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Search tags: Serena-Valentino
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review 2017-11-03 00:00
Mistress of All Evil: A Tale of the Dark Fairy
Mistress of All Evil: A Tale of the Dark Fairy - Serena Valentino What a different take on Maleficent's side of the story! You can never go wrong with a revamped fairy tale :)
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text 2017-08-21 20:55
The Beast Within: A Tale of Beauty’s Prince
The Beast Within: A Tale of Beauty's Prince - Serena Valentino
Villians, Book 2

I Picked Up This Book Because: Picture it: I’m walking in Barnes and Noble one day on a hunt for anime for my niece, I pass these four beautiful covers on a table. My mind immediately says “YOU NEED TO READ THAT! I don’t know or care what it is it’s pretty and villains, yes all systems go” Then I looked at the back of the book and didn’t like the price. So naturally I look in the library. My library doesn’t carry them. Then I get a 60 day trial to Kindle Unlimited and looky what’s available. I’m all over it. It’s the first thing I get.

The Characters:

The Prince/Beast:
Gaston, Witches, Cogsworth:

The Story:

Unfortunately my WHY was more interesting than this story and that was boring. I DNF’d at 40%. We were very in the beast/princes head for much of this time which I detest. I prefer character to interact much more. The only bit we did get was with Circe (the witch who cursed him) and her 3 witch sisters who were unflattering and confusing.



The Random Thoughts:

DNF so no rating
 
 
 
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review 2017-05-18 00:00
Poor Unfortunate Soul: A Tale of the Sea Witch
Poor Unfortunate Soul: A Tale of the Sea Witch - Disney Storybook Art Team,Serena Valentino I love these retellings! Serena Valentino does excellent work! Proudly own and will own every one of these! I just loved this retelling. It felt like I was watching a movie when I was reading this book. Just simply fantastic!
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review 2017-04-05 02:52
Book 15/100: The Beast Within by Serena Valentino
The Beast Within: A Tale of Beauty's Prince - Serena Valentino

This series keeps disappointing me, but I keep reading it anyway. :p

In Poor Unfortunate Soul: A Tale of the Sea Witch, my main issue was that too much of the book was dedicated to non-canon characters. While that was also an issue in this book -- although to a lesser extent -- one of the things that annoyed me about this one was the way it tried to shoe-horn existing characters into parts of the story where they didn't really belong. I just had a lot of trouble buying that Gaston and Beast used to be friends, even if they did explain that the Beast had "forgotten" about these years after his transformation. A lot of how the prince/beast was portrayed in this book just didn't feel congruous with the one we know in the book, and his redemption seemed to happen too quickly and easily considering how awful Valentino had set him up to be prior to Belle's arrival. I did like the idea of the curse taking hold slowly rather than all at once, though.

Oh, and this book doesn't give a crap about the movie timeline ... as far as I can tell it takes place over a period of two years or so, rather than 10. And it doesn't address the oh-so-awkward issue of the prince being 11 when he is cursed -- he is in his teens (i.e., old enough to know better) in this version. That was just one more thing that made this interpretation feel sloppily done.

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review 2017-03-21 19:20
Book 11/100: Poor Unfortunate Soul - a Tale of the Sea Witch by Serena Valentino
Poor Unfortunate Soul: A Tale of the Sea Witch - Disney Storybook Art Team,Serena Valentino

I love Ursula, but, alas, this was not the Ursula novel I desperately wanted it to be.

What annoyed me about the book was that it was not a "standalone," which I really feel like the books in this villain series should be in order to give each villain's potentially complex backstory and motives their full due. About half the book was focused on follow-up to events from the previous book in the series, The Beast Within: A Tale of Beauty's Prince, which I wasn't really invested in. Overall, it felt more as if the author was more interested in continuing the story with the auxiliary characters that she had made up for the series than really delving into Ursula's story, which felt somewhat tangential to the story Valentino seemed to REALLY want to tell about the "odd sisters" machinations regarding the various villains in the Disney-verse. Overall, this gave the book a somewhat disjointed feel of two stories being told in parallel, one about Ursula's perspective of The Little Mermaid, one about Valentino's own characters that never appear in the Disney movies and thus don't garner a ton of investment from me.

Despite these issues, I still gave the book three stars because the parts that were focused on Ursula's backstory, especially her relationship with King Triton, were well done. The book was also a fun, quick read and an enjoyable bit of escapism. The writing is passable, and despite my disappointment with this series (and other Disney novel spinoffs overall), I know I will keep reading them because, well, Disney.

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