Top critical review
Took all the magic out of the story (literally)
Reviewed in the United States on June 5, 2018
What a disappointment this book was. I'm the biggest fan of the original Disney film, and although this book did have its upsides, it still sucked big time, right up to the incomplete, unsatisfying (non-) ending. The premise of the book was very interesting, but it was so badly handled that it made me regret the time I wasted reading it.
My favorite part of "Beauty and the Beast" was, of course, the relationship between Belle and the Beast. Here, their relationship is downplayed in favor of the social/moral issues related to the persecution of "Les Charmantes" and a whole long backstory about Maurice and Belle's mother that I frankly didn't care that much about. If I wanted to read about the evils of discrimination and persecution of innocents, I would read a historical or contemporary novel, not a book based on a Disney fairy tale.
Some parts of the story didn’t even make sense. For example, the magical rose turned into dust when Belle touched it, messing up with the curse. Why??? There was nothing in the spell the enchantress put on the prince (in either this book or the original movie) that said that the magic rose couldn't be touched by anybody, much less that it would turn to dust or complete the curse. The only statement was that the spell had to be broken before the last petal fell, which a completely different thing. In fact, the rose was from the enchantress’ own garden, so chances are Belle had touched it before, same as the rest of the flowers in her house.
Another issue I had was Belle finding out about the Beast’s curse from the beginning, completely changing the moral of the original story, which was that she could love him without knowing he actually was a prince in disguise.
I also found a little strange that the villain of the story didn’t even think of using the “les charmantes” magic for himself, which seems out of character for somebody as evil as him. It would have given the villian an even stronger motivation for his "experiments". Speaking of the villain, I easily found out who he was almost from the beginning of the story, so the "great revelation" of his real identity fell completely flat.
2 good things about this book: It was only 99 cents, and it made me want to re-watch the original Beauty and the Beast a dozen times more to forget this version exists.