Wednesday, February 15, 2017

'Ensnared' by Rita Stradling

5 magical stars!

‘Ensnared’ is a fantastic re-telling of Beauty and the Beast.  Perfect for fans of 'The Lunar Chronicles' by Marissa Meyer.  It takes place in the near future, with slightly more advanced technology, including AI systems that run households and self-driving vehicles.

When Alainn’s genius father racks up serious debts between inventing robots and gambling, he takes a job from the wealthy recluse Lorccan, who is already happy with his work.  Rosebud is the AI running his private tower home, a home where no human is welcome.  When Alainn’s father and brother are unable to finish the new robot on time for Lorccan, the robot itself comes up with the idea for Alainn to take her place.  Though Rose was modeled after Alainn and the two appear to be nearly identical, readers must employ a slight suspension of disbelief as Alainn joins Lorccan’s household without him realizing she is human.

As one might expect for a re-telling of Beauty and the Beast, Lorccan, wealthy recluse that he is, is physically scarred.  Turns out he commissioned the life-like robot, Rose, for the purpose of becoming more comfortable with others, so that he may eventually interact with real people, face-to-face.  Even the AI running his solitary tower, Rosebud, encourages Alainn to interact with him; to save him.

‘Ensnared’ takes on a life of its own, advancing beyond the usual Beauty and the Beast narrative, as Rose-the-robot advances past her programming and acts increasingly independently to further her own agenda.

The connections between the characters in this story are sweet and touching.  The robotics and technology are explained with enough detail to be believable.  Though we are not treated to singing candelabras, there are some adorable robot monkeys to look forward to.

I voluntarily read a Review Copy of this book.  All opinions stated are solely my own and no one else’s.

'Ensnared' will be available in May 2017!

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