eARC Book Review: The Beast That Never Was by Caren J. Werlinger

The Beast That Never WasWhat if Beauty was the Beast?

Lise’s father is dead, and the life of plenty and freedom that she has known as the daughter of the King’s Huntsman is gone. She must now live a life of duty to her mother and sisters, helping them to cope in their altered circumstances. But where her mother would have her wed a childhood friend to secure their future, Lise knows that is not what she longs for.

When she meets a mysterious woman in the forest, Lise feels the stirrings of emotions she cannot give voice to, but with this woman, she doesn’t have to say anything—Senna knows.

Cursed, hunted, and feared, Senna has been forced to wander from place to place for more years than she cares to remember. She gave up hope long ago that there could ever be an end to her isolation.

Odd sightings in the forest—monsters of legend come to life, old enemies back from the past, fearsome beasts on the prowl—begin to frighten the people of Lise’s village. Somehow, all of these things are connected to Senna. As the villagers’ fear grows, so does their hatred.

Senna prepares to flee, accepting what has become her fate, but Lise isn’t ready to give up her one chance for happiness. Soon, only Lise stands between the villagers and the woman she has grown to love.


I received this book from the publisher on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This is a version of Beauty and the Beast that is even more twisted than the retellings usually are. If it weren’t for the Beauty/Beast aspect of the book, one would think it was its own story, which in a way, it was.

What was different about this retelling apart from the girlxgirl part- which is the first I’ve seen of this particular tale- is the fact that the Beauty was the Beast. That alone is what made me want to read the book. I wanted to see how exactly the author went through with that idea.

Characters: Lise is such a relatable character even in this fantasy novel because she goes through what so many people in real life do. She’s the responsible one, so everyone expects her to do things even when they’re clearly capable of doing it themselves. There’s this huge stigma surrounding the town and the people therein that makes Lise unable to be who she really is, love who she wants to.

I liked Senna the second she was introduced. She had this air of mystery and I, much like Lise, wanted to know who this beautiful woman in the forest was. Where she came from and what her story was. She was so isolated but not so much that she didn’t draw people to her. The fact that she had her own POV really helped with understanding her and her curse better.

Likes: The characterisation in this book was amazing. From their introductions to the way their developments were shown. Some of the characters started out at such a low point and rose above everyone else’s opinion while some that refused to get down from their high horses were knocked down.

I loved the plot line, truly. The way the author turned an idea that could’ve remained just that, into something so worth reading.

The pacing in this book was excellent as well. Nothing was rushed and everything fell into place like a perfect puzzle. Things happened so seamlessly that even if there was a flaw, it wasn’t noticeable.

Dislikes: There wasn’t really anything I disliked about this book. A character here and there I could’ve done without but I guess they helped with the story.

Overall Thoughts: I’ve read a book by Caren J. Werlinger before and I fell in love with her writing style and the way she manages to suck you into the story. I jumped at the opportunity to read the story and this has only solidified my love for her writing even more. I look forward to reading a lot more.

Read: 4 August 2016
Rating: ★★★★★

Publication Date: 1 June 2016
Publisher: Corgyn Publishing, LLC
Link to Author’s Goodreads Page: Caren J. Werlinger

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