Cruel Beauty Review

September 17, 2014 Reviews 17 ★★½

Cruel Beauty ReviewCruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
Publisher: HarperCollins
Date Published: 2014-01-28
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, Young Adult
Format: Audiobook
Pages: 352
Audiobook Length: 10 hrs and 17 mins
Audiobook Narrator: Elizabeth Knowelden
Source: Free audiobook download from Sync summer audio pairings
Rating: two-half-stars
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.

Julie Review Avatar Julie’s Review:

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.


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Rating Report
Overall: 2.6

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17 Responses to “Cruel Beauty Review”

  1. Cait @ Notebook Sisters

    I totally get this, although I think I liked the book a bit better than you. 😉 I was confused that there wasn’t much action! But the dialogue and sheer imagination nearly made up for that. XD I did think it was a clever twist on the old story, though, and definitely made me look at Beauty and the Beast in a new light. I thought the twist with Shade and Ignifex was awesome too. Thanks for stopping by @ Notebook Sisters!
    Cait @ Notebook Sisters recently posted…The To-Be-Read Tag || Basically I Hunger To Read All The Books of Ever

  2. Charlotte @ Thoughts and Pens

    Oh, I am really sorry that this one didn’t work for you, Julie. Although this one didn’t become a favorite, I still love it because IMO, it was unique and a fresh take on Beauty and The Beast. Shame that the narrator also contributed to your stress while listening to the audio.

    I hope your next audiobook will be better than this one.
    Charlotte @ Thoughts and Pens recently posted…Thursdays With Luxa {19}

    • Julie

      It was a unique take on the story of Beauty and the Beast, but that strange love triangle messed that up hehe.

  3. Maria Behar

    Gee, I hd been looking forward to reading this novel, but now I’m kinda disappointed….I do own it, but haven’t gotten to it yet. Well, maybe I’ll give it a try anyway, but I’ll keep your review in mind!

    Thanks for your objective, honest opinion!! : )

  4. Leila @ LeilaReads

    It sounds like the audiobook format (and terrible narrator) made it impossible for you to enjoy the book, whether or not it was actually any good. And it’s always annoying when nothing happens in a book. I mean, isn’t that the whole point of a story? For something to happen? Thanks for letting us know not to be fooled by the 5 star reviews on GoodReads.
    Leila @ LeilaReads recently posted…Better Than Perfect by Dr. Elizabeth Lombardo

  5. Braine Talk Supe

    Do you think your experience will be different if you read the book instead? I ask because when I listened to Styxx by Sherrilyn Kenyon I DNF’d it. But I’m sure if I read the book instead, I’d probably love it because it’s very similar to Acheron. The narrator just gave me goosebumps and made it so disgusting to listen to because it involved a lot of abuse.
    Braine Talk Supe recently posted…Melissa Loved It: This is Sarah by Ally Malinenko

    • Julie

      Perhaps I would enjoy the writing style a bit more but reading vs. listening would do nothing to help the stupid plot or weird romance…

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