Yes, we all know the story of Beauty and the Beast. But what if Beauty isn't all that beautiful? What if the Beast is really and truly a horrifying creature? And what if the love story between them actually makes sense? Now let me clarify that. The original love story part is nice, but it's a fairy tale, so it doesn't feel very real. But this Beauty and this Beast? They feel real. They understand one another. They truly see who the other is. And that makes all the difference.
A fellow blogger called it creepy yet romantic. And I thought that a very apt description. Nyx and Ignifex's relationship is so full of give and take, push and pull. Not unlike Gen and Attolia's from The Queen's Thief series. (Thanks Rebeka for that comparison!) It also made me think of Sarah and Jareth from the Labyrinth movie. Not the romantic part, but the push and pull part. Where these two people are drawn together, yet they frustrate and anger one another as well. The way this relationship progresses throughout the story just made sense to me. I could understand their connection, if that makes sense. And this relationship is, obviously, central to the entire storyline. It's complex and imperfect and real.
Nyx herself, battles her selfish nature as well as being far from innocent. She knows what's expected of her, desires to say no and run away from it all, yet ultimately stays the course. For her sister and for the good of everyone else. And that's where Ms. Hodge hooked me. While I love Nyx and Ignifex's conversations and watching them fall in love, Nyx is who I fell for first. She struggles with her selfishness constantly, and no matter her initial reaction, always comes back to the good. She's not perfect, no. But she has much good in her, she just can't really see it herself.
While I could probably write lots more paragraphs about the wonderfulness of this story, I truly think you need to read it yourself! :) It's incredibly well-written and absolutely worth losing sleep over. And that cover! I love covers that match the mood and theme of the story and this one is perfect in that regard. Plus it's simply gorgeous! Don't you think you need it on your bookshelf? Yes! Yes, you do. :D
I stood. "I need to go. I-I still have to find the other hearts."
Shade caught my hand, slid his fingers through mine. The touch felt like lightning up my arm.
"He's right about one thing," he said. "This house has many dangers. I cannot save you from most of them."
I clenched my hand until I felt the bones of his fingers.
Then I let go and forced a smile. "I wasn't born to be saved."