Book Review: Rebel Rose by Emma Theriault

Title: Rebel Rose (The Queen’s Council #1)
Author: Emma Theriault
Genre: Historical fantasy/fairytale continuation
Intended audience: YA
Dates Read: 17/02/21 – 21/02/21
Rating: ★★★★

Review:

I know a lot of people didn’t like this book and honestly I can see why. This continuation of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast was at times hard to reconcile with the original cartoon movie. But I still enjoyed it for what it was, perhaps because in this version it was far enough away from the movie for me to treat as something separate.

One of the main complaints I saw about the book is that the character of Belle is so far removed from the vivacious, outspoken character we know from the movie. While this is true, I could accept that while Belle was outspoken within her village, that now trying to fit into royal society and not knowing her way around, she became a little more subdued.

Some of it was a bit predictable and I knew who the villain was from chapter one or two. Having said that, I had assumed his motivations were the complete opposite of what they turned out to be, and I felt what I had expected would have made more sense than what transpired.

Once I got used to the idea of Disney characters set against real world events, I enjoyed the historical setting. It does make things a bit grittier, but I thought it worked. I did wish we got to see a bit more of the side characters – Lumiere, Cogsworth and Mrs Potts all make appearances, but I would have liked more.

Despite those niggles, I found the writing quite engaging. Maybe that was because this was the kind of story I needed to pull me out of a two-week reading slump. Whatever the reason, I found myself ignoring chores and staying up a bit late to finish this one. Now knowing how the series is intended to tie together, I’m interested to see how the other Disney properties are tied into this one.


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Book Review: “Ensnared” by Rita Stradling

Title: Ensnared
Author: Rita Stradling
Genre:
fairytale retelling/sci-fi
Date Read: 14/06/2017 – 19/06/2017
Rating: ★★

Review: 

I was really excited to read a futuristic retelling of Beauty and the Beast. Unfortunately, this one had a few too many elements that made me feel a bit iffy, so I ended up not enjoying it much in the end.

To save her father from prison, Alainn Murphy takes the place of a robot that looks just like her, in the home of Lorccan Garbhan, a disfigured billionaire who has never been outside the tower he grew up in What she expects is a life of servitude, but that’s not what she ends up getting…

There were some things I did like, so let’s talk about those first. I liked most aspects of the near-future world, including the variety of different robots and AI. I also liked the villain of the piece (I won’t give too much away). I thought the character’s motivations were quite well done,  but I did feel that the climax was a bit too drawn out.

The thing that bothered me the most about this story was that as the romance developed between the two main character, Lorcann still thought Alainn was a robot. Even when they start having sex. Even when he starts proposing to her. There was a point where Alainn’s brother says something about Lorcann’s subconscious knowing she was human even if he hadn’t consciously figured it out yet, but that wasn’t enough for me. This could have been explored really well, but instead, it was barely looked at, other than Alainn feeling guilty for continually finding reasons not to tell Lorcann the truth.

As I said before, I felt the climax was a bit too drawn out, and the same could be said for several sections. The book felt too long and there were sections were I was bored enough to consider not finishing. I think this book could have worked really well with a bit of tightening up and a deep exploration of the issues it brought up (and hey, I read an ARC, so for all I know, this did come out more in the final version), but as it was, this was definitely not what I hoped for.


Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for providing me with a free copy of this book for review.

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