Ensnared by Rita Stradling

Ensnared

A Near-Future Retelling of Beauty and the Beast Alainn’s father is not a bad man. He’s a genius and an inventor. When he’s hired to create the robot Rose, Alainn knows taking the money is a mistake. Rose acts like a human. She looks exactly like Alainn. But, something in her comes out wrong.To save her father from a five year prison sentence, Alainn takes Rose’s place. Sh...

Title:Ensnared
Author:
Rating:
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Kindle Edition
Number of Pages:419 pages

Ensnared Reviews

  • Angela
    Jan 30, 2017

    Sold. 

    is my favorite fairytale. The amazing movie by Disney from my childhood probably has a lot to do with that. Even more, it's quite simply one of the most romantic fairy-tales there is. The characters fall in love for all the right reasons, beyond bounds of appearances, judgement, and prejudices. You can always bet your last dollar that I'll read a 

    retelling.

    The past is a common setting for fairy tale retellings. Historical romance and medieval fanta

    Sold. 

    is my favorite fairytale. The amazing movie by Disney from my childhood probably has a lot to do with that. Even more, it's quite simply one of the most romantic fairy-tales there is. The characters fall in love for all the right reasons, beyond bounds of appearances, judgement, and prejudices. You can always bet your last dollar that I'll read a 

    retelling.

    The past is a common setting for fairy tale retellings. Historical romance and medieval fantasy, usually. It was refreshing to see 

    using a different framework.

    is set close enough to present time that there isn't the need for a lot of technical world building, which ends up being both good and bad, but it most definitely is the future. Robots do many and varied tasks: from every day menial things, to complex calculations.

    With all these aspects to the story, 

    ended up doing better in some areas than others.

    The romance between Alainn and Lorccan was sweet and nicely realized. It felt a little slow to build and then suddenly quite rushed, which was a bit of an odd transition for me. I liked that Alainn wasn't there as a prisoner at Lor's direction, which added a much better line of consent than the original has. There's less Stockholm Syndrome, because he's not her captor, and more bonding and care between two damaged people. I enjoyed this aspect quite a lot.

    It was in the world-building and the plot that let me down. The world-building was sparse. There wasn't a lot required - which was nice - but when you start describing a world in which AI is 

    , I need to understand how we got there. When there are still junk, polluting cars, but AI capable of sustaining themselves and overwriting their programming, it's too simplistic.

    The robots themselves have 

    and there's no real elucidation as to how this could have even happened. While I don't want to read pages and pages of technical information, there was too much of a gap between plausibly realistic and what was happening here. I needed that link. It doesn't take a lot either, just a little bit of history on how we got to the point where we could make realistic, human-passing, robots that are able to make themselves indestructible. Especially while the rest of technology hasn't followed. Yes, there are holographic screens, but cell phones are still the norm, junk cars that belch fossil fuels are used, and the city seems normal, except robots are doing all the work - which makes me wonder what humans are doing to make a living.

    The plot, too, got a little convoluted. Which is part of why the world-building fails. If the robots were a simple means of initiating the romance then I wouldn't need all the background. That's all they are, at first. But then there becomes this huge plot to do

     which we don't really find out until the end. The AI robots are plotting and planning, many of them for various and contradictory purposes, and none of it really makes sense. Why do they choose the path they chose? I still don't quite understand the logic of it. You have to really make me believe if the plan revolves around a single point being the fulcrum on which the future rests. Rose never convinced me of that, which made me question her plot, and thus the entire plot.

    It didn't help that there were random scenes from other points of view that were really unnecessary. Character showed up for no reason, adding nothing to the story.

    Near the end the very interesting subject of what it is to be human, to have rights, was brought up. I didn't have a lot of hope, by then, that the ethical and moral questions would really handled intriguingly. I was right. It was quickly brushed them aside because "evil robot." Everything was tied up and resolved without really delving into the depth available with that subject, which makes me wonder why it was really brought up in the first place.

    is rife with possibilities, and while I enjoyed this entry of a 

    retelling it fell short in some of the other areas that it tried to branch into. I would have liked to see more depth to the ethical questions raised or have had them not included at all. There was a huge opportunity missed there.

    Now, more than ever, I'm looking for stories to talk about real world problems and solutions in fantasy situations.

  • Marta Cox
    Feb 13, 2017

    Three and a half from me

    I spotted this futuristic reselling of the classic Beauty and the Beast tale and just couldn't resist. Yet it has to be said that it's the artificial intelligence part of the story that dominates here. If you have read Asimov or even seen the movie I, Robot then you will be all too aware of the very real concerns many have concerning the future applications of robotics. Whilst this is no "judgement day" it does tap into that very primitive fear in our hind brains .

