Title: Depravity (#1), Deceit (#2), & Devastation (#3)
Series: Beastly Tales
Author: M. J. Haag
Genre: Erotica Fairytale Retelling
Release Date: January 26nd, 2015
Rating: 3 Stars
Benella is concerned with two things-avoiding the two village boys who torment her and scrounging for food to help feed her family. Unfortunately, the best wild fruit and vegetables are near the walls of the estate, a dark misty place inhabited by an unforgiving beast.When her tormentors lock her behind the massive gates, Benella knows her fate is sealed. Yet, the fate isn’t one she expects. Her encounter with the beast starts a bizarre cycle of bargaining for her freedom, a freedom the beast seems determined to see her lose.A classic fairy tale with a new twist, the Beauty and the Beast saga begins with Depravity.Get the first in the series free!
First off, let me say how furious I am that this is a three part series with each novel ending in a cliff hanger. Each novel has enough meat to it to count as individual novel, but they all end in maddening cliffhangers. I loathe cliff hangers more than I loathe serials.
That being said, this series had me from page one and I couldn’t put it down until the very last one. I missed a lot of sleep for it… I am a huge fan of fairy tale retellings, especially if there erotica involved. This is definitely one of the better retellings of Beauty and the Beast, albeit a very dark one. The female lead is almost raped more times than I can count, abused by her obnoxious sisters, manipulated by an arrogant sorceress, and subjected to dealing with a short tempered man child stuck in a beast’s body. Through it all, Benella stays determined and loved her grit.
There are some themes that may not sit well with some people, especially with the Beast’s treatment of Benella in the second novel. I think they are missing the point of this story, however. The premise is not just about looking beyond aesthetic value, it is about personal growth. While it is the Beauty’s purpose to look beyond outer appearances to appreciate what people have on the inside; it is the Beast’s role to develop from …well a beast to a better person. I feel that most people look past that.
This is a great series for those looking for an adult retelling of Beauty and the Beast and can handle the dark themes and cliff hangers that come with it. If you can accept an anti-hero with faults who falls for a strong woman who can hold her own in a hateful sexist world, then this is definitely the series for you.