Title: Beauty and His Beast
Author: Bey Deckard
Publisher: Self-Published/Kindle Unlimited
Length: 151 Pages
Category: Sci-Fi, Fairy Tale
At a Glance: Beauty and His Beast is the measuring stick of this author’s imagination and ability to evoke imagery through words. If you’re looking for something a little familiar yet just different enough to keep things interesting, this book is both.
Reviewed By: Lisa
Blurb: They call him Marrex the Monster.
Deformed and wretched, Captain Marrex roams the black of space with only a pair of eccentric AIs for company. The curse in his DNA means a long, bitterly lonely life for the Ghelyxian, and it’s a fate Marrex knows he can’t change.
After a long sleep in stasis, Juniper Bo wakes to discover he’s an unwelcome guest aboard Captain Marrex’s ship. Though he tries to stay away from the surly Ghelyxian, he just doesn’t get why the curse is such a big deal—then again, Juniper knows his tastes are rather… unusual for a Human.
When friendship blooms between Marrex and Juniper, they realize they face a future that neither could have predicted in their wildest dreams.
Review: I never thought I’d see the day that I’d use the word ‘sweet’ in conjunction with a Bey Deckard book, but guess what? Here I am, getting ready to call Beauty and His Beast a sweet and spicy mashup of sci-fi/space opera and the classic French tale—not the Disney-ized version so much as the original—with some humor thrown in too.
I love a good fractured fairy tale, and Beauty and His Beast is one. As I was reading, I couldn’t help but appreciate that if there were ever a time honored and oft reimagined story that translates well from historical fantasy to science fiction, it’s this one. Captain Marrex, as the alien beast whose curse is more genetic than magic, was the perfect foil to this story’s Beauty, Juniper Bo, who’s been in stasis for seventeen years when his space pod was brought aboard the Stellerion. Marrex isn’t quite as welcoming to Juniper as the Beast was to Beauty in the original story, but I love the twist Deckard added to his retelling: that Juniper apparently has a thing for hairy, horned, and toothy aliens, and the sex, as a result, is off the hook when it finally happens. The problem is that Marrex doesn’t trust in Juniper’s attraction and budding feelings—how can they possibly be genuine when Marrex is a beast?
The sweet part of the story comes at the expense of Marrex’s heart and the external forces that work to keep him and Juniper apart, as well as Marrex’s inability to believe that Juniper would prefer to be with him than with his family. When I met his sisters, I believed it was possible with all my heart that Juniper would be better off without them. It’s his father, though, that kept him away from Marrex for so long, and that’s what catapulted the fairy tale forward to its climax and then led to its romantic finish.
The AIs in the story, VAL and S1N, act as a sort of Cogsworth/Lumiere duo that lent the story it’s humorous charm. S1N is a cat, and S1N behaves very catlike, while VAL’s every hue is an expression of his feelings, and I loved what they brought to the setting and tone of the story. They and Marrex are really the measuring stick of this author’s imagination and ability to evoke imagery through words. I could picture these characters in my head, and I appreciated that, in the end, Marrex remained Marrex and Juniper wouldn’t have had it any other way. That’s the definition of true love.
If you’re looking for something a little familiar yet just different enough to keep things interesting, Beauty and His Beast is both.
You can buy Beauty and His Beast here:
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