Monday, January 14, 2019

BOOK REVIEW: BEAUTY IS THE BEAST by JENNIFER ZAMBONI @write_read_tea #UrbanFantasy





Title : Beauty is the Beast
Author: Jennifer Zamboni
Publisher: Jennifer Zamboni
Published : October 24, 2018
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Pages: 403
Format: ebook
Source: Author /Kindle Unlimited
Reading Challenges:  COYER Winter
Purchase: Amazon





Beauty is the Beast did not deliver as I expected. There were interesting moments, but then there were times when I felt like giving upon this one. However, I persevered to the end and made a few interesting discoveries.

Based on the title, one may perceive that the story is a fairy tale retelling. This however was not the case. Beauty is the Beast tells the story of three friends who are cosmetologists and are the owners of a beauty salon and spa.  The thing that separates these three ladies from their counterparts was their other worldliness. Yes, they were non-humans. There is Gretchen a werewolf, Lacey Marie a vampire and Persephone the Greek goddess.

What I Liked.
World Building: I found the world the author created intriguing and definitely worth the visit. The concept that Hades, the god of the dead and husband of Persephone kept the supernatural world in line was intriguing and unique. In addition, there was the alpha changers for each of the species. They changed select humans into vampires or werewolves. Known as Faes and are considered the strongest beings in the supernatural world, with Hades and Persephone being the head.

The Characters.
I found the characters unique and intriguing, both the humans and non-humans. I enjoyed spending time with them and getting to know them, but none could top Gretchen, a 150-year-old dominant werewolf, but is not a member of a pack. Determination, strength, loyalty and a desire for justice were traits she embodied. 
The secondary characters brought their own blend of originality to the story.

The Ending
Strangely enough, after the bombshell discovery at the end. I am curious to know, how Gretchen will handle the aftermath of the betrayal.  I do have questions and I am curious to know the answers.

What I did not Like.

The Story
The story lacked fluidity. It was all over the place and filled with unnecessary details, which made it difficult for me to get into the story. I put the book aside several times as a result. 

The mystery element took a back seat throughout the story.  What I found strange in regards to this aspect of the story was the depth of the investigation, which took place to figure out the killer’s identity. In fact, there was only one attempt on Gretchen’s part to determine the identity. Then for the rest of the story the focus was on her development.  Then BAM! at the end the killer’s identity came to light without any warning. It came out of the blue as there was no build up to this moment.  The story focused on the development of the characters rather than the murders, which should have been of grave concern seeing that the victims were all hairdressers.

I received lessons in the proper cleaning of equipment used in the hairdressing. I also learnt of the different types of haircuts. I get that the setting is in a beauty salon, but I thought all of this information was unnecessary.  This contributed to the lengthiness and slow pacing of the story.

I am still trying to figure out the role of the circus in the story.

Conclusion/Recommendation
This has the potential to be a good story. I loved the concept but it needed better execution.



Beauty is the Beast (Beasts Among Us - Book 1)Gretchen is a 24-year-old-hairstylist with secrets: She likes to chase squirrels and howl at the moon. She’s also not really 24.


When one of her coworkers turns up dead in the salon, she suspects that the murderer isn’t entirely human. When another stylist is murdered, and then another, she goes on the prowl. A circus with a secret side show catches her attention, as does her former pack, and a group of visiting vampires



Her only outlet is her music, but that will only keep her wolf on a leash for so long with a killer on the loose.

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