Friday, 13 December 2013

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

GoodReads Summary: 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.

- Add to GoodReads
Expected publication date: 28/01/14

I added Cruel Beauty to my tbr shelf immediately upon on seeing it on GoodReads, because 1) I love re-tellings and 2) high fantasy is one of favourite genres. CB had potential, but unfortunately it just didn't work for me.

Nyx is one the most frustrating characters I've ever come across. Her constant inner turmoil between doing what's right and wrong had me wanting to shake her. She would make her mind up about something and then in the next instant, completely out of the blue it would change. It was beyond madding. I mean I sympathize with her situation; being destined to a fate such as hers makes her resentment and anger totally justified. But it was too much, her hatred was so overpowering that it kind of waned at me sympathy; in my eyes she become unlikeable and because of that I wasn't able to connect with her character.

The romance in Beauty and The Beast is one that I've always liked, because it blossoms slowly and completely reels you in. In Cruel Beauty, however, it's the very opposite: insta-love. The first time she meets the love interest they kiss and then a couple of days later they are apparently in 'love'. It just didn't make any sense; how can you be in love with someone who you've only just met and barely know? What's more is that unlike the Beast from BatB there wasn't anything particularly likable about the love interest. There was no spark or chemistry between him and Nyx, which ultimately made the relationship hard to root for.

Although the writing in Cruel Beauty was gorgeous the world-building left a lot to be desired. I felt like there was too much information crammed in which made it difficult to digest and follow.

Overall, Cruel Beauty was not my cup of tea.

Rating:

19 comments:

  1. So sorry that it was disappointing for you! I'm with you, this really interests me because it's a retelling and high fantasy, but I don't think I'd be able to handle all the negatives that come with it that you mentioned. Ugh, frustrating characters are the worst. Thanks for the warning, I'll sadly stay away now!

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  2. The writing does sound good, but don't know if I could get past Nyx

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  3. Insta-love in my favourite fairy tale? Oh no! That's one of the things I love about the original story.. how they slowly fall in love and how Belle starts to see the beauty inside him. How very disappointing :(

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  4. Oh bummer. Was so psyched about this book because I love retellings and B&B is a fave of mine! Have read a few early reviews of this and I think it's about even--so I probably read 3 or 4--with people liking it or not or finding it so-so. I still might have to give it a try, but will try not to get my hopes up. Still, very nice review!

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  5. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us! Like you, I've always liked the romance between Beauty and the Beast but Nyx didn't sound like a character I could connect with :(

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  6. Aww, I'm sorry you didn't enjoy this one, Renu. I wound up really enjoying it, though I can see why you struggled to fall in love with this novel. Great review!

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  7. A lot of mixed reviews on this. The trailer made my mouth water but I will still give this book a try. Thanks for the lovely and honest review.

    -Dannielle

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  8. So the world-building doesn't get any clearer? :( That's a shame. I'm reading this one now and am about a third of the way in and finding it all slightly strange. The mythology threw me somewhat at the beginning. I'm liking it otherwise, though, but I can't say I've made up my mind about Nyx yet. I'm sorry that it didn't work for you, Renu. Thanks for the helpful review!

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  9. Aw, I'm so sorry that you didn't enjoy Cruel Beauty :\ I really loved it. But I do understand why you didn't love it, and while I agree with you a bit, I still loved it, hih (A) but thank you so much for being honest :D Loved your review. <3

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  10. Darn, loured by another lovely cover and premises. I had high hopes for this but meh world building and annoying characters..gah. so sorry this failed for you,.

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  11. Aw, I love retellings and high fantasy too so it's a shame that you didn't like this, Renu. I hate wishy-washy narrators and it sucks that the romance in this one is insta-love which I wasn't expecting. Thanks for the heads up about this one!

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  12. Insta love in Beauty in the Beast.. NO NO NO! I have this for review, but now I am reconsidering. Thanks for your honest opinion.

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  13. Oh man, the reviews for this one have been all over the place so I know you are not alone. I haven't had much luck with retellings so it'll be interesting to see how I like it. Thanks for sharing!

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  14. Huh, I was thinking of reading this one (mostly because of the pretty cover), but now I'm not so sure. I don't like heroines like Nyx and the insta-love is going to piss me off for sure. I think I'd better stay away from this one.

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  15. Darn I am going to read this next week and insta love scares me.
    I LOVE re-tellings and this is going to be my first beauty and the beast re-telling so it'll be depressing if I don't enjoy it :/

    Great review Renu! :)

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  16. oh my God! Did you say insta-love? ugh that's just annoying! I will definitely NOT be picking up this book anytime soon. Thanks for sharing!
    - Farah @ MajiBookshelf

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  17. Uh-oh. Those two reasons are my reasons for requesting a copy of this book and the reasons why you didn't like this are also my book pet peeves, so really, uh-oh.

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  18. Was is insta-love such a common theme? It just ruins the story; the build-up of the romance is the best bit! I can't believe they kiss the first time they meet and declare their love after just a few days lol. Oh, dear!

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  19. Bah! That's disappointing! I was really looking forward to this one and like you my fave part of Beauty and the Beast is the slow path to friendship and then love so ugh insta-love :(

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