Monday, April 24, 2017

Review: Ensnared by Rita Stradling

Book Blurb:

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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My Review:

3.5 Out Of 5 Stars

Genre: Romance--

Alainn's father was given money to create an AI for the wealthy, reclusive and rude Lorccan, but when he fails to deliver, Lorccan threatens with the police. The AI, Rose, who has been created in Alainn's image, refuses to go to her new task, and the money can't be returned since her father has spent it all on his gambling addiction. To save her father, Alainn allows Rose to give her enhancements to appear as if she is the AI and takes Rose's place until Rose can create a replacement robot. But pretending to be a robot is harder than Alainn anticipated, especially when she finds that Lorccan is not what she expected.

I am a sucker for anything having to do with Beauty and the Beast, so I knew I had to read this book. This was such a interesting take on the story, I was not sure what I was getting myself into or what to expect. The world the author used was a new approach to the classic, with artificial intelligence taking over jobs that were previously human only, self/automaton driving cars and organs and food that can be conveniently made on demand. It was a world of luxury, but also a scary world that I would not be super interested in living in- where your house is operated by a robot that can lie, manipulate and murder just as easy (or maybe easier since feelings aren't relevant) based on a calculation that the human mind doesn't understand.

​I had so many questions about Lorccan when the book was over that the author left hanging (no, the story wrapped up nicely and it has a happily ever after) but I had some logistic questions that the author decided to not answer. The whole germ thing, it was never resolved, instead just left hanging making me wonder (and ultimately want to push him). He is the product of abuse, both mental and physical, and it has left him a socially awkward, unattractive mega rich dude. And his face- I wanted to know what the whole story about that was, and how did his parents die- because I could totally see him murdering them (but that would make this a whole different story- sorry for the tangent). And Alainn was such a push over, I wanted to shake her. I like my main female characters with some backbone, and sure she was a daredevil with a hero complex, but stood up for nothing when it came to her own life. At the end she showed gumption, which I appreciated, but I have no idea how she was ok with the plan to begin with or how she never told him the truth.

​I'm not going to lie, the music from Beauty and the Beast movie kept playing in my head the whole time I read this book. The story is different enough, but it will forever have that sound track in the background. Also, I kept waiting for Gaston (or a Gaston similar character) to show up (which he sadly didn't, but a girl can dream).

Overall this was something new for me to read with a backbone of beauty and the beast (just super complicated!) and I found that I enjoyed the story.​ It was different enough to keep me guessing and similar enough for me to recognize the retelling. I sped through the book in one sitting, the reading was engaging and easy to get lost in. I look forward to more from this author in the future.

I received this title in return for my honest review.

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