Sunday, March 5, 2017

Review: Ensnared by Rita Stradling

Title: Ensnared
Author: Rita Stradling
Series: Stand-alone
Genre: New Adult/Re-Telling/Sci-fi
Publisher: ??
Publication Date: December 18th, 2017
Edition: Kindle Edition, 380 pages
Source: NetGalley
Purchase: No Pre-Order Links Available at this Time

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 strange. I feel like calling it a retelling of Beauty and the Beast is a bit of a stretch. If it was never mentioned in the synopsis I would never have seen much of a connection. The only thing this book and the original fairy tale have in common is a girl lives with a man she doesn't know. The line in the synopsis makes it sound like it's her choice to live in the tower, like it is in the fairy tale, when (and this isn't a spoiler since it happens really early on in the book) it's not really her choice, and she doesn't exactly have a great relationship with her father the way Belle does with her father.

The technology in this book was odd and poorly explained. I would have preferred if there was any kind of explanation on how the AI works, and how any kind of AI robot could pass as human for longer than 10 minutes. It was glossed over and makes this story much less Science Fiction and more Science Fantasy. 

The romance was very, very strange to me. It felt very one-sided, and I never caught when either of them fell in love with the other. The handful of interactions they had were all the same, and nothing very meaningful happened between them. Any connection they formed wasn't anything that could classify as love. And I know this guy isn't used to being physically around people, but he's around enough AI Robots that he should have really noticed a difference between a robot and a human. 

I am also kind of put off on the interpretation of mental illness in this book. The way it was portrayed was some odd mixture of the most extreme version of their illness, Mysophobia, and Agoraphobia. But only when it suited the story.

The part of this book that kind of made it better but didn't really line up with the Beauty and the Beast retelling. Which is why I believe that if this book hadn't stated that it was a retelling of my favorite fairy tale, but nothing was different about the book, I would like it a lot more. 

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