Beauty and the Werewolf - Mercedes Lackey My impression of this book is controversial. As a retelling of a fairy tale or a famous Disney cartoon, it’s not bad, although the beginning is slow, with flat, tired writing and loads of dry exposition. The story picks up, when the protagonist Bella finally meets the werewolf and the action kicks off.
Bella is nothing like a Disney heroine though. In this book, she is a shrew, bossy and didactic, full of her own superiority, always teaching the ‘Beast’ how to behave, how to treat his servants, and how to treat herself. Although the protagonist Sebastian, who turns into a wolf every full moon, is a timid scholar in his human incarnation, I can’t fathom why he’s tolerating her nagging. He is a duke after all and should have at least a modicum of pride.
The hero and heroine falling in love also seemed sudden and unwarranted. I didn’t see it coming, not in the context of this particular story, although I know it’s a requirement of the fairy tale that served as the origin of the novel. On the other hand, the villain of the piece seemed obvious from the beginning, but no one inside the story guesses at his identity, not until the final confrontation. I found it unbelievable. Don’t they apply logic to their thinking?
In the end, none of the characters ever became alive to me, remaining ‘cardboard’ personalities, but despite all the flaws of the book, I kept on reading. The tale was original enough and engrossing enough to incite me to turn the pages. I was never tempted to abandon the book. I wanted to know what happens next.
Overall, I’d give it 3 stars. I might’ve given it more, if it was written by a beginner writer, but Lackey can do (and has done) better.