Cherie Reads

His Black Wings

His Black Wings - Astrid Yrigollen This is a tough book to review. There were parts of it that I absolutely loved, and then there were things about it that made me want to chuck it out the window. I'm rating it right down the middle as a three but with some editing this could be rated much higher. This is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. After an attempted rape at the hands of the mayor's son, Claren must flee her home and try to live on her own. She finds employment with a Mr. Brighton who eventually invites her to his home in the country hoping she will befriend his disfigured son. The Good:I loved the setting. The book is set sometime in the far future after a "Great War." There is lots of technological advance, but at the same time, dress and social norms have reverted to those of Victorian society. This was a really interesting mashup of steampunk and dystopia. Although this book is mainly about Claren, there's enough material here for the author to write prequels with even more of a dystopian slant.I also loved the characters. They were each unique and did develop throughout the story. I especially loved the interplay between Horace and Dekker. Their begrudging friendship and competition was fun to read. The story was really interesting and held my attention despite the other failings of the book. I never quite knew what to expect and always wanted to know what would happen next. The Bad:The point of view changes continually throughout the story and I do not believe it was done intentionally. Within the same paragraph the point of view changes from third person to first. This is jarring, confusing and generally annoying. I would give examples but this happens most often during main plot points and I don't want to give anything away. I also did not find the dialogue completely believable. While I appreciate the Victorian speech, the interplay between the characters was sometimes corny. About three-quarters of the way through the book there are two or three chapters of back-story. This caused a major pacing issue for me. Just when the book was working up to its climax, we take a break from the plot to learn about the history of a couple of the characters. While this information is necessary to the resolution of the plot, I think it could have been interwoven throughout the book instead of dumped on the reader all at once. Overall, I really did enjoy this story. I read it quickly and was entertained throughout. If you are willing to overlook the faults in the point of view and pacing I think you will be pleasantly surprised at the original settings and plot. Note: I received a copy of this book for free from the author through YA Novel Reader tours in exchange for my review. All opinions are 100% honest and my own.