Friday, August 7, 2015

Book Reivew: Five Enchanted Roses

Beauty and the Beast, a favorite of many, is a story full of deep love, sacrifice, and beauty within. Five Enchanted Roses is a novel filled with five different variations of the classic tale and each one is incredibly unique.
The first story starts out fairly normal with a girl and her father sailing. But as you keep reading, it morphs into a tale full of strange seamen, enchanted ships, and betrayal. Our main character faces separation from her father, ghost pirates, and threats of all kinds (including rape, but there is no point at which this threat is even close to be carried out). The Beast we come to know is the swash buckling kind and will entertain anyone who happens across his story. Together they find a way to get her home, but as we see the relationship between them develop, things seem a bit too good to be true. Toward the climax, we do see the author address that detail. After we see everything resolve, I thought the ending was a little rushed and sudden. But the loose ends were tied and there is a happily ever after. The author does a fantastic job of weaving descriptions into scenes, making the story extremely life-like. Our characters are well developed and are interesting to get to know, and the concepts are original and ingenious! The main reasons I loved this story were because of the creativity that was invested, and Kaycee Browning’s writing talent that brought the story to life. I thoroughly enjoyed it and from page one, I was captured! 
Savannah Jezowski is the talented writer of the second Enchanted Rose in which there are suspenseful encounters with wraiths, ghouls, and frightening creatures that stalk the forests. Lilybet, our main character, entangles herself in the dark story of the Beast. She goes in place of her sister because she knows what predators lurk in the shadows of the journey, monsters that her sister would never survive meeting.  Surprisingly, our beast is only beast in form and not at heart, though you do not think so at first. At one point we are tricked into thinking he sucks the heroine’s blood. (That particular scene made me gag a bit. The details were rather gross.) We find out later that he was actually sucking poison from her arm to save her. My favorite element of this story was Lilybet’s personality. She was bold, and sacrificial, and witty (what could be better?). Her realistic characteristics can’t help but draw a reader’s admiration. On a negative note, the story was very dark. I wouldn’t say it was a horror story, but it definitely had plenty of the horror elements. I really hate giving negative feedback, especially on a story so well written, but I have to warn you if you are sensitive to dark and eerie tales. I felt pretty uncomfortable with almost the whole thing just because it was so well written and therefore a little too vivid. Even though I was apprehensive throughout the tale, I was captivated nonetheless. I wanted to see what was going to happen next. I wanted to see how the story bloomed. I was drawn into the story, into Lilybet’s adventure. I assure you, Mrs. Jezowski is one talented writer!
Our third tale is similar to the original in setting and atmosphere: the castle, the forbidden wing, cursed servants, and of course, the beast. However, the plotline takes on a twist when it begins from a servant girl’s perspective. I thought this angle to be a very pleasant change, and it gave me a fresh look at the story. It was a very sweet tale which I enjoyed thoroughly, though our ‘villain’ wasn’t quite as convincing as I would have liked and there were characters added in that I didn’t think were necessary. I enjoyed the development of the love story and there were some definite happy sighs involved. It was a sweet story with sacrificial love and loyalty. There’s not much to write on this one because it was lovely and that’s pretty much the only way to describe it!
Number four will take our readers into a jungle forest where our Belle is a woman of a rather savage tribe. I loved how the author took me into a completely different world, very different from the previous three. Our beast is also different than what I expected, and he was pleasantly interesting to get to know.  I am sad to say that I was not happy with how much violence there was. There were a few scenes in which a man of the tribe beats our Belle and his wives harshly and another scene where a dead body is found brutally mutilated and murdered. Some of the foolish choices the main character made were also very frustrating to me and in the end, I wasn’t altogether satisfied with how everything worked out. The spiritual side of it was also a bit odd. But, the author definitely conveyed the tribal culture in the way she wrote. The style really added to the jungle-y feel, and created a unique polish to the story.
The final tale was my absolute favorite. I believe this one was closest to the original, but still had its own twists and turns. The culture was vivid, set in Scotland in the 1750s, and even the accents showed through. I loved  Belle in this one. Bonnie, a girl plagued by guilt sets off to save her family from the beast. As it turns out, the beast is not the threat she originally thinks him to be. As time passes and the tale unfolds, Bonnie begins to understand his past and his character. The dialogue was fantastic. While some situations that Bonnie was placed in could have involved cheesy conversations, the author scripted it all so well and realistically.  I enjoyed the development, and while reading, I could hear the thick Scottish accent in my head coming from the beast’s voice and it really made the story even more life-like than it already was.
All you authors did a fantastic job and I you each have such amazing talent! Thank you for these awesome stories!

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I started this blog to get some feedback on my art, WIPs, projects, general thoughts, and book reviews. You will mostly see my art projects and perhaps some writing updates. I am a bit timid when it comes to showing people my writing, so this is a big step for me! Do not be frightened away by my massive sense of humor and my really abstract ideas.
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