Ensnared by Rita Stradling


3 stars

Publication Date: December 2017

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.

I was provided an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Sci-fi fairy tale retelling? Sign me up please! I was expecting something like Cinder by Merissa Meyer – action packed and full of general badass-ery but I was unfortunately disappointed. While I enjoyed the story, it was not without flaws.

The setting of the story was really cool and interesting. I loved the author’s vision of the future. It was very believable that that could one day be the world we live in. I liked how she managed to integrate artificial intelligence to the daily lives without being over the top about it.

The characters were very well written and I enjoyed reading about them and their lives. Alainn was a fantastic protagonist and I loved her. Mr Garbhan, on the other hand, I didn’t have any strong feelings about him – positive or negative. I would have liked if we got more backstory on all the characters, particularly Alainn’s father. It would have helped me connect with the characters better.

The actual romance aspect of the story – I have mixed feelings about it. It felt like Mr Garbhan was attracted to Alainn solely because she was there. This is a man who has had little to no human contact in his life so it felt like he was attracted to the first person he met. It also bothered me that the fact that he thought Alainn was a robot didn’t faze him at all.

The writing is good but there were parts which dragged on and parts that were glossed over. The action sequences could have been written better. Since the publication date is quite late in the year, I’m sure there will be several improvements by then. I am looking forward to reading the final version and hoping it will be better!

For a retelling, I would say it’s a great and unique take on the classic tale as old as time but as a story, it could have been better.


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