This is a hard book to review.
It’s a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. I’m thinking that it is closer to the original than the Disney version.
How Beauty Met the Beast.
In this retelling Beauty is Jolie Benoit. Jolie is a burlesque dancer and the youngest daughter of a media mogul (ex: Rupert Murdoch). The Beast is Wesley “Hauk” Haukon, a severally burned and scarred ex-Army Ranger.
The story starts with Hauk and a friend being chased by some bad guys – part of a group that is run by Jolie’s father. In order to escape they drop by a (I hate to call it a strip club…) burlesque club that is run by a friend. Performing at this club is Jolie. Hauk gets a chance to see her perform and he is entranced.
After Jolie’s performance he goes to the back of the club to catch up with his friends when he runs into Jolie backstage. Jolie is changing clothes behind a white sheet. Hauk walks up to the sheet and they strike up a very short conversation that culminates in Hauk performing oral sex on Jolie through the sheet. They never actually touch or look at each other but Hauk brings Jolie to orgasm.
Afterwards Jolie is almost kidnapped and raped. Hauk saves her but she doesn’t realize that he is the same guy who ate her out via a sheet. The next day Hauk and Jolie find out her 12 y/o cousin Whitney was kidnapped at the same time. Hauk abandons his position in the Underlight for a time to assist Jolie in locating and rescuing her young cousin. It is assumed that Jolie’s attempted kidnapping (and attempted rape) and her cousin’s completed kidnapping is done to force her father in to publishing (via both TV news and Newspaper) some false story that would change the possible outcome of a major political event. The best example I can give is to imagine Rupert Murdock’s young granddaughter is kidnapped in order to have Rupert Murdock publish false information to influence the US Presidential election.
I really liked this book…but I also disliked it as well. I loved Hauk – he has been through so much and has so little. He’s such a great guy. I also liked quite a lot about Jolie. I loved that she had a gluten allergy and I loved that she was a burlesque dancer. She seemed to make her mind up quickly and didn’t come across as a helpless damsel in distress. I also loved the fact that she seemed to own her sexuality. She made no excuses for it and I ♥ that.
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Hot damn this was good. Long? Yes. Clocking in at over 1,000 pages it was really, really long. But despite that, it didn’t feel long. I really enjoyed reading it, all the way through.
Enjoyed.. I’m actually surprised I can call what I got from this enjoyment. It was sad.. And depressing.. Hopeless at times. Not to mention the fact that I have issues with claustrophobia. Reading a book about people stuck in a dome? Oh. My. God. So anxious. Seriously, I feel anxious right now just thinking about having read it. But! Despite all of that, I still wanted to be reading it, still kept picking it up and turning the pages and wondering what was going to happen next.
This probably ranks up there at the top of my King favorites list. Granted, I still haven’t read that much by him, but I have a feeling this will stay towards the top. Part of it was timing. I read this in October, for Halloween and such, and had no idea when I started that the book was also set during Halloween. Part of it was the concept.. It’s fascinating. What would happen in something like this happened for real? How long would it take people to panic? And part of it was just that Eau de King. That special something that King has.. His amazing story telling ability.. The way he has of making characters come alive and jump off the page.. King just pain rocks.
4.5 stars. Loved it. Highly recommended!
I’m not really a fan of zombies, but I figured since it’s October I might as well try something different. I’m really glad I did! This turned out to be pretty awesome. I really liked the style it was written in (as a series of interviews with survivors of the zombie war). It made info dump sections feel less info dumpy, and kept me interested from beginning to end. I think for some people this will come across as really slow and dry.. But I don’t know, that didn’t really bother me at all. I liked it just the way it is.
I will say this though.. This book screwed with my dreams. I don’t know what it was about it that did it, but while I’ve been reading this I’ve had seriously messed up dreams every single night. It’s not even a scary book! I have no idea why it gave me bad dreams. I mean hell.. The first night that I picked it up I only read about 10 pages, just to get a quick feel for it before bed. I don’t even think there were any zombies in those first 10 pages. But what did I dream about that night? Axing zombies in the head. There were zombie killing dreams, being eaten by zombies dreams, chasing zombies and being chased by them… Everything. Hell, there was even one night that I dreamed I was laying in my bed sleeping, but when I opened my eyes there was either a child or a little person standing beside the bed staring at me…… Wearing a big white bunny head. Like the cheerful type, a costume bunny head. I tried to scream, couldn’t, couldn’t move.. Just sat there with bunny person looking at me, screaming silently in my head. I mean come on! That one wasn’t even about zombies! But I still blame this book. Ridiculous.
Anyway… Good book. Bad dreams. 4 stars.