Ensnared, a futuristic new adult novel, by Rita Stradling is a unique take on the classic story Beauty and the Beast. Alainn Murphey is 24 years old and kind of an outcast among her family. Her brother and father are both extremely intelligent while Alainn works a mediocre job to keep their family afloat. In the beginning we learn that Alainn’s father has a gambling addiction and is facing a jail sentence unless he delivers Rose, a robot, to the mysterious Lorccan who lives in a secluded tower nearby. All of this could have been avoided of course if Alainn’s father wasn’t consistently gambling away all of their money.
Rose, the robot, devises a plan in which Alainn (an exact replica of Rose) goes to Lorccans tower in her place so that Rose and Alainn’s father can finish up a new Rosette model robot. The plan is that Alainn would spend a few days maximum posing as a robot in Rose’s place and they would then replace her with the new Rosette model and succeed in an escape plan for Alainn. But once Alainn arrives she realizes that things aren’t really what they seem. Maybe Lorccan isn’t the beast she thought he was, and here our romance begins to bud.
What I liked the best about this book was the futuristic setting. There’s something that draws me in and keeps me hooked when the setting is strong and intriguing. Ensnared really did this for me. I loved getting to see the tower, the robots (lets be real, Blue was the best part of this book, awww) and how the world would work if it was ran by robots in the place of humans for necessary jobs such as police work. I also absolutely loved the characters. Alainn was a strong women but also had a tender heart and would do ANYTHING for the people she loved. As for Lorccan, I love a good bounce back story. One of my very favorite characters in a book is the anti-villain and he was a perfect one. At first I was skeptical about Shelly as a character but grew to love her immensely because the author did not shy away from any aspect of living with crippling anxiety. A huge round of applause for accurate representation of a mental illness in this novel. I think the plot was very gripping, it had me at the edge of my seat for the better last half of the book. Overall I gave this book a solid 4 star rating on Goodreads and thought it was spectacular.
Some things I didn’t like about the book was that I wished we had gotten a little more from the original Beauty and the Beast story. Believe me, there were elements from the classic in there such as the rose theme reappearing but I just wanted a little more from it. Maybe I’m a little bias being that Beauty and the Beast is easily one of my favorite Disney movies of all time. I also felt like if some of the steamier scenes in this book were chopped, it would make a fantastic YA novel. I’m used to reading YA so when scenes like this pop up it brings me back to those bitter 50 Shades of Grey days and I’m just not into it. I don’t know why it makes me feel so uncomfortable, I’m a grown adult with two children I should be okay with things like that, but I just thought this book should have been marketed and written as a YA book rather than New Adult. The ending was also a little sloppy for me. It wrapped up rapidly and sometimes I caught myself saying “why did this happen” or “how did this come to be”.
Overall I LOVED this book and will wholeheartedly be back for anything else Rita decides to write. For lovers of the Lunar Chronicles who don’t mind shying away from the YA genre, this is PERFECT for you.
Also a big thank you to netgalley for sending me this book for review. It was a hell of a roller coaster ride and I enjoyed every second of it.