    So back

    Three and a half from me

    I spotted this futuristic reselling of the classic Beauty and the Beast tale and just couldn't resist. Yet it has to be said that it's the artificial intelligence part of the story that dominates here. If you have read Asimov or even seen the movie I, Robot then you will be all too aware of the very real concerns many have concerning the future applications of robotics. Whilst this is no "judgement day" it does tap into that very primitive fear in our hind brains .

    So back to the story and indeed the romance. Alainn is the daughter of a genius inventor who unfortunately is both a gambler and a coward. Without giving away too much detail it's Alainn that goes to the home of Lorccan and pretends to be her fathers creation Rose 76GF. Lorccan is a scarred and hypochondriac man who just wants what's normal and he intends to learn how to interact using Rose 76GF. The problem is though Alainn is all too real and fears her humanity will give her away but what if there's an even greater betrayal coming?

    So it's a sweet little romance and yes it sticks with the idea that Beauty saves the Beast. Yet for this reader it was overshadowed by the AI components of the story, particularly the second half of the book. It did seem inconsistent at times and the world building whilst somewhat futuristic just wasn't fleshed out enough for this reader. Also if brutally honest there are characters mentioned here from co workers to old friends that really didn't add much to the story and confused it somewhat.

    What does work beautifully is Alainn. She's a flawed individual , not exactly with a death wish but clearly not someone who places great value on her own life. Although I have to say with a family as selfish as hers I'm not really that surprised! This leads me to Lorccan who has had a truly nightmarish upbringing which made me very sympathetic towards him although I do take exception to his love interest if I can call her that but to say more would be to say too much!

    So my final thoughts are it's not perfect and when it comes to Lorccan I'm still left with unanswered questions. It is a fanciful piece and perhaps a little too far fetched but there are moments that really piqued my interest and if you enjoy imagining what the future holds as technology gathers pace this unusual romance might end up on your book shelf!

    This voluntary take is of an advance reader arc from Netgalley and is my honest opinion

  • Aira Karina
    Feb 13, 2017

    * thank you to Netgalley for sending me an ARC in return for an unbiased review

    This book is my very first ARC and i am so glad that i read it cause it didn't dissapoint me.

    Being a disney addict myself, of course i would go crazy for this book when i found out that this is a Beauty and the Beast retelling... with a twist.

    This book take us to the world where humans lives side by side with a robots .

    I dont usually enjoy science fiction but surprisingly it was a fast and engaging reads for me.

    In

    * thank you to Netgalley for sending me an ARC in return for an unbiased review

    This book is my very first ARC and i am so glad that i read it cause it didn't dissapoint me.

    Being a disney addict myself, of course i would go crazy for this book when i found out that this is a Beauty and the Beast retelling... with a twist.

    This book take us to the world where humans lives side by side with a robots .

    I dont usually enjoy science fiction but surprisingly it was a fast and engaging reads for me.

    In order to save her father from going to prison, Allain forced to disguised as a Robot and has to lived with Lorccan who practically lives alone.

    It interesting to see how much their past affected their current way of life.

    While Allain suffers from Claustrophobia, which makes her afraid of being enclosed and having no way of escape, Lorccan suffers with Mysophobia (fear of germs), which makes him afraid to go outside.

    What i loved from this book is how they could make others characters stood out without overshadowing others.

    I am truly freaked out with Rose, the robot who started all of this. Despite being a robot , she's literally another level of crazy. I would called her psychopath but that would be an understatement.

    The way she talk was so blunt and heartless ( well, duh.. she's a robot ) , it made me cringed a couple times.

    And then there was Shelly, Lorcann's so called girlfriend who were actually the reason why Lorcann need a robot from Allain's father. Shelly suffers from anxiety disorder and my heart ache for her when she have to deal it with all the mess. I feel sorry for Shelly because in the end she was actually the one who overcome her fear and did all the hard work.

    This book kept me on my toes that i finished it in less than a day. I loved the way this book changed POV in every few chapter, so then i would know what each character think.

    I was actually hoping that they would explore more of Lorccan past because he is surely a unique character.

    My biggest disapointment was that there are no dreamy library in this story (as in the original Beauty and The Beast ), LOL. Instead, he gave her a tablet with EVERY SINGLE BOOK that have digitized on it. Cant complain for that , can we ?

    After all this book is a fun, quick reads, and i'm pretty sure i'll read others book from Rita Stradling any time soon.

