Author: Meagan Spooner
Release Date: March 14, 2014
Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones—and in her blood. Though she grew up with the city’s highest aristocrats, far from her father’s old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them.
So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance.
Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory—a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast?
Well. I'm not really sure what I just read.
I guess it's true. Often hyped books don't hold up to scrutiny, because this was one of my most anticipated reads this year. I'm not even sure where to start. I'm going to try to avoid real spoilers, but this is a rant. So some small things might slip through.
Well, I guess I'll start with the world. It would have been awesome--could have been amazing. Except even though the book was slow, it lacked world-building. It was probably almost 100 pages before I realized we were in real-world Russia. There wasn't much talk about geography at all, so I had assume it was a made up world, but I was wrong. And even the magical valley was just cloaked in mystery. I didn't really understand how the magic worked or really anything about the valley. And then I never really understood how the Beast was cursed. Who cursed him? It never really made much sense.
Then, there were some things that really bothered me. Like this quote that was completely misplaced and really shouldn't have even been included.
"She'd known other women who'd formed attachments to men who were cruel to them, though she'd never known any in such dire situations. She'd always thought them foolish, weak, lacking in the self-assurance to know they were better than men whose backhanded compliments made them flush so. But perhaps they were simply in love. Perhaps their hearts had betrayed them, and not their courage."
I hope you can see what bothers me about this. I can't understand what would cause Yeva to compare her situation with a very traditional Beast to an abusive relationship.
And so the relationship between the Beast and Yeva? I didn't buy it. She went from hating him so much to suddenly deciding she loved him. It made no sense. There was no slow-burn love forming between them. In fact, there wasn't much of anything between them. It was all just blah.
So what about our Gaston character? Well, I was under the impression this was a straight retelling. And it was fairly close, plot-wise. But the Gaston character was so different from his traditional character. In fact, when he offered Yeva a proposal of marriage I could not figure out why, for the life of me, she declined. He offered her literally everything she wanted. She even said so. He offered her the chance to stay who she was, they'd go hunting daily. But even though she said it was everything she could have ever wanted, she said no. She couldn't possibly. Because it wasn't enough.
I understand the wanting more. But I don't understand someone in this time in Russia refusing a marriage proposal that was exactly what she said she wanted earlier.
I'll be blunt. I wish I had skipped it. I can't recommend to anyone.
Characters: 1 star
Plot: 1 star
Writing: 3 stars
World: 1 star
Feels: 1 star