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
Pages: 419
Genres: Adult, Romance, Science Fiction

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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.

This book was provided by the publisher (via NetGalley) for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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.

About Austine

Well hello there! I see you’ve reached the end of the post. Bummer. But perhaps I may interest you in a comment? And in case you were wondering, I’m a 20-something college grad with a piece of paper that says I know about wildlife. Reviewer of books since 2011, amateur photographer by day, and aspiring author by night. I believe animals (and books) are better than people.

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