I used to be the blogger called YAL Book Briefs, but I grew bored of the handle and changed my name to Howdy YAL. I also respond to MJ. I like to read, write, eat truffles, and watch bad Lifetime movies.
I loved Rosamund Hodge’s debut, Cruel Beauty. It was a Beauty and the Beast retelling with enough twists to make it interesting. And I loved the subsequent novella that was released last spring as well. And I looked forward to Crimson Bound because that blurb. Wow, just wow.
It didn’t work for me though. In fact, I DNF’d it about 250 pages in because I just didn’t feel the book and I was only having a vague idea how things were working. And life is too short for books you’re not loving, especially if they are fairly long (like this one was).
I think some people might enjoy it better than me, and to be fair there were a lot of things going for this book. But it was just a little too weird for me.
One thing that was jarring to me was the use of third person. I think this is because the first person point of view worked so well in the previous book, and here while Hodge used another bitter main character I couldn’t care for her because there was just too big of a disconnect.
There was a disconnect with a lot of these characters in this book. First and foremost I just did not like Rachelle. I get that she was suppose to be cold hearted, but honestly she was bland beyond belief.
Then there was Armand and that other guy, I didn’t feel any emotion from her with either of them. There were a few cute moments, but they came out of nowhere and weren’t really well planned, I think this was in part due to the ridiculously bad pacing in this book.
Yes, pacing was an issue in Cruel Beauty too, but it was worse here. To the point it made the story clunky to the point of unreadable.
To it’s credit, the book had some things going for it. Like with Cruel Beauty there was some fascinating world building inCrimson Bound. I really didn’t understand a lot of it, but I liked some of the ideas that I did get from it. And the book was different from anything else I’ve read.
It was very cinematic in the writing, you really did get a sense of the exterior world, even if you had no idea what was going on.
Overall, I think Crimson Bound might work for someone who has a little more patience. I will continue on reading Hodge’s other work, but this was a huge disappointment to me.
Overall Rating: A C. I DNF’d it, but I can’t fail it because there were a lot of elements I liked. It was just too confusing for me to continue.