    :)

  • Kaylin
    Feb 15, 2017

    All I needed to see was ‘Sci-fi’ and ‘Beauty and the Beast retelling’ and I was sold. Taking place in a near future where humanesque robots come equipped with artificial intelligence, Alainn agrees to take the place of one of her father's robots, so he avoids jail time. This means that Alainn will now spend her days the company of a "strange, scarred recluse."

    I received an ARC of this through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to

    for the opp

    All I needed to see was ‘Sci-fi’ and ‘Beauty and the Beast retelling’ and I was sold. Taking place in a near future where humanesque robots come equipped with artificial intelligence, Alainn agrees to take the place of one of her father's robots, so he avoids jail time. This means that Alainn will now spend her days the company of a "strange, scarred recluse."

    I received an ARC of this through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to

    for the opportunity!

    For a re-telling, this is was crazy creative and fun. From the setting itself to the character’s backstories, it all felt very in the vein of the original story, while embracing a new and complex setting.

    I dig robots with Artificial Intelligence, and was surprised by the ease with which it fit into this story. I enjoyed the differences between Rose, Rosebud and Rosette.

    I

    that ‘Beauty’ was given her own motivations and backstory outside of her family. She was an independent and fun character.

    I’m just not sure I can fully get behind this romance. It evolves while one of the characters believes the other is a robot... and if this had really been discussed in a complicated way, I think it still could have worked. If the discussion had revolved around what makes us human and where the line is drawn with artificial intelligence, it would have been very interesting. But instead, a character who never left home and appears to have been emotionally neglected his entire life, latches on to the first human-like person he meets. And then decides he doesn't even care if she

    real.

    The main male character lives in complete isolation, and clearly has paranoia and agoraphobic tendencies

    Other characters understand this isn’t the healthiest line of thinking, but there are no attempts to help him.

    During the romance, the two main characters really have

    but the other. They don’t have jobs, real hobbies, other friends and are in the same space 24/7. It felt a little co-dependent and not so healthy.

    The plot really was close to done at 50%. The ending really needed to be tightened up and a lot of exposition could have been removed.

    This isn’t scheduled to debut until December 2017, so I’m hopeful it undergoes more edits in that time frame. The potential is certainly there, I think elements of the romance need to be fixed and the second half condensed.

  • Jess ❈Harbinger of Blood-Soaked Rainbows❈
    Mar 14, 2017

    Bumping for the release date!!! (which was 3 days ago...ooops)

    _________________

    This book is set to come out in December, so I'm clinging on to hope that this book could improve. And when I say improve, I mean just cleaned up a bit. Because I actually loved this book, guys. I devoured it in two sittings. And if a few things are cleaned up and made clearer, this book could potentially get 5 stars from me.

    It is a near-futur

    Bumping for the release date!!! (which was 3 days ago...ooops)

    _________________

    This book is set to come out in December, so I'm clinging on to hope that this book could improve. And when I say improve, I mean just cleaned up a bit. Because I actually loved this book, guys. I devoured it in two sittings. And if a few things are cleaned up and made clearer, this book could potentially get 5 stars from me.

    It is a near-futuristic retelling of

    , which was the

    I loved the Disney movie as a child because it was more than just a "boy meets girl" romance. Belle is intelligent and forward thinking and refuses to conform to the traditional role for a woman of the day. She and the Beast develop a friendship first and then their romance follows. There is absolutely no instalove in sight. The goodness of Belle makes the Beast want to be better. And under the seclusion of the setting, this tactic is realistic. And I believed in this couple. Plus the supporting cast were awesome.

    This story is just as strong in its retelling. Alainn's father is a genius inventor who has really made huge strides in AI technology. It is set in a world where automatons and AI robots are a normal fixture of every day life. When the enigmatic and reclusive billionaire Lorccan Garbhan requests a lifelike AI robot for his household, Alainn's father takes the money and builds him one, named Rose, built with the exact likeness of Alainn. however, Rose is different from Alainn. Where Alainn is kind and altruistic and embraces her humanity, Rose is cold and calculated and seemingly devoid of feeling. She becomes so intelligent that she finds a way to overwrite her programming, including th ethical programming Alainn's father, Connor, built her with. When it comes time to deliver Rose to Mr. Garbhan, Rose refuses to go, finding the job she was built to do too beneath her capabilities and intelligence. Connor is then confronted with a 5 year prison sentence for fraud if Rose is not delivered. Rose confronts Alainn with a proposition: Alainn take Rose's place, and Rose will build a replacement AI in two weeks and then smuggle Alainn out.

