Please note that I received this book via NetGalley. This did not affect my rating or review.
Well, this was okay. No big issues really, I just found myself bored reading it. We have how many retellings following Beauty from Beauty and the Beast? Well we get one told from the Beast's point of view. I compared this book a bit to "Beastly" since that's the only book I have read that told the story from the Beast's point of view. I have to say that this Beast doesn't seem to have been pretty pathetic. The author starts off with us following him after he's been turned. The flow though was off from beginning to end. Nothing picks up and I just didn't feel a sense of urgency about finishing (why it took me so long to complete).
"The Beast's Heart" has us following the Beast with Shallcross incorporating some Young Adult themes too. I for one would love it if we had a more adult Beauty and the Beast like with Ron Perlman and Linda Hamilton. Man, I was in love with Vincent...
Okay, back to the book. We have the Beast going through his tale of woe and of course he eventually meets his Beauty (Isabeau). Shallcross doesn't really do anything new with this. I think telling the story in the Beast's POV should have made me more engaged with the story, however, it just didn't work. Another reviewer mentioned how old the Beast sounded, and I got that feeling too. At one point I wondered if he was 100 years old or what. Some readers noted how this book was very voyeuristic since you get to read about the Beast spying on Isabeau's family via his magic mirror. The magic mirror plot device was in the cartoon, musical, and the latest musical. I think it's bothersome in this one since he uses it throughout the book to watch/spy on Isabeau.
Isabeau doesn't have much to do in this book. She just seemed kind of okay about the whole thing with the Beast. I needed to believe that she fell in love with him and needed him just as much as he needed her, and I never got that sense. Then again, she was a prisoner of his and was forced to keep him company. So you can see why as a reader she seemed to be kind of meh on things. I think "Beastly" was smart to move this into modern times and also include his "beauty's" consent to stay.
The house is another character in this one. No you don't have things talking to you. But as the relationship between the two characters improve, so does the castle.
Isabeau has sisters in this one unlike with the Disney version of Beauty. I have to say the main reason why I gave this 3 stars is that the sisters were a nice saving grace in this book. Shallcross has Marie and Claude as independent young women who struggle without their sister. Including them reminded me a bit of "Hunted" by Meagan Spooner who followed the sisters along with the main character of Yeva. Besides following Yeva, we followed her sisters who had to get along with her being there and had their own romances.
I really thought the writing was okay, nothing that really grabbed me. It just read as being try hard at times with Shallcross trying to mimic older fairytales. I get it, the Beast isn't modern, but good grief, it needed to make me want to keep reading. I think honestly this book was too long. This was over 350 pages and the flow of the book was slow throughout. It's okay if an author does that because the book is building to something great that is going to blow your mind. I didn't get my mind blown here. I just started getting more and more bored and wondering when they were going to get together to break his curse.