Monday, May 28, 2018

ARC Review: Cinderella's inferno By F.M. Boughan

Cinderella's Inferno by F.M. Boughan
Publisher: Month9Books
Release Date: May 29th, 2018
Format: Egalley, 324 pages
Source: Publisher*
My Rating: 
★ 1/2

Goodreads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD

Purity cannot abide the darkness.

It’s been two years since Ellison defeated her stepsisters and sent her evil stepmother back into the Abyss.

Though she’s learning to control her dark magic and has spent time traveling with Prince William and bringing peace to the kingdom, one fact remains. She is a necromancer and he is a paladin of light. And so, the king refuses to give his blessing for them to marry.

To appease his father, William has begun to avoid her. But when even her younger brother Edward grows distant, Ellison learns her mother’s spirit has been visiting Edward in secret, threatening to overwhelm him with her own loneliness and longing. When Ellison accidentally touches her mother’s spirit, her tainted touch condemns her mother’s spirit to eternal damnation.

Ellison resolves to descend into hell to save her mother’s soul and bring her physical body back to the world of the living. William hopes this good deed will bring Ellison into favor and finally allow them to be wed.

But the journey through hell is fraught with peril. Temptations abound and the demons Ellison sent back to the Abyss are thirsty for revenge.

Evil cannot be defeated without sacrifice—but when that sacrifice means choosing between the ones Ellison loves and her very own life, how far is she willing to go to make her family whole again?
Cinderella's Inferno is the sequel to F.M. Boughan's Cinderella, Necromancer which I reviewed last year. I liked the first book, but I have to admit this sequel was a miss for me. I think part of it was because I felt like the first book was a pretty succinct book that I didn't need more of Ellison's story. This second novel is more of retelling of Dante's Inferno, and less a retelling of a fairytale, so I think that might also be why it just didn't sit well with me.

I didn't really care for the writing style in this book, which I think it more a personal opinion that a constructive criticism on the book. This book definitely has the right tone and lexicon to make it sound like something written in the time period of this book (15th Century Germany). I think it was great that Boughan made it so authentic sounding, but personally I just didn't care of it. It's totally a personal opinion here, so I think if you like to read books more on the classic side or if you want a book that uses an accurate writing style for the time period it's set in, this one does it really well. 

I struggled a lot with this book, and partly I think it's because it took way too long to get to the meat of the story. The beginning is very slow paced, and it felt like it was introducing a lot of unnecessary conflict to the plot. I'm not sure what changed between the first book and this one, but I also couldn't really get behind Ellison in this one. I'm not sure what it was, but I found myself not really caring about her journey. I just couldn't get behind her motivations to go tear open a portal into hell. It felt really selfish of her, and that doesn't feel like the Ellison I read about in the first book.

Don't get me wrong, there were also things I liked about this book. Once we get to the main plot of the story of Ellison and her team journeying through hell, that's when things got interesting to me. This is where the inspiration from Dante's Inferno comes in, and although I have never cared to read that, I do love a good quest story. I do have some questions about this section though, because there are elements of the Greek idea of the underworld in this one, which I loved, but I don't think it made sense in the context of this story. I think my favorite part in the story was when they meet the Spirit that Ellison has summoned and they start to become another member of the quest. I think Ellison's journey through hell and having to go through multiple trials was the most interesting thing about this novel. 

Personally I just didn't totally love this one, but I think if you really liked the first book you will enjoy this one. Also if you love books where the hero has to travel through hell to achieve a goal this one might also be right up your alley. 

*I received a free egalley copy of this book in exchange for my honest review

Happy Reads Everyone!