Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
Can I just get something off my chest real quick? Writers out there, if you're reading this, do me a favor, will ya? Please, for the love of tacos please, STOP having your main couples introduce themselves via the girl punching the guy! I keep seeing it and it annoys the crap out of me! And every time the guy is all like "ha ha, that's so cute, I like that you physically assault me the moment we meet, it's so endearing." No, it isn't. It's stupid. Stop doing it! Rant over. Sadly, this is kind of my feelings toward this book in general. Let's just dive right in, shall we?
The story is of Nyx Triskelion, the daughter of a lord in a country that was taken over and imprisoned by the mysterious Gentle Lord. Because her father made a rash deal with the Gentle Lord before she was born, Nyx is forced to become the Gentle Lord's wife. Trained by her father in the Hermetic arts in the hopes that she can kill the Gentle Lord, Nyx must enter his labyrinth of a castle and break his hold over her people. Which makes it very unfortunate when she starts to develop feelings for him.
Okay, let's start with the good stuff. There is good stuff in here, there really is. Firstly, you can tell this is designed really well. The descriptions of the cursed kingdom, the beautiful and majestic rooms of the castle, and the magical Hearts of the castle, it's a very pretty book. A lot of thought went into the designs of this place that makes it both beautiful but also mysterious and threatening. Also the romance of the story, something I struggle with personally as a reader, was for once well-paced and almost (emphasis on almost) believable. Nyx's reasons for falling for the Gentle Lord makes sense even if some of the supposed "development" scenes are a little...off.
Now, the big problem with the story? Everyone, and I mean, everyone is a horrible person. There isn't a single character in this wretched book that isn't a terrible human being...or demon...or whatever they are! I didn't like anybody at all. Sure, Nyx was raised being told her whole life that her job is to die and that sucks. But it leaves her with this prickly disposition that just makes her think and say the most awful things all the time. That would be fine if we weren't stuck in the nasty broad's head the whole time! Also, her family sucks. Her self-righteous father sucks. Her slutty aunt sucks. Her surprisingly diabolical sister sucks. Everyone! Even the Gentle Lord and his sexy shadow, Shade, have these awful streaks of nasty that makes you just ask yourself why we're supposed to root for these characters. Oh, yeah, the Gentle Lord is so cute and sexy right up until he locks you up in a room full of corpses! What a catch.
Also, the plot can just get downright confusing at times. It flips and flops out plot twists and subplots that go absolutely nowhere and bringing up things that don't even make a lick of sense. For instance there's a chance that Nyx has to escape the Gentle Lord and go home if she guesses his real name. Now, you think this is going to be some really important deal later on in the story right. Well, nope. Just nope. Doesn't pan out. There's also this thing about a couple of rhymes that might kill the Gentle Lord and free everybody and...those don't pan out either. In fact, those are even more useless than the name thing. I just leaves me scratching my head and thinking why the heck they even brought them up to begin with! Oh, and this ending, right? I've never seen such a great, big, string ball of cop out since Superman turned back time by flying around the world really, really fast. Honestly, if this story started at the end as opposed to the beginning (those who've read it will understand) I might have been able to get into this a little better.
The best way to describe this book is like those vapid supermodel stereotypes you see in movies. Pretty to look at, but dumb and nasty. Maybe there are people out there who will be able to see past the horrible people or forgive the cop out ending, and like I said the descriptions are really good. If morbid curiosity gets to you and you want to read it regardless of what I say, save your cash and check it out at your local library.
Have you read the book? What did you think? Comment below and share your thoughts.
Next Time: When wicked is good and good is wicked....