Lovin' los libros

A book blog dedicated to young adult and new adult novels

Audiobook Review: Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge

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Cruel Beauty (Cruel Beauty Universe #1)
    by: Rosamund Hodge

Publication Date: Jan. 28, 2014
Publisher: Balzer+Bray
Genre: Fantasy
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: e-ARC received via Edelweiss in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count: 342 pages
Order Links: Amazon | B&N
My Rating: 5/5 stars

Graceling meets Beauty and the Beast in this sweeping fantasy about one girl's journey to fulfill her destiny and the monster who gets in her way-by stealing her heart.

Based on the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast, Cruel Beauty is a dazzling love story about our deepest desires and their power to change our destiny.

Since birth, Nyx has been betrothed to the evil ruler of her kingdom-all because of a foolish bargain struck by her father. And since birth, she has been in training to kill him.

With no choice but to fulfill her duty, Nyx resents her family for never trying to save her and hates herself for wanting to escape her fate. Still, on her seventeenth birthday, Nyx abandons everything she's ever known to marry the all-powerful, immortal Ignifex. Her plan? Seduce him, destroy his enchanted castle, and break the nine-hundred-year-old curse he put on her people.

But Ignifex is not at all what Nyx expected. The strangely charming lord beguiles her, and his castle—a shifting maze of magical rooms—enthralls her.

As Nyx searches for a way to free her homeland by uncovering Ignifex's secrets, she finds herself unwillingly drawn to him. Even if she could bring herself to love her sworn enemy, how can she refuse her duty to kill him? With time running out, Nyx must decide what is more important: the future of her kingdom, or the man she was never supposed to love.

Being a huge Beauty and the Beast fan, I knew this book was one that I had to read. This book is easily one of my new favorites of the year- it completely enchanted me and I never wanted it to end! I've found the best books are always the most difficult to review, as words are simply not enough to convey all of the emotions I felt while reading.
I am a huge Greek mythology fan, so I loved how Hodge weaved elements of that into her story, as well as with the Beauty and the Beast retelling. It was a lot of fun trying to guess and figure out the story based on that, and I love that she kept me guessing.
Nyx is one tough heroine, that's for sure. She has spent her life being primed by her father to marry the Gentle Lord, and while she's less than thrilled with the decision, she is bound by duty to do what she must. Of course, she is not going down without a fight. I absolutely loved her insolence and her defiant attitude. Ignifex completely took me by surprise and while he was a cocky, frustrating son of a gun, I ended up falling for him- hook, line, and sinker. I loved him and Nyx together. They butt heads at every turn and there were so many times I thought they were going to kill each other. They certainly have an interesting dynamic, but it boils down to the fact that Ignifex sees her for who she really is. They are both deeply flawed characters and they find a kindred spirit in one another much to Nyx's dismay. She doesn't want this evil creature to SEE her and yet he does and she can't help but be drawn to that brutal honesty. Nyx is impulsive and she makes decisions and mistakes that will leave you tense and frustrated, but you really can't help but admire the girl for trying to do what's right. Her heart is at war with itself and she is forced to choose between the man she has come to love and what she was sent to do all along- free her people from the Gentle Lord's reign.
I loved the duplicity that Hodge included with her characters. She certainly keeps you guessing as to who the 'good' and 'bad' guys are, that's for sure. Characters I would initially like, ended up being some of my most hated. By the end, I was a mess because I was so afraid that Hodge would rip me apart. It definitely made for some stressful times, but it was so worth the agony and stress.
This book rocked my world and it is definitely one that I will be recommending to fantasy/retelling lovers.
Audio notes: I really enjoyed the narrator for this one. I thought she did a fantastic job with the characters. I also found this to be relatively easy to follow on audio. I sometimes have issues with fantasy on audio because there's SO MUCH to absorb that it makes keeping track difficult. I didn't have this problem too bad here.

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  1. Yay, I'm glad that you enjoyed this as well! A lot of people didn't really like this book so I was kind of disappointed, but I do admit that I like Crimson Bound better than this one. Happy reading! :)

    Kim @ Divergent Gryffindor: BLOG || VLOG
    ARC Review: This Raging Light || GIVEAWAY: Hardcover of Faking Normal by Courtney Stevens

  2. Oh Jessica this makes me so happy! I adored this book so much! I thought it was a wonderful retelling and Nyx and Ignifex were such complicated and great characters. I'm glad to hear the audio is good, I've been dying to re-read this book, so maybe I can with audio. Great review!

  3. I'm excited that you loved it! I think I own this on kindle but now I want to listen to it on audio!!

  4. Since I am a newer audibook fan I am always on the lookout for recommendations! I have been meaning to read this book for a while so maybe I shall go the audiobook route. I love a good retelling.

  5. It really was amazing how Hodge combined so many elements together for this book so seamlessly! I think this was a very unique and amazing retelling of Beauty and the Beast. I'm so happy this one rocked your world! Now I want to re-read it :)

    Lovely review

  6. I love audiobooks so I'm always excited to see other bloggers listen to them. I haz recs if you are ever interested :)


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