Monday, June 18, 2018

Blog Tour Book Review: Cinderella's Inferno (Cinderella, Necromancer #2) + Giveaway!

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Release Date: May 29, 2018
Author: F.M. Boughan
Publisher: Month9Books
Length: 324 pages
Source: Review Copy for Tour

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?



Protagonist: After the events of the first book, I wasn't anticipating that this would turn out to be a series, and so Ellison's development at the end of the previous installment felt like a good stopping point, and at the beginning of this book she feels well, very mature for her age. She's been on a few daring quests since we last saw her, in fact, it's been two years, and for a good chunk of this book, I wasn't sure where Ellison's character development was going or even if she is meant to have any here. See, this was because the moments that are meant to tease or nudge the reader into figuring out how she's growing as a person are kind of muddled. It makes sense by the end, but for most of this book, I wasn't sure what lesson Ellison would learn on her journey to hell and back. At first, I was kind of put off by this fact. While character development isn't something that should be blatantly obvious the lessons that the character learns from are supposed to resonate with the reader in some way and for most of this book I was confused. That this until later when everything clicks into place. The thing is though, I don't know if that was intentional or not, and having a lesson that's more blatantly stated after confusing and at times conflicting character building "lessons," even though I really did enjoy how Ellison's personal journey ended up unfolding, did irk me quite a bit throughout the story.

Romance: While there is romance in this book, and some really heartwarming and touching romance at that, there wasn't a whole lot of romantic development. Don't get me wrong, I don't want to see Ellison and William constantly bicker or have serious problems in their relationship and I love that the author shows a really healthy relationship between two people, full of trust and support, it's just that I wish there was a slightly bigger focus on some of the problem(s) in their relationship, not huge one(s,) by the way, that show up, especially when they leak into other aspects of the story and character development, as they kind of just show up, are resolved rather quickly once acknowledged, and move on.

World Building: THIS is where this story truly shines. However, even though I was critical of other elements in this story, I did still enjoy the majority of them, here's where I don't think I have a single problem, in fact, I loved everything in this book that had to do with expanding the world. First off, even though it's never explicitly stated that they're in Germany, I finally figured that part out, or at least I hope that's where Ellison and William's kingdom is, and we hear more about the world surrounding their kingdom, mainly in passing but it does help bring a sense of presence to the story. That's not even the meat of the story though, the bulk of this tale takes place in the Abyss, or the underworld, or, well, Hell. In a very creative retelling of "Dante's Inferno" we see our characters travel through the circles of hell, and while this isn't a very strict adaptation of the first part of The Divine Comedy, the changes that were made make sense to tell this story and honestly some of the changes, or more specifically, one of the combinations of elements from the Inferno, was very creative, and while it didn't affect the overall story, it was still something I marveled at the ingenuity of, even if it does feel fairly obvious, I've never thought of it or really seen it done. The Inferno really added to the horror factor in this book, and while I'm not one to be scared by words on a page (or screen as was the case here) even I got a few shivers at some of the descriptions.

Predictability: This book was hard to read in a lot of ways. Some of it comes from the mixed messages I got when it came to Ellison's character development, but sometimes I almost felt that I was led astray from the truth a lot more than I was nudged, gently or otherwise toward it. While I could pretty much figure everything out before it was (officially) revealed, there wasn't a whole lot of time between my realization and the confirmation. Overall, I really enjoyed the twists and turns in this book, though I do wish there was a tiny bit more foreshadowing, I think it would have helped tie the story together just a little bit better. It's weird asking for more foreshadowing when I felt the first installment had perhaps a tad too much.

Ending: Ah, the ending. Much like with the first installment there were a couple of moments that could fall into the final climax category, though more spaced out than previous. The first, which I understand isn't a part of the ACTUAL ending, but it counts for me, was seriously epic because this is where everything really starts to come together and there's a really nice emotional scene involved and the showdown during this climactic moment was exhilarating. The actual final climax was less exciting but no less entertaining. Then there's a much better cooldown period than the previous installment and we get to see a great many interesting things. That being said though, even though certain aspects of this story, and perhaps even Ellison's personal story come to a close at the end of this book, I still have questions that need to be answered, one in particular, so I really hope that we get another book in this world, whether from Ellison's POV or not, whether it's a sequel or a prequel, I just need answers!


So yeah, I didn't love this story as much as the first one, but I did really enjoy what the author did with the story, whether intentional or not, and while I was feeling that this installment was a superfluous and unnecessary installment towards the beginning, by the end I was totally on board and was pretty annoyed when it ended, without a cliffhanger, yet still leaving me with so many questions.

About the Author:

F.M. Boughan is a bibliophile, a writer, and an unabashed parrot enthusiast. She can often be found writing in local coffee shops, namely because it’s hard to concentrate with a cat lying on the keyboard and a small, colorful parrot screaming into her ear. Her work is somewhat dark, somewhat violent, somewhat hopeful, and always contains a hint of magic.

You can follow Faith on Twitter (@FaithBoughan) for plenty of flailing about food (she likes to cook!), TV shows (she watches too many), and world dance (did you know she's been performing & instructing in Bollywood-style dance for over 8 years?).

Or catch her on Facebook where she just might post pictures of her adorable cat & bird... among other things.

F.M. Boughan is represented by Bill Contardi of Brandt & Hochman


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