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Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay

Saturday, September 28, 2013

In the domed city of Yuan, the blind Princess Isra, a Smooth Skin, is raised to be a human sacrifice whose death will ensure her city’s vitality. In the desert outside Yuan, Gem, a mutant beast, fights to save his people, the Monstrous, from starvation. Neither dreams that together, they could return balance to both their worlds.

Isra wants to help the city’s Banished people, second-class citizens despised for possessing Monstrous traits. But after she enlists the aid of her prisoner, Gem, who has been captured while trying to steal Yuan’s enchanted roses, she begins to care for him, and to question everything she has been brought up to believe.

As secrets are revealed and Isra’s sight, which vanished during her childhood, returned, Isra will have to choose between duty to her people and the beast she has come to love.

Goodreads Summary

Stacey Jay has a magical ability to pull readers into the strange worlds she creates. Her
powerful, poetic writing caused me to lose myself for three hours as I devoured her book. Of Beast and Beauty is unlike her previous novels, Juliet Immortal and Romeo Redeemed. Jay’s latest novel is a retelling of the classic story Beauty and the Beast that she has made her own.

Beast is a princess named Isra who must die to ensure her people will live. Blind and a “Smooth
Skin” that is afraid she is “Monsterous”, Isra is part of a curse she knows nothing about. Gem is Beauty, a man labeled “Monsterous” that lives in the desert, working against Isra to save his own dying people. Isra and Gem come from different worlds, but share an inner strength and perseverance. To save themselves and the people they love, the two will face an ancient evil.

Although Of Beast and Beauty was difficult to put down, the culmination of the plot was
unsatisfying. The plot flowed too easily and left me feeling disappointed; the book proceeded exactly as expected. I felt as though I knew how the book would progress as soon as I began reading. Still, falling into the world of Isra and Gem was enjoyable, and I would recommend the book to readers who have enjoyed Jay’s earlier novels or other retellings.

3.5 Stars

"Reviewed by Chelsea"

This product or book may have been distributed for review, this in no way affects my opinions or reviews.

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  1. It's too bad this book left you disappointed. I do like her take on the classics, though. I hope she managed to pull them off, at least?

  1. Arra A. said...:

    Another interesting retelling of a classic story. Sad that it disappointed you but I still am curious. :)

    Style Reader

  1. Susan T. said...:

    I'm pretty excited to read this. It might be predictable but still a good read!

  1. I haven't read anything by her, but I really do love the whole concept of Beauty and the Beast. Out of curiosity, have you read Beastly? How would you compare them?

  1. I am actually looking forward to reading this book. To be honest I think the easy flow would make the book an easy read for me. :D

  1. I really want to read this. I have a copy and I love retellings. I hope it's done well! I haven't read any Stacey Jay but have heard great things!

  1. Emi Lia said...:

    I've heard a lot about this book. I'll definitely be adding it to my TBR :)

  1. Hmmm seems like my type of book, even if the storyline appears predictable as I sometimes enjoy a simple enjoyable read. As long as it isn't poorly written I can handle predictable!

  1. I've been seeing and hearing a lot of this book so it got me curious. Hopefully I like it at least :) I enjoy classic book retellings so this would be nice to add to my collection :)

  1. Berenice said...:

    I have an ARC of this one but haven't gotten the chance to read it. I love Beauty and the Beast so I'm excited to dive into this retelling. Sorry to hear it left you feeling disappointed. I'll have to give this one a go soon. Great review! =)