Publisher: Delacorte Press
Author Links: Goodreads
In the beginning was the darkness, and in the darkness was a girl, and in the girl was a secret...
In the domed city of Yuan, the blind Princess Isra, a Smooth Skin, is raised to be a human sacrifice whose death will ensure her city’s vitality. In the desert outside Yuan, Gem, a mutant beast, fights to save his people, the Monstrous, from starvation. Neither dreams that together, they could return balance to both their worlds.
Isra wants to help the city’s Banished people, second-class citizens despised for possessing Monstrous traits. But after she enlists the aid of her prisoner, Gem, who has been captured while trying to steal Yuan’s enchanted roses, she begins to care for him, and to question everything she has been brought up to believe.
As secrets are revealed and Isra’s sight, which vanished during her childhood, returned, Isra will have to choose between duty to her people and the beast she has come to love.
This one was a very low 3 stars for me. I probably would have rated less than 3, but I didn't think it would be fair to the book, because it wasn't badly written.
But I was so BORED the entire time I was reading. I kept waiting for whatever awesomeness was supposed to happen that made (seemingly) every other reviewer fall in love with it.
It never happened for me.
I didn't hate the characters, but I never fell in love with the idea of Isra & Gem together. Part of that reason may have been because of the image that got stuck in my mind of his physical description.
Gem was described as this lizard-like creature. Now, I'm not sure what the author intended, but I kept picturing some scaly Creature from the Black Lagoon. Only with sharp, pointy teeth.
It just ruined any chance that I could get behind the kissing scenes. I'm sorry, I'm sorry! I know that it's wrong of me to judge a character on their looks. Especially in a Beauty and the Beast retelling!
I feel so ashamed, but I couldn't help it. It grossed me out, and I couldn't get past it. I'm thinking I would have been fine if they hadn't done all the sexytime stuff.
THE TEETH! Watch the TEETH, Isra!
Ok, obviously, a lot of readers weren't bothered by this, which probably means I'm even more shallow than I originally thought. Which is sad! I mean, if my husband had scaly skin & shark teeth...
I'd really miss him.
Now, while I did think this was a really different and interesting take on Beauty & the Beast, the plot seemed to drag too much for me to find it truly interesting. However, it does have an incredible backstory & setting, with this cool sci-fi/fantasy feel to it.
So, while it wasn't perfect for me, it might be perfect for you.