I'm going to start off and say that I really enjoyed this book. I was immediately pulled into the world and couldn't put it down once I started (I had to a few times because I was sneaking in reading it while I was at work, but I just couldn't wait until the end of the day to finish reading). I will admit, that despite loving the plot I did skim a bit in the woods over Sage's training.
I'm going to jump into the characters. All of whom were well written and compelling.
I can't believe it's taken me so long to read this story. It came out on October 4, and I literally had NO chance to read it because I was bogged down in papers, exams, and then final papers and final exams, not to mention needing to pack up my dorm room to get it stored for my transfer in January. Anyway, I love this book just as much as I did when I first beta'd it a while back (sometime around 2014, when I was Melissa's PA & she was actively drafting Book 2—which meant I read each chapter as it came out with bated breath).
(Spoilers in second-to-last paragraph)
I didn't expect to like this story. Beauty and the Beast had never been my favorite Disney movie, and in 8th grade, I had written a whole paper about fairytales in culture and how Disney changed a lot of the original tales they adapted. Beauty and the Beast was among them. The original tale isn't great, but in the Beast isn't exactly awful towards the girl other than keeping her captive (which is still A BIG THING). After writing that paper though, I couldn't see the Disney film without thinking "Stockholm Syndrome" and how it encourages girls to stay with abusive beasts because they can change.
I also was skeptical because I read this soon after the news of the live action remake had come out. Why fix something that you Disney Princess movie standards wasn't broken? At least with Cinderella, they "modernized" the story by having Cinderella meet the Prince beforehand so she's not marrying a complete stranger after just one night. That adaptation introduced issues of its own, but at least it was new enough to separate it from the animated version. Beauty and the Beast, on the other hand, does not need a reinvigoration of its brand. Almost everyone can sing "Tale As Old As Time" and knows that Belle is the only princess who is known to be a bookworm.
Anyway, I read it and liked it. The plot was a lot darker than the Disney movie (it's tone actually was more reminiscent of the often-bashed Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas which featured an evil organ named Maestro Forte). Mixing with fairies and magic of more traditional fairytales, I was glad to see an original side to the story (although the first part was strangely structured and had me wondering how any of it could have happened if no one in the original Disney movie knew any of this—the answer, the spell cast on Beast's castle made everyone forget about him and magic).
The latest draft is DONE! I have to say that my last mandatory writing break (due to school work), while frustrating, was well needed. Since I got back to work in the past week, I have FLOWN through the chapters making last-minute edits and revisions and finished today. Plot has changed, chapters cut, combined, and reorganized for a much more cohesive story (which is really the whole point of revising, right?).
And almost immediately after I hit Save, I was lucky enough to find my One True Critique Partner (OTCP) Jessi Elliott on Swoon Reads' 2016 Critique Partner/Beta Reader match-up post (#BeMyBeta) which is similar to Maggie Stiefvater's Critique Partner Love Connection post from last year.
Seeing as Fire of Stars and Dragons is one of my favorite novels, I was so excited when I heard about Fallen Son, Darkest Night—the prequel story of Dante's past. If you haven't already read FOSAD, here's what you need to know about him before reading FSDN. He's a powerful demigod. He's handsome. And while he's very refined in FOSAD, he used to be a terror on Earth.
And what did I think of this darker side of the blue-eyed beauty?
I LOVED it! Because I love him, and know you will too.
So what are you waiting for? Go read it now!
I'm a self-published author (because being a college student wasn't hard enough!) and spend most of my time doing homework. I write YA multi-genre fiction for young adults or the young at heart. I love NCIS, BBC's Sherlock,
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