The Beast Within by Serena Valentino
A sloppy, emotionless, and most of all, non-canon telling of the Beast’s life. I don’t know who looked at this and said “print it!” They don’t get key elements from the movie right, and all the new things, like the three witches, make no sense in the context of the original movie. Most harsh is that this will make you hate the beast more than sympathize with him. You don’t need this in your life.
Friend by Diana Henstell
Yeesh. Eighties robots and school crushes and child geniuses and bringing the dead back to life. Sounds like a fascinating story or a Stephen King novel. But these are concepts in search of a plot… and characters… and setting… and a writer with the chops to bring them all together in a way that leaves you satisfied. Not one character in this book is likable. They’re all egocentric bastards. There’s so much time spent on whining and practically none on providing motivation or milieu to keep the story moving. Bah. I should have known better from viewing the 1980’s b-grade horror movie it was based on.
Cream rises to the top, grounds settle on the bottom. There’s a reason these books fell into obscurity and this one’s the poster child. You can’t end a trilogy on something so convoluted and messy that brings up more questions than it answers. It’s a bad D&D campaign turned into an unreadable set of books. Learn from my mistakes and let the swords rest.
Now here’s a thing to keep in mind — I finished all these books. I don’t have any rule that says “unfinished books can’t appear on the list”. It’s just that these books were WORSE than ones I gave up on. I have no idea why I finished them. Maybe I was hopeful or had time-sunk fallacy or had nothing better to read. But I had way too many one stars and not enough five stars. Now granted, I am totally fine being critical. But if a book is one star, I probably shouldn’t have finished it in the first place. I’ve got to change my reading habits around if I’m ever going to enjoy reading again.