Review | Beasts and Beauty by Soman Chainani

You think you know these stories, don’t you?

You are wrong.

You don’t know them at all.

Twelve tales, twelve dangerous tales of mystery, magic, and rebellious hearts. Each twists like a spindle to reveal truths full of warning and triumph, truths that capture hearts long kept tame and set them free, truths that explore life . . . and death.

A prince has a surprising awakening . . .                           

A beauty fights like a beast . . .

A boy refuses to become prey . . .

A path to happiness is lost. . . . then found again.

New York Times bestselling author Soman Chainani respins old stories into fresh fairy tales for a new era and creates a world like no other. These stories know you. They understand you. They reflect you. They are tales for our times. So read on, if you dare.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I was really excited to pick this one up when I first heard about it, possibly darker or more dangerous retellings of our favorite fairy tales? Yes, please. Upon reading it though, I was left a little underwhelmed. Most of the retellings were interesting in their ways and certainly some did have a darker spin, but they left me wanting. Also, while the writing flowed well and was enjoyable, there is absolutely no punctuation used to indicate dialogue/conversations so half the time I would be through partway through a conversation before I had the realization that the characters were talking. I know many people these days are tossing out old writing rules, but I at least need some indications of a shift in narrative from narrator to dialogue. Having to go back and reread conversations once I knew they were dialogue definitely took away some of my enjoyment.

Here’s my rating, story by story –
Red Riding Hood – 4 stars
Snow White – 4 stars
Sleeping Beauty – 3 stars
Rapunzel – 3 stars
Jack & the Beanstalk – 3 stars
Hansel and Gretel – 3 stars
Beauty and the Beast – 2 stars
Bluebeard – 3 stars
Cinderella – 3 stars
The Little Mermaid – 4 stars
Rumpelstiltskin – 3 stars
Peter Pan – 4 stars

Happy reading!

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