ARC REVIEW: Ensnared by Rita Stradling

EnsnaredTitle: Ensnared by Rita Stradling
Pages: 419
Published by: Kindle Press
Publication date: 23rd May 2017
Genre: Romance/Fantasy
Format: eBook
Amazon UKBook Depository

Synopsis: 

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.

My review:

Thank you to NetGalley for a free digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest view.

I loved this book so freaking much! Much, much more than I originally thought I would. Don’t get me wrong, I love Beauty and the Beast but I’m not really into reading retellings and I’m not overly obsessed with fairy tales. But what drew me to this book was the futuristic aspect of it. I loved the idea of there being robots in the story and how the main character, Alainn, has to pretend to be a robot. I just knew straight away that I had to read this book and I devoured it! I read it in three days which is good for me for a book this size. Especially since I was working long hours as well. I just found any time I could to read this. I read it before I started work, on a break at work, before going to bed, etc. I was completely hooked on this story.

So it kind of is a Beauty and the Beast retelling but it lacks a lot of what made people fall in love with Beauty and the Beast. It obviously doesn’t have talking furniture but instead has robots and machines. It doesn’t involve a curse and the main character doesn’t have to fall in love with the beast to break a curse. The main character, Alainn, isn’t a book lover and there isn’t a library in the book which is something I wasn’t too bothered about but it would have been nice for Alainn to share Belle’s passion. What it does have is a beast who lives in isolation and cannot leave his tower. Alainn sacrifices her happiness to go and live with the beast to save her father from going to prison.

The only thing that bothered me about this story is Alainn’s family. They are so ungrateful to her and at times I felt like I was reading a retelling of Cinderella instead of Beauty and the Beast. She cooks and cleans for her family and receives nothing in return. Her family barely talk to her or look at her and dismiss whatever she says because she is seen as being the less intelligent one in the family. Her brother and father are the geniuses and inventors of the family. Alainn, on the other hand, is not a genius or an inventor but she is a very kind and caring person. She cares deeply for her father and at times I was at a loss as to why. Quite frankly, her father didn’t deserve Alainn’s sacrifice and should have gone to prison. He got his family in a mess and didn’t even seem grateful to Alainn for trying to get them out of it. Near the end Alainn’s life is threatened and her father still says nothing and that really irked me. Does he even care about her? I don’t think so. The only reason I was happy for her going to the tower was because instead of her life ending it was only just beginning.

I really liked Alainn and grew quite attached to her as the book went on. I was rooting for her happiness because she really deserves it after the mess her family got her in. It was funny seeing her pretend to be a robot and surprising how easy it was. I wouldn’t have a clue where to start but Alainn manages to blag her way through it. At times I was wondering how she would even manage to pretend to be a robot for that long but she hardly sees the beast at first so it didn’t really matter. I liked seeing her spend more and more time with him and getting to know him more. At times it did get a bit slow and nothing was really happening but it was such an entrancing read… I was honestly hooked. I couldn’t put this book down unless life got in the way. Grumbling at work now for getting in my way of this beautiful book!

Now lets get onto the beast… Lorccan. I’m going to sigh dreamily now because he really was my favourite character in the whole book. At the start he comes off as really rude and arrogant but he really isn’t. Not in the slightest. He is just so precious. So, so precious.  I want him in my life. We get a glimpse of his past every now and again and it’s so tragic… I would happily have a whole separate book about Lorccan’s past because I would have liked to understand more about his childhood growing up. I’m hungry for more Lorccan, seriously he is just a gem. We find out the reason he wanted a robot in the first place and it honestly made me want to dive right into the book and give him a hug. My heart shattered into a million pieces for him. The whole way through the book I was completely rooting for Alainn and Lorccan to be together. I loved seeing them happy together because they both deserved to be happy.

I really loved the futuristic setting and the robots were awesome too! Don’t want to give the story away but the ending was so intense!!!! It was really action-packed and honestly had my eyes bugging out of my head in shock. My heart was pounding with anticipation and I was completely thrilled with the ending! It was everything I wanted throughout the book! Massive applause for the author for writing such a wonderful story! I loved everything about it!

To sum it up, this book is awesome and everyone should read it! I just cannot express enough my intense love for this book and for the characters! This is definitely one of my favourite reads of 2017 so far! It was such a captivating book and I am so excited to see what Rita Stradling writes next!

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