Kill The Beast (Beast Hunters 1) By Michele Israel Harper [Book Review]

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Book Review: Kill The Beast by Michele Israel Harper | Fairy-tale retelling | Reading | Book Blogger | Blogging | ARC Book Review | Blog Tour | RachelPoli.com

I received a free digital ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Summary:

Ro remembers the castle before. Before the gates closed. Before silence overtook the kingdom. Before the castle disappeared. Now it shimmers to life one night a year, seen by her alone.

Once a lady, now a huntress, Ro does what it takes to survive–just like the rest of the kingdom plunged into despair never before known.

But a beast has overtaken the castle. A beast that killed the prince and holds the castle and kingdom captive in his cruel power. A beast Ro has been hired to kill.

Thankful the mystery of the prince’s disappearance has been solved, furious the magical creature has killed her hero, Ro eagerly accepts the job to end him.

But things are not as they seem.

Trapped in the castle, a prisoner alongside the beast, Ro wonders what she should fear most: the beast, the magic that holds them both captive, or the one who hired her to kill the beast.

A Beauty and the Beast retelling.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.comI like the book cover. It’s realistic. The colors match the tone of the book and it’s fairly simple. However, at first glance before I realized it was a Beauty and the Beast retelling, I thought this was going to be Little Red Riding Hood hunting the wolf.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.comIf you’ve been following my blog for long, you’ll know that I love my fair share of fairy tale retellings. So, I wasn’t going to say no to this one.

Plot | RachelPoli.comI found this one to be an interesting take on Beauty and the Beast. Rosette – or Ro for short – is a huntress who is hired to kill the beast. As a retelling, it’s easy to assume what the ending will be like. However, there are a lot of twists, turns, and lore packed into this one. It was darker than most but very well done and unique.

Characters | RachelPoli.comWhile the story itself was good, I had a hard time clicking with the characters. I had a hard time caring about Ro’s family and her sister Cosette mostly because we don’t see them much until later. So I just had to take Ro’s word for it and I didn’t click with Ro, so I didn’t really care too much about what her goals were.

The characters were very different from one another and had their own voices, though they developed kind of fast. I had a hard time connecting with Ro because of this.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

The author does a great job getting the story across the page. It’s well written, easy and fun to read, and it’s overall just a great story. However, it’s almost 500 pages long and I didn’t feel as though the story really got started until halfway through. The description and dialogue were both great, but I felt there was a lot of filler that might not have been needed.

Overall | RachelPoli.comThis was a good read. I’ll admit, it wasn’t my favorite, but it was a good retelling. The characters were interesting, it was written well, and the plot was unique. I’ll be interested in reading the sequel.

Kill The Beast (Beast Hunters 1) by Michele Israel Harper gets…
Book Review Rating System | 4 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com4 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“She almost matched him growl for growl.” -Michele Israel Harper, Kill The Beast (Beast Hunters 1)

About Michele Israel Harper:

Michele Israel Harper spends her days as a work-at-home mom and her nights typing away  furiously on her laptop. Sleep? Sometimes… She has her Bachelor of Arts in history, is  slightly obsessed with all things French—including Jeanne d’Arc and La Belle et la Bête— and loves curling up with a good book more than just about anything else. Author of  Wisdom & Folly: Sisters, Zombie Takeover, Beast Hunter, and Kill the Beast, Michele prays her  involvement in writing, editing, and publishing will touch many lives in the years to come.

Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Google+ | Goodreads | Amazon

Preorder the book, out September 25, 2018:

Amazon | Barnes & NobleLove2ReadLove2Write Publishing

Release Party:

Facebook – Thursday, September 27, 2018, 8-10 PM EST
Book Signing – Irvington Vinyl & Books, Indianapolis, IN, Saturday, September 29, 2018

What do you think of this book? Does it pique your interest? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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Fairest Of All: A Tale Of The Wicked Queen By Serena Valentino [Book Review]

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Book Review: Fairest of All: A Tale of the Wicked Queen by Serena Valentino | YA | Fairy tale retelling | fantasy | RachelPoli.com

I bought the book.

Summary:

The tale of the young princess and her evil stepmother, the Wicked Queen, is widely known. Despite a few variations from telling to telling, the story remains the same—the Queen was jealous of the girl’s beauty, and this jealousy culminated in the Queen’s attempt on the sweet, naive girl’s life.

Another tale far less often spoken of is the one that explains what caused the Queen to become so contemptuously vile. Still, some have attempted to guess at the reason. Perhaps the Queen’s true nature was that of a wicked hag and her beautiful, regal appearance a disguise used to fool the King. Others claim that the Queen might have hated the girl for her resemblance to the King’s first wife. Mostly, the Queen is painted as a morally abhorrent woman who never loved another being during the course of her miserable life.

