Series: Cruel Beauty Universe
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: January 28th 2014
Source: Publisher [Edelweiss]
Cruel Beauty was one of my most anticipated releases of 2014. From the cover so the synopsis, I just couldn't wait for this book to be released. And then I was able to download a review copy from Edelweiss and I was so excited! Cruel Beauty is a re-telling of Beauty and the Beast. Rosamund Hodge mixes in demons and magic to her re-telling and gives it a completely different feel from the original story. This one is a lot darker.
Cruel Beauty has been my favourite Beauty and the Beast re-telling so far (and I think it'll be extremely hard to beat). I loved all the magic, demons, dark secrets and twists. I was pulled in straight away by this story and I loved every second of it.
I really did like Nyx. She's angry at her father for offering her to Ignifex and she's angry at her sister because she gets to live. Nyx is harbouring a lot of anger and it just keeps building and building inside of her. She's feisty and stubborn, extremely determined but she's also broken and feels unloved. Nyx was a complex character and I enjoyed seeing the changes in her throughout the book.
Ignifex was a character that I hated to love. I knew I shouldn't like him because he's a demon! But there was just something about him that I loved. He made deals with people that usually ended up with that person or someone else dying, so that makes him a pretty horrible character. But Ignifex could also be sweet and kind, especially when he was around Nyx. I thought he was actually pretty hilarious and I did really like him.
I wasn't a massive fan of Shade. I mean, he's a creepy shadow thing and I just never trusted him. He seemed to be up to something and I just couldn't make myself like him.
The romance was slightly weird. I enjoyed Nyx and Ignifex's connection (when Nyx finally allowed herself to like him) and I enjoyed seeing their relationship progress. What I didn't enjoy was Nyx and Shade because that was just pretty weird. Plus, Nyx threw herself at him on the first night so I lost all interest in their relationship.
Like I said before, I loved Hodge's twist on the original story. Adding demons and magic in just made this a lot more interesting and a hell of a lot darker. I loved the mythology as well. Mythology is one of my favourite things to read about so I loved wrapping my head around the mythology in Cruel Beauty. There were a lot of secrets that had to be uncovered throughout the book and I really enjoyed discovering them. I loved exploring the castle with Nyx and finding out what was in every nook and cranny (even if some of it wasn't very pleasant). I also really enjoyed Nyx's relationship with her sister. Even though Nyx hates being the one chosen, she still wants to protect her sister. They've got a really strong bond.
The ending, however, was the only part I was slightly disappointed with. It was just too perfect of an ending after everything that had happened, and also not really the way I was hoping it would go. But it was still a great ending.
Overal, Cruel Beauty was a fantastic read! It was full of mythology, demons, darkness and Ignifex (which is a major plus!), and I adored everything about it. Cruel Beauty is a book I definitely recommend to everyone because it was just amazing.