A Thorny Retelling
This retelling doesn't live up to the hype
This is the story of a girl who is taken captive by a ferocious beast. She resigns to her fate because of her sense of protection for the rest of her family. She finds that the beast that has taken her has been cursed but doesn't realize that she's the answer to breaking the curse. It's a retelling of Beauty and the Beast.
There is a high probability that this one is way overhyped on the internet. Don't get me wrong, I liked it. But it was not "OMG YOU HAVE TO READ THIS" incredible.
The pacing of the book was uneven, to say the least. The last third is the best part of the book. Feyre discovers what role she might play in the story of Prytheria. It becomes an engaging read when the first-person protagonist actually takes agency in her own fate instead of accepting the eddies the Cauldron has served her.
Feyre as a character when she took agency over her actions was what made the story compelling. Her motives were clear throughout the story and she really was interesting. Her love of her family and drive to provide for others is relatable. Lucien became my favorite character for his candid charm and moral ambiguity. Tamlin and Rhysand gave me lots of True Blood vibes, with Tamlin as the brooding good guy and Rhysand slated to play the contrasting bad boy.
At a high level the plot is predictable, but the details in Maas's writing really bring the story to life. This one felt overhyped but I'm optimistic that the series will only get better. I'll be reading the next one, but I'm not rushing out to the bookstore or skipping everything else on my TBR list to make it the next thing I read. If you can accept that the first two-thirds of the book is a predictable but enjoyable retelling of Beauty and the Beast, the last part is more rewarding.