REVIEW: Cruel Beauty

Hi! I’m so sorry to disappear into thin air for the last 4 months but

‘you know, life happened.’ 


514_400x400_NoPeelAuthor: Rosamund Hodge

Publication: January 28th 2014 by  Balzer + Bray

Format: Hardcover, 346 pages

Summary: 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.

Rating: 4.5/7

ReviewGenerally, I enjoyed Cruel Beauty but towards the end of the book things got… confusing. I don’t get the ending. Cruel Beauty is unlike any other Beauty and the Beast retellings- it’s twisted and darker (and definitely way better than some other retellings).

Characters

Meet Nyx, the other daughter of some rich guy. She’s bitter and angry for being forced to marry the Gentle Lord (a.k.a Ignifex) And she’s one of the most bad-ass and complex female character I’ve ever read.

You may ask: in most YA books today, the female characters are bad-ass too, so how is Nyx any different from the rest?

Most female characters I’ve read are physically and mentally overpowering (therefore thrashing anyone in her way without sweating). And those characters rarely failed at anything. In addition, they have perfect manners, perfect looks, perfect everything. Basically, they’re Mary Sues with Superman powers.

Nyx, on the other hand, makes mistakes, suffers, fails, and picks herself up to fight again.She never waits for a knight in a shining armour to come and save her. Neither does she have Superman powers. That’s what, I feel, makes Nyx stands out from the crowd of god-like females.

Ignifex is definitely one of the best ‘villain’ and lead male character I’ve ever read. He’s one of the few, but rising in number, villain who is sarcastic and absolutely humorous.

Setting

Cruel Beauty is set in Ancient Greece (or somewhere between Ancient Greek and Roman Empire), on an island called Arcadia. Which is separated from the rest of the world by some demonic magic.

The setting is vague and confusing, but it gets much better when it comes Gentle Lord’s magic mansion.

Plot

Before Nyx enters Gentle Lord’s mansion: Brilliant. Fantastic. Awesome.

The few chapters after Nyx enters the mansion: Good. Decent.

After the few chapters and Ending: 9 words: I don’t know what the hell is going on.

To elaborate: there’s just way too much infodump, twists (that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but I feel the plot just keeps twisting until I’m not sure where it’s going anymore), and romance.

You may be thinking: ‘But it’s ROMANCE novel! Of course there will be romance!’

Well, I thought Cruel Beauty will offer something MORE than plain ol’ romance. (It’s also a FANTASY novel!) Like, you know, fighting. Or at least something more interesting than wandering around the mansion/ kissing every time the love interests meet each other.

I don’t know quite understand the ending and I feel it doesn’t line up with the rest of the story.

Overall

The second half of the book was quite confusing (for me, anyway) but other than that, Cruel Beauty is a good Beauty and the Beast retelling (Fresh premise! Some Greek mythologies!). Recommended!

Cover Reveal: HEARTS OF THORNS

I’m so excited to be revealing the cover for HEART OF THORNS by Nicolette Andrews! I read one of her fantasy novel, Kitsune, last year and enjoyed it immensely. So I can’t wait to get my hands on HEART OF THONS! Without further ado, let’s reveal the cover.

*drum rolls please*

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Doesn’t it look gorgeous?!!

Summary:  Catherine arrives at Thornwood Abbey on the heels of rushed marriage. The gothic style mansion is shrouded in fog and a sinister past. When neighbors start dying one after another, their hearts cut out, no one notices except for Catherine. The murders are tied to Catherine and old village superstition. In order to save herself, Catherine must confront her scandalous past before the killer takes her heart.

This sounds sooo interesting! Be sure to add it to Goodreads!

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About the Author

 

Nicolette Andrews is a romantic fantasy author who lives in San Diego CA. She’s been trapped inside magical world, heavily influenced by Southern California, for most of her life. She doesn’t likes to take life too seriously (or herself for that matter). Her favorite creative medium is writing, whether it is on paper, or on a computer but on occasion, she likes to pretend she can draw or even may attempt homemade gifts, with varied results. She enjoys cooking, baking and generally working with her hands. She spends most of her free time with her family: two daughters and a wonderful husband plus a few cats and a dog.

Connect with Nicolette! 

Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Amazon | Author’s Website 

Book review: ABOVE

0-545-29670-6Author: Leah Bobet

Publication: April 1st 2012 by Arthur A. Levine Books

Format: Ebook, 373 pages

Summary: Matthew has loved Ariel from the moment he found her in the tunnels, her bee’s wings falling away. They live in Safe, an underground refuge for those fleeing the city Above–like Whisper, who speaks to ghosts, and Jack Flash, who can shoot lightning from his fingers.

But one terrifying night, an old enemy invades Safe with an army of shadows, and only Matthew, Ariel, and a few friends escape Above. As Matthew unravels the mystery of Safe’s history and the shadows’ attack, he realizes he must find a way to remake his home–not just for himself, but for Ariel, who needs him more than ever before.

ABOVE is the debut of an amazing new voice.

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ELEMENTALS Blog Tour

I’m so excited to be part of the virtual blog tour!! And also to share with you an excerpt of Elementals by Michelle Madow! Be sure to check out the book!

2Author: Michelle Madow

Publication: January 26 2016 by Dreamscape Publishing

Summary:  Filled with magic, thrilling adventure, and sweet romance, Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows is the first in a new series that fans of Percy Jackson and The Secret Circle will love!

When Nicole Cassidy moves from sunny Georgia to gloomy New England, the last thing she expects is to learn that her homeroom is a cover for a secret coven of witches. Even more

surprisingly … she’s apparently a witch herself. Despite doubts about her newfound abilities, Nicole is welcomed into this ancient circle of witches and is bedazzled by their powers—and, to her dismay, by Blake—the school’s notorious bad-boy.

Girls who get close to Blake wind up hurt. His girlfriend Danielle will do anything to keep them away, even if she must resort to using dark magic. But the chemistry between Blake and Nicole is undeniable, and despite wanting to protect Nicole from Danielle’s wrath, he finds it impossible to keep his distance.

Amazon | Barnes & Nobles | Kobo | iBoooks 

Be sure to add it to your TBR list: Goodreads

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Book Review: ICE KISSED

18132923Author: Amanda Hocking

Publication: May 5th 2015 by St. Martin’s Press

Source: Purchased: Paperback (309 pages)

Summary: In the majestic halls of a crystal palace lies a secret that could destroy an entire kingdom…

Bryn Aven refuses to give up on her dream of serving the kingdom she loves. It’s a dream that brings her to a whole new realm…and the glittering palace of the Skojare.

The Skojare people need protection from the same brutal enemy that’s been threatening the Kanin, and Bryn is there to help. Being half Skojare herself, it’s also a chance for her to learn more about her lost heritage. Her boss, Ridley Dresden, is overseeing her mission, but as their undeniable attraction heats up, their relationship is about to reach a whole new level—one neither of them is prepared for.

As they delve deeper into the Skojare world, they begin to unravel a long-hidden secret. The dark truth about her own beloved Kanin kingdom is about to come to light, and it will change her place in it forever…and threaten everyone she loves

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Book Review: A COURT OF THORN AND ROSES

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Author: Sarah J. Maas

Publication: May 5th 2015 by Bloomsbury Children’s

Source: Purchased: Kindle Edition (432 pages)

Summary: A thrilling, seductive new series from New York Timesbestselling author Sarah J. Maas, blending Beauty and the Beast with faerie lore.

When nineteen-year-old huntress Feyre kills a wolf in the woods, a beast-like creature arrives to demand retribution for it. Dragged to a treacherous magical land she only knows about from legends, Feyre discovers that her captor is not an animal, but Tamlin—one of the lethal, immortal faeries who once ruled their world.

As she dwells on his estate, her feelings for Tamlin transform from icy hostility into a fiery passion that burns through every lie and warning she’s been told about the beautiful, dangerous world of the Fae. But an ancient, wicked shadow grows over the faerie lands, and Feyre must find a way to stop it . . . or doom Tamlin—and his world—forever.

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BOOK REVIEW: ANGELFALL 

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Author: Susan Ee

Publication: August 28th 2012 by Skyscape

Source: Purchased: Kindle Edition

Summary: It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.


Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

Raffe is a warrior who lies broken and wingless on the street. After eons of fighting his own battles, he finds himself being rescued from a desperate situation by a half-starved teenage girl.

Traveling through a dark and twisted Northern California, they have only each other to rely on for survival. Together, they journey toward the angels’ stronghold in San Francisco where she’ll risk everything to rescue her sister and he’ll put himself at the mercy of his greatest enemies for the chance to be made whole again.

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