Book Reviews, Young Adult

Review: World of Shadows by Emily Rachelle

In this urban fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast, modern-day teenager Beila Durand is plagued by nightmares that lead her to discover – and wind up trapped in – a cursed underground world. The invisible people that live in this medieval village depend on Beila learning the truth behind their curse – and why she is the only one who can set them free.

In her quest for answers, however, all she seems to find are more questions. Where do the echoing screeching at night originate? Who is the isolated man that speaks with Beila from the shadows of his cloak? What does this New York girl have to do with any of it? And will she ever find a way back home?

–back cover of World of Shadows by Emily Rachelle

Before this book I hadn’t really read a fairytale retelling, but this book made me want to read a lot more of them. This book was charming and magical.

I loved the characters. Beila was relatable and lovable. I cared about what happened to her almost instantly. Shadow was also great. He was mysterious and most of the book he kept me guessing. I think that my favorite though were the invisible people. They were such a twist on the Beauty and the Beast story. I fell in love with all of them, especially Adelle and her daughter.

This book was hard to put down. Even though it was a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, a lot of the story was different, and that is what I loved. I recognized the story but so much of it was different that I was entertained the whole time.

While I loved this story there were a couple of downsides. I feel like sometimes her writing style was weak. There were several times that there was telling instead of showing. That could have improved the book in some areas. There was also a period where the author took the reader back in time and, while it was information that we needed, I did not enjoy this. It interrupted the climax and slowed it down for quite a bit. I also found the sentences in French kind of annoying. It would draw away from the story for me.

Overall though, this was a really good book. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. I think that most people would enjoy this book.

Published by Natalie Noel

Natalie Noel

Natalie Noel is a high school student who loves writing almost as much as she loves reading. She learned to read at a young age, and even before she could write she would tell stories and have her parents write down what she would say. Since then she has had two short stories published in Starsongs magazine and has read more books than she can count. Besides reading and writing Natalie enjoys music, theatre, spending time with friends, and giving her giant cat Sassy the attention she demands.

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