Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Review - Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

Cruel Beauty (Cruel Beauty Universe, #1)

Series: Stand Alone! 
Genre: Fantasy 
E-book - 336 pgs
Source: Purchased
Add It // Buy It 
Rating - 2/5 

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 about this book are all over the place so I am going to attempt to sort them out over the course of this review. I was conflicted even starting this book because A Court of Thorns and Roses comes out next week and I didn't want to compare the two retellings in my mind. They both are based, at least somewhat, on the fairytale of Beauty and the Beast which is one of my favorite tales. Plus it wasn't on my TBR for the readathon I was starting the next day! It didn't work and I was glued to this book for an entire day.

Unfortunately, while I read this read this book very quickly, I didn't like this it as much as I was hoping. The fairytale of Beauty and the Beast was woven into this story nicely. It wasn't overt and there was a lot of original content, but you could tell it was an underlying thread of the story. I especially appreciated the touch of adding the ring! Overall though, the whole story felt shallow and underdeveloped. I just wanted more! There was a really interesting dynamic of Greek gods and fairytales. I liked all the elements but it just did not work as a whole for me.

There is a lot going on in this book. The main character is very conflicted about her family, her duty and her husband. We touch on her struggles with these things, but I felt like they were never fully explored. Nyx felt set up to be a strong main character, but it never panned out. She has skills and knowledge but cannot make up her mind about who to use them against. The love triangle didn't convince me about either choice Nyx had as a love interest. Nyx also constantly changes her mind about who to trust which is understandable to some degree. However, her fickleness was excessive and frustrating.

So at this point I know things sound terrible. It wasn't all terrible. I did have fun reading this book, but things just did not work for me. Personally, I think the author tried to fit too many storylines into the book and they all suffered for it. Towards the end especially there was so much going on without a lot of explanation or detail. I was very confused about what was going on. Honestly I've been thinking about rereading this story to see if my opinion changes, but right now I'm just not impressed.

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