In fact, the theories about exactly what cause the Queen’s obsessive vanity and jealous rage are too numerous to catalog. This book recounts a version of the story that has remained untold until now. It is a tragic tale of love and loss, and it contains a bit of magic. It is a tale of the Wicked Queen…

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

Similar to the covers of the other books in this series, I love how simple it is and also the surprise on the actual book. The jacket is of the Queen and the cover of the book is her old wicked witch self.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

I bought this book along with The Beast Within. I love fairy tale retellings and this series sounded good so I picked it up.

Plot | RachelPoli.com

This plot delves a little deeper into the Queen’s backstory with some twists. A little bit of it stayed true to the Disney tale, but for the most part it was as original as it could be. Honestly, it wasn’t the best twist, in my opinion. Though it did work somewhat and even though it took me a while to get through, it was okay.

The tale can get pretty dark and I think that’s what redeemed it a little more for me. There were actual stakes for the characters, unlike The Beast Within, which was the book I read right before this one.

Characters | RachelPoli.com

The witches have returned and are causing trouble once again. They weren’t bad plot fodder, but they still annoyed me quite a bit.

I found the Queen to be a great character. I actually really enjoyed her and wished she wasn’t such an “evil” Queen. The cards were laid out against her from the start and I was rooting for her along the way.

The other characters, such as the king and even Snow White, weren’t that memorable to me. I was disappointed that the only character I cared for was the Queen.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

The writing didn’t do it for me. I felt it was pretty bland and there wasn’t much emotion put into the scenes, the description, or the characters. While the idea was pretty good, I felt as though this could have gone through another round of edits or two to make the words really come alive.

Overall | RachelPoli.com

This was better than The Beast Within. Of course, I realized this is technically the first book in the series while the Beast one is the second. Since I liked the first more than the second, I’ll be interested in the third book. Yes, I plan on reading the third book just to see how it is. I’m curious. But first, I need a break from these books.

Fairest of All: A Tale of the Wicked Queen by Serena Valentino gets…
Book Review Rating System | 3 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com3 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“I cannot live in fear of losing him, for fear of not living my life at all.” –Serena Valentino, Fairest of All: A Tale of the Wicked Queen

Buy the book:

Amazon

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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The Beast Within: A Tale Of Beauty’s Prince by Serena Valentino [Book Review]

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Book Review: The Beast Within: A Tale of Beauty's Prince | Fairy Tale Retelling | Fantasy | YA | RachelPoli.com

I bought the book.

Summary:

A cursed prince sits alone in a secluded castle. Few have seen him, but those who claim they have say his hair is wild and nails are sharp–like a beast’s! But how did this prince, once jovial and beloved by the people, come to be a reclusive and bitter monster? And is it possible that he can ever find true love and break the curse that has been placed upon him?

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

While the cover is pretty simple, I absolutely love how they did the hardcover. The sleeve is the beast as a beast, but when you take it off, it’s Prince Adam as a human. I thought it was clever. As someone who always takes the jacket off as they read, it was a nice surprise.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

I love my fair share of fairy-tale retellings. It’s not often you get one of the villain (even though the beast isn’t technically the bad guy). So this is something I wanted to try out.

Plot | RachelPoli.com

The plot is simply Beauty and the Beast but through the Beast’s eyes. There are a few changes here and there, but for the most part, a lot is similar to the Disney movie.

The majority of this story is a flash back as the Beast searches for people to love after he’s cursed. Instead of one witch cursing him, it’s a group of sisters who do the deed after the Beast breaks up with one of their sisters. It’s certainly an interesting twist, but it didn’t really do it for me.

Characters | RachelPoli.com

Aside from the witches and Beast’s girlfriends here and there, the characters were all the same as the Disney movie. The difference being that I cared more about the characters in the movie than I did in this book.

Some parts seemed like they were taken straight from the movie, losing all originality for me. The witches were annoying and none of the characters seemed to develop at all… except the Beast, but we already knew that.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

The writing was too dry for me. I realize that sounds harsh, but there wasn’t any feeling behind the words. The dialogue was flat and the description could have been better. I appreciated the world the author tried to build, but it just didn’t work for me.

Overall | RachelPoli.com

This book isn’t what I expected. It was either way too similar to the Disney movie or it was way off the marker. It’s good to try new things with a world that’s already been built for you, but when it’s such a classic, you have to be delicate with it. And it just didn’t work for this.

The Beast Within: A Tale of Beauty’s Prince by Serena Valentino gets…
Book Review Rating System | 2 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com 2 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“To die, one much first have been alive. And the Beast could finally say that by finding love, he had lived.” –Serena Valentino, The Beast Within: A Tale of Beauty’s Prince

Buy the book:

Amazon

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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