My rating: 2 of 5 stars
A solid 2.5 out of 5 stars.
To start, I brought this one on myself – I keep telling myself to stay away from YA as it will only disappointment… but alas, I was sucked in by the synopsis. This book starts off with a strong premise, but ultimately is not well-executed and kind of a disappointment. A re-telling of the Beauty and the Beast story with hints of Greek mythology, Rumpelstiltskin, and Blackbeard, CRUEL BEAUTY is the tale of Nyx, who is betrothed to the Gentle Lord (i.e. Beast), to pay for a debt owed by her father.
Set in a world that incorporates a variety of different influences (magic, the elements, demons), Hodge does a great job of creating an engaging fantasy world. I particularly liked the mythology she creates for her world. Unfortunately, she does not do as well when it comes to the characters. While Nyx reads more complex than the rest of the cast, I found that all of the main players were rather one dimensional. I also felt a complete lack of chemistry between Nyx and the Gentle Lord which made it hard to stay interested as the story progressed.
I think this may be part of a series, but I’m honestly going to opt out after reading the first one… Sorry.
Available for purchase from Amazon.com, but I fortunately found this one at the library.