Wednesday 27 January 2021

Audiobook Review 2021 - A Curse So Dark And Lonely

Before I go any further, I want to say quickly that I went through really bad audiobook slump before I settled on this [I started then DNF/put on the back burner several audiobooks, including audiobooks I was hugely excited to listen to [yes, Barack Obama. I’m talking about you]. I think I burnt myself out due to last year and global events (hence my decision to be more gentle with reading/blogging this year). So, this might effect my review/reaction to this. So, keep that in mind before you read this and judge me too harshly.
Title And Author: A Curse So Dark And Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Physical, eBook or Audiobook: eBook & Audiobook
Bought, Borrowed or Gifted: eProof gifted by UK publisher in exchange for honest review/reaction while Audiobook’s bought. 
Length: 496 Pages or 14 Hours 51 Minutes

In this reimagining of Beauty and the Beast, we follow Harper, a girl from our world and Rhen, a prince and heir of Emberfall who, yep, you guessed it, is cursed. He’s cursed to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, only to be freed by love. If he isn’t freed, he is transformed into a monster, hell-bent of destruction and death, throwing his kingdom into fear and enemy kingdoms are waiting for the perfect time to invade. And now, the stakes are higher as this season will be his last…

Harper’s life hasn’t been easy. Her mother’s health is deteriorating due to terminal cancer, her father has got the family into huge debt and ran off, leaving her and her brother to pick up the pieces, doing jobs from the loan sharks their dad (now their family) is indebted to (and some of these jobs are violent) and having people see her as a victim or broken due to her cerebral palsy. So when she stops a man kidnapped a drugged girl, she takes that girl’s place and is taken to Emberfall. Prince Rhen and his sole guards man, Grey, assume Harper is going to be like the other girls - how wrong they are as Harper is stubborn, reckless and will fight tooth and nail to return home…

In theory, this should be right up my street. A Beauty and the Beast fantasy retelling, well-written and well excuted enemies to lovers arc, interesting and complex characters, diversity. Everything about this book is good. I completely get why you all love this. This, in theory, should have been catnip for me!

And yet…

Maybe it’s because am in a bit of slump after 2020 put us all through the ringer. Maybe it’s because I felt like I’ve read several of the twists before in other fantasy novels (this is the first in a series and there was one twist that was revealed in the last 2 hours of the audiobook that I guessed within the first few chapters. That’s right, I saw that twist coming from the very beginning of the book and yet, it wasn’t revealed till the very end). Maybe I had my expectations of this book too high (blaming the hype train on that). Maybe the plot was drawn out a little too much for my tastes. Maybe due to the narrators of audiobooks, I struggled to listen to anything longer than two hours (and even then, I had to do it in doses with music and podcasts to break it up). 

For whatever reason, I just didn’t gel with it in the way I hoped. 

I do think this might be because was in bit on a slump so I am considering relistening to the audiobook later this year and seeing if I still have the same feels to it. It might just be “wrong time for this read”. Hopefully, in a few months when/if I reread this, I will be more on board with it.

But, at this moment in time, it was an ok read. I just wanted something more…

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