names? I want to call my daughter Nyx, but I don't think I could get away with that, sigh.

And Why You Might Not:
  • The beauty/sexiness of the "Beast" was emphasized more than I like. I like my BatB retellings to actually have ugly Beasts, not just beautiful Beasts with a dark side.
  • Coming off from that, the romance was also not my style. There was a sort-of love triangle that bothered me, and way too much emphasize on beauty/sexiness as opposed to getting to know each other.

Thoughts: I don't have a whole lot to say for this one. Mostly because it was months ago that I read it and I'm way behind on reviews (I've been saying that a lot recently, sigh). But partly also because the romance was a bit of a put-off for me, and thus I wasn't able to properly enjoy some of the aspects that made it actually quite good.

Because there definitely were good aspects. It was written well--rather beautifully sometimes. The characters were for the most part interesting and complex; I especially enjoyed the relationship between Nyx and her sister Astraia. That was probably the best part of the book for me.

And the cover is gorgeous. I love red. Also spirals.

Grade: 2 1/2 stars

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