Mini Review – Ensnared by Rita Stradling

POSTED ON March 28, 2017 BY Austine IN Book Review

Mini Review – Ensnared by Rita Stradling
by Rita Stradling
Published on May 23, 2017 by Rita Stradling
Format: eARC
Pages: 419
Genres: Adult, Romance, Science Fiction

A Near-Future Retelling of Beauty and the Beast

Alainn’s father is not a bad man. He’s a genius and an inventor. When he’s hired to create the robot Rose, Alainn knows taking the money is a mistake.

Rose acts like a human. She looks exactly like Alainn. But, something in her comes out wrong.

To save her father from a five year prison sentence, Alainn takes Rose’s place. She says goodbye to the sun and goes to live in a tower no human is allowed to enter. She becomes the prisoner of a man no human is allowed to see.

Believing that a life of servitude lies ahead, Alainn finds a very different fate awaits her in the company of the strange, scarred recluse.

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This book was provided by the publisher (via NetGalley). This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Knight's Judgment
Writing Style

I really need to stop getting so excited over fairy tale re-tellings when they end up disappointing me. Ensnared is marketed as a Beauty and the Beast spin. I absolutely adored the Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer so I thought this would be good too, especially since it’s futuristic. But I should have gone with my gut early on and not bothered with this one.

I’ll give this book props for being unique. I certainly haven’t read anything like it before. And throwing in the robots and AI with the re-telling? Definitely a new twist.

After that, it goes downhill.

I expected a romance, of course, with the tale being spun, but this one just didn’t deliver. They’re both highly dependent on the other and not in a good way. I never felt anything between them either. They just… were.  It wasn’t the worst I’ve read, mind you, but I wasn’t feeling much from it.

There was a lack of world-building as well. I think the author relied a lot on what the reader would bring into the story to flesh the world out and therefore focused less on developing it alongside the story. I needed more background on how the robots became a normal part of the world. If the world had been given more attention I think the plot would have worked out better (since it had its issues too, including more than was really needed and drawing the whole book out).

Honestly I think this book could have been a lot shorter and the writing tightened up. Early on I had a feeling that I wouldn’t enjoy this book which probably isn’t fair to say before finishing the book but that feeling never went away. In the end I forced myself through to the end and will be wary of re-tellings in the future.

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