All Things Disney, Book Reviews

“The Beast Within… ” by Serena Valentino

The Beast Within: A Tale of Beauty's PrinceThe Beast Within: A Tale of Beauty’s Prince by Serena Valentino

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Very big disappointment. I had read the first book, “Fairest of All” and was extremely pleased with the direction Valentino took in explaining the back story of the Evil Queen. She had followed our beloved well known Disney Snow White so well, and also managed to give us a huge explanation of who the Evil Queen was, and why she was deemed “evil.”

Upon picking up this book, I thought it would be similar in a writing sense. Definitely wrong. The first couple chapters gave us a little perspective change from the story we well know. However the next 100 pages are extremely long, tedious, and almost pointless.

I liked the back story of the curse, however it could have been summed up in maybe 50 pages. The back story of the Prince experiencing his downfall of the curse is excruciatingly over worded and completely deters from the beloved Disney original Beauty and the Beast. It is not until chapter 19, page 165, that Belle is brought back into the story. It almost as if Valentino realized she had to bring the book to a close and rushed to add Belle back in. The perspective changes are extremely sloppy and after seeing from the Beast’s eyes the whole book, suddenly we switch to Belle a few paragraphs, back to Beast, and then to the witches suddenly.

The witches were poorly described, honestly they were just generalized together in appearance. The story plot engulfing the witches is quite annoying as well. It makes the story turn from some “don’t love someone without truly getting to know them,” or “don’t judge a book by their cover,” to a sinister story! Why are the witches trying to control the chain of events?! They manipulate the characters with their chants and it becomes more and more vexing towards the end of the story. It really turns into a book on the witches towards the end instead of about the Beast and his changing heart. The witches take control of the story and all evil that unravels from Belle leaving the castle for her father. It is Circe who takes the last two chapters in her hands and brings the story to an abrupt end.

Also, the Beast’s lively subjects are nowhere to be seen or heard from since they transformed into their household objects!

This story should have given us a back story to how and why the curse was cast, and also the Beast’s perspective on the chain of events since Belle arrives at the castle. Very disappointed with this book. It was a missed opportunity. I could have easily have read this book in a couple hours had I not been more interested in reading a bunch of better books in my to-read list.

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