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Tuesday, 21 March 2017
Review: Cruel Beauty
Buy or Borrow: Buy
Source: Copy courtesy of the publisher!
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 rating of this has changed the more I thought about it, and I've had to go with a 3/3.5 because while I enjoyed the story, it didn't completely blow me away and there where moments of confusion where things where just so complicated and I didn't think they needed to be or should have been with how short the book is and considering it's a standalone. My other issue is that I went in to this expecting a Beauty and the Beast retelling or at least to have that as the basis of the book but it was all "Pandora this" and "Pandora that" like don't get me wrong...a Pandora story would be totally awesome...but this was supposed to be Beauty and the Beast. It was more like a Pandora's box retelling type thing.
That being said, the mythology to the book was certainly unique. I did like the world of the book with the mentions of Greek Gods and so on, and I was intrigued and wanting to know more, but this is just a one book kinda story so we didn't get much. This wasn't at all like I was expecting, I'm not going to lie. It was dark and twisted, which made a nice change. The characters where similarly dark and twisty. There where still some cute moments to warm the cockles of your heart, but it wasn't the flowers and rainbows and unicorn farts of most retellings, so that did make a nice change.
Another thing letting this down was the predictability of it. I don't have a problem with it in most circumstances, sometimes I even like some predictability...but not in this kind of book and if it had blown me away more, I wouldn't have been as bothered about it. And the most predictable plot twist was to do with Shade and I felt like it was so obvious it took away from the story a little. There was no huge surprise or anything. There where still a few things that I didn't see coming, or hadn't put together quite yet when the reveals happened but I worked out quite a few things.
Nyx...oh Nyx. On the one hand...I couldn't really blame her for the resentment she felt for her sister, and her hatred towards her family. I too, disliked her family. Especially her father and her aunt. But it got to a point, when she just wasn't all that likeable and I found her hard to connect to. Not to mention the whole...she saw her sister for a couple of moments and without too much thought or doubt she decided to betray the guy and then had an inner conflict about it for ages. I mean...maybe this was too rushed? Too fast paced? Or she was just fickle. There is that.
Ignifex on the other hand....I loved him. He's the kind of villain I love. If you loved The Darkling, you will love him. Such a good villain. He was evil to an extent....some might say heartless, but at the same time he was snarky and he made me laugh, and he could be really sweet and funny too. I was totally on team Ignifex. Shade...well...he was as shady as his name.
The insta love I wasn't a fan of, let alone when it happened twice and we had that weird love triangle because I think we all knew what Shade was and how it was going to end up and I was like...are we really doing this?
All in all.....there was some unnecessary complicatedness to this, there was a tonne about Pandora, I didn't see much in the way of Beauty and the Beast. Our MC was fickle and couldn't make her mind up...like I have trouble deciding on things but not to this extent, I got whiplash from the constant back and forth. There was insta love...twice, and a love triangle that I really wasn't that fussed about, and I feel like Ignifex was the only thing about this book that I really, really liked. The rest was just...okay. Which is a shame because I had high hopes for this!