Date Published: 2014-01-28
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Young Adult
Audiobook Length: 10 hrs and 17 mins
Audiobook Narrator: Elizabeth Knowelden
Source: Free audiobook download from Sync summer audio pairings
Description: The romance of Beauty and the Beast meets the adventure of Graceling in a dazzling fantasy novel about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.Betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom, Nyx has always known her fate was to marry him, kill him, and free her people from his tyranny. But on her seventeenth birthday, when she moves into his castle high on the kingdom's mountaintop, nothing is as she expected—particularly her charming and beguiling new husband.Nyx knows she must save her homeland at all costs, yet she can't resist the pull of her sworn enemy—who's gotten in her way by stealing her heart.For fans of bestselling authors Kristin Cashore and Alex Flinn, this gorgeously written debut infuses the classic fairy tale with glittering magic, a feisty heroine, and a romance sure to take your breath away.
I was disappointed with Cruel Beauty, especially with the 5 star reviews staring me in the face when I log into Goodreads. I got this through the summer Sync audiobook program, so free is free right? I gave it a listen, and was expecting it to be a really interesting retelling of Beauty and the Beast. But what it was, was confusing, strange, and not very interesting.
First, the narrator: awkward! This narrator has a strong accent, and it sounded like she spoke the entire book in falsetto. That definitely took away from my enjoyment of the book and made it hard to pay attention.
The plot: or lack thereof. For the most part, nothing really *happened* in the book. Nyx is forced to marry Ignifex because of a bargain her father made. Apparently Ignifex is supposed to be this evil demon who people make bargains with and they all have a price. So Nyx spends her days walking around the castle, trying to come up with a way to take down this demon. But there’s some strange alchemy maybe going on, and there’s always mention of hermetic heartbeats. I have no idea what that is supposed to be, since it really wasn’t explained, and so most of the book was just confusing. I also was not impressed with the ending. *Shrug*
Romance: this was supposed to be a romance between Nyx and that demon dude, but somehow this turned into a triangle that was confusing and strange (shadow dude, really?). At some point Nyx finally fell in love with Ignifex but I really didn’t feel it. It wasn’t believable, so it was just awkward.
The writing was beautiful though, I’ll give it that. I liked the imagery and the dialogue. I just wish it presented a better story.
So, just meh on this one. I expected better.