Title: The Beast That Never Was
Author Name & Publisher: Caren J. Werlinger (Corgyn Publishing LLC)
Publication Date & Length: June 1, 2016 – 211 pgs
What if Beauty was the Beast?
Lise’s father is dead, and the life of plenty and freedom that she has known as the daughter of the King’s Huntsman is gone. She must now live a life of duty to her mother and sisters, helping them to cope in their altered circumstances. But where her mother would have her wed a childhood friend to secure their future, Lise knows that is not what she longs for.
When she meets a mysterious woman in the forest, Lise feels the stirrings of emotions she cannot give voice to, but with this woman, she doesn’t have to say anything—Senna knows.
Cursed, hunted, and feared, Senna has been forced to wander from place to place for more years than she cares to remember. She gave up hope long ago that there could ever be an end to her isolation.
Odd sightings in the forest—monsters of legend come to life, old enemies back from the past, fearsome beasts on the prowl—begin to frighten the people of Lise’s village. Somehow, all of these things are connected to Senna. As the villagers’ fear grows, so does their hatred.
Senna prepares to flee, accepting what has become her fate, but Lise isn’t ready to give up her one chance for happiness. Soon, only Lise stands between the villagers and the woman she has grown to love.
I hate to review books like this. Werlinger has put together a wonderfully written story, with an interesting and engaging concept, that I didn’t really like. My problem with the book is most likely about pacing. I felt it started really slowly, which agrees with others I’ve discussed the book with. Others told me that it gets better, so I decided to keep with it. And yes, while the pace did pick up, things still moved rather slowly for me. It’s almost as though the details, especially of the day-to-day life of Lise and her village, bog the story down too much. At the end of the book, I understand why others liked the story. I love the idea of this interpretation of the fairy tale, but as much as I was looking forward to reading this, it just wasn’t for me. The problem with my rating is that I totally respect the way Werlinger crafted her story; her writing skills are great, and I like her characters. Her style just didn’t click with me.
I was raised in Ohio, the oldest of four children. Much of my childhood was spent reading everything I could get my hands on, and writing my own variations on many of those stories where I could play the hero, rescuing the girl and winning her love. Then I grew up and went to college where I completed a degree in foreign languages and later another in physical therapy where for many years, my only writing was research-based, including a very dry therapeutic exercise textbook.
In the mid-nineties, I began writing creatively again and re-discovered how much fun it is. My first novel, Looking Through Windows, was published in 2008 and won a GCLS award for Debut Author. In 2012, I decided to begin publishing my own books under my imprint, Corgyn Publishing. Corgyn’s first release, Miserere, followed in late 2012 to excellent reviews.
I live in Virginia with my partner, Beth, and our canine fur-children.