Review: Accursed

Accursed by Belladonna Bordeaux

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The Romance Review

A fairy tale retold in a paranormal romance setting can be so good. When it's a beloved Beauty and the Beast retelling, I'm looking forward to reading it. Full disclosure, I've not read the first three books, but I believe this book can be read as a standalone.

Alexandra Common is a pure blooded royal strigoi who knows the days are numbered for the strigoi because of their self-proclaimed king. Whilst she possesses more royal blood than any of the other ruling strigoi, she is under their thumb, constantly degraded and bullied.

The characters in this story are annoying. Even Alexandra is unappealing in her melodramatic decisions. Her friend, Cornelia, is a fluffy airhead who undergoes a personality change half way through the book. It's passed off as a cover so the evil villains don't attack Cornelia. It's not believable. The villainous characters are vile with absolutely no redeeming qualities. On top of it, they are stupid. They play off as being so smart but it's a joke. Ms. Bordeaux does do this on purpose so it's not that it's wrong. What it does is create flat one-dimensional characters. All of the characters save The Beast are boring and tedious. It makes for a difficult read because the entire time, I'm hoping the lot of them are killed off.

There is a lot going on in the story. It's not so much as plot within in a plot for added layers of complexity. Instead, it's a bunch of ideas thrown together which don't blend well together. Individually, the concepts are fine. Throwing it in haphazardly to explain a situation comes across as messy to the reader. For example, there is a curse to break, a pact with Satan, three different males trying to wed Alexandra and unresolved killing of Alexandra's father and brother. These are all explained away with a sudden reveal of Alexandra's lack of wielding powers. Sometimes, it feels as if a thought is half-finished and we flit to another topic. The transitions are jarring between scenes, which makes for a bumpy read.

Overall, it's an okay read. It would be better if the teenage young adult drama lama is removed. Taking away the forced Scottish dialogue would help too. To compare this to a recipe, the ingredients are all there. The way the story is cooked, the ingredients are competing against each other instead of blending into a cohesive dish balancing all the flavours.

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