Tuesday, June 6, 2017

REVIEW: Ensnared

Author: Rita Stradling

Take Beauty and the Beast.... add in robots, AI technology and other sci-fi gadgetry...and you've got Ensnared.

Alainn Murphy is determined to keep her father out of prison. He was hired to create an ultra-advanced robot for a reclusive wealthy man and has been working on it for months. But the deadline has come and gone and the Rose project isn't finished. The project's backer, Lorccan Garbhan, has refused to extend the deadline or provide more funds. In his mind, Alainn's father has stolen from him, wasting his money on gambling instead of completing the robot he was hired to design. Alainn's brother and the family's AI robot are working to complete the project. To buy more time, they decide Alainn should enter Garbhan's household pretending to be the completed robot. Then when the project is actually completed, the new robot and Alainn will switch places and nobody will be the wiser.

But, the plan goes wrong. Horribly wrong. Not only is Alainn stuck pretending to be a robot, but she's falling in love with Lorccan.

I love the Beauty and the Beast story! When I saw this book listed as a futuristic retelling of the story, I knew I had to read it! In a lot of ways, the story does mirror the basics of Beauty and the Beast, but it just didn't have that magical feel of the more traditional story for me. The romance between the main characters fell a bit flat because Lorccan thinks she's a robot. When Alainn was unable to suppress her human reactions to things -- laughing, showing desire, needing food -- -how could he not have realized he was being tricked and that she wasn't a robot?

I didn't dislike the book -- I enjoyed reading it! The story line was really interesting -- I loved the sci-fi angle. The retelling is original and engaging. But the characters just fell a bit flat for me.  I really didn't feel invested in the characters or their romantic situation. I think maybe if I wasn't such a big fan of the original story that I would have enjoyed this futuristic retelling a bit more.

This is a retelling aimed at adults. There are sexual scenes in this story and some language, so parental guidance is required before letting anyone under the age of 16 read this book.

To find out more about the author and her books, check out her website: http://ritastradling.wixsite.com/rita-stradling-books

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