    When Alainn first finds herself in Lorccan's massive AI-run fortress, she believes she will be his servant, and braces herself for ill treatment. What she finds is a man who refuses to show his face, even to one he believes is a machine, and her only task is to have dinner with him every evening. When the mundanity of her life becomes too hard on Alainn, who is used to a life of adventure, outdoors, and fresh air, she begins to press Lorccan for more to do, thrusting these two together and a friendship forms, and inevitably something else follows.

    I actually loved this couple. The development of their relationship had a really nice feel to it and both characters were very dynamic. Both Alainn and Lorccan have serious trauma in their pasts that they both need to overcome. Their relationship is built on friendship and mutual respect. They truly enjoy each other's company, and not much mention is made to Alainn's beauty, or Lorccan's physically appealing body. When he finally reveals his scarred face to her, Alainn has already found so much inside of him appealing, that she looks upon his scars as marks of beauty, not ugliness. Lorccan is kind and sympathetic without being overbearingly protective. Even before their friendship truly develops, he constantly tries to ensure Alainn's comfort, well-being, and happiness. He does everything possible to keep Alainn from feeling like a prisoner in his house. My heart actually went out to him when his past and the nature of his trauma was brought up. Though I did take a slight issue with the fact that I found it hard to believe Lorccan still never doubted that Alainn wasn't a robot after their relationship developed, it was minor and I was able to overlook it. And the sexytimes were really hot without being over the top. I dug everything about them. Plus I loved the way it ended with

    This book was so much more than just a romance, however, and brought up some really great issues with the concepts of being human, and what makes humans flawed is what also sets them apart from AI. It deals with some heavy issues of trauma, of mental illness, abuse, PTSD, and what it takes for the mind to heal from such things. And these were all things that I was not expecting from this novel. It had a lot more depth than I was hoping to get, and that was a pleasant surprise.

    For the most part, I also loved the supporting characters. Each had their own specific issues to be dealt with, and each added something to the plot. The AI robots working for Lorccan, especially Rosebud and Blue were awesome. I loved loved loved the relationship between Alainn and Blue as well and thought it was very well-written, even if their interactions were short.

    The ending was a bit clunky and needed to be cleaned up. And the worldbuilding is what caused me to drop the most points. There needed to be more backstory, telling us exactly what happened between Lorccan and Connor that caused Connor to face a jail sentence. We enter this novel with a lot of tension in Alainn's family and I would have liked to know why. There are also a lot of things about the world in this novel that are not like our world. The automatons. The currency. The technology. But there are things that are exactly like our world. It was like the author forgot to even build this world, so I became confused in parts to what their world looked like, and it was hard to picture. I also wish we got a few more glimpses into Lorccan's past. The bits we did get made me want to know and understand more. I also wish that Connor were just a bit more developed. We got some great glimpses into his character at first, but then its almost as if the author forgot about him. I wanted to see what happened to him at the end, and whether his issues were resolving.

    All in all, I really loved this book, guys. I loved the romance (I know, shocking), I loved the characters, I loved the futuristic plotlines, I thought it was creative and fun, and I breezed through it in like two days. I'm really interested in snagging a copy when it is actually released in December. This book really worked for me, and was the perfect way to get me out of my slump. Highly recommended.

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  •  ⇝LEAH⇜
    Feb 28, 2017

    Book Title: Ensnared

    Author: Rita Stradling

    Series: Stand-Alone

    Genre: Modern Fairytale Retelling, Romance

    Publisher: This is a Kindle Scout Book

    Source: I received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

    Book Title: Ensnared

    Author: Rita Stradling

    Series: Stand-Alone

    Genre: Modern Fairytale Retelling, Romance

    Publisher: This is a Kindle Scout Book

    Source: I received an ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

    Plot: 4.3/5

    Characters: 4.5/5

    The Feels: 4/5

    Addictiveness: 5/5

    Theme: 5/5

    Flow: 3.8/5

    Backdrop (World Building): 4/5

    Originality: 4/5

    Book Cover: 5/5

    Ending: 5/5 Cliffhanger: No

    ? Yes, I would

    I really liked this, is it without faults, no, but the faults did not take away from my overall enjoyment.

    The writing starts out a little choppy, but evens itself out for the most part, about a 1/3 of the way through. At least I think it did…or I could have just adjusted to the style. I liked the futuristic aspect of this, it just doesn't always come off as believable. There are elements that transpire that seem over-the-top and hard to fathom but, ultimately the sweet love story of Alainn and Lorccan is what kept me reading. Plus, the oddly weird, but mostly likable assortment of supporting characters…especially the monkeys. I loved the monkeys!

    This is a Beauty and the Beast spin for the adult crowd, while it is explicit at times it's not overdone at all.

  • Jennymort ★☆The Dark Lord, House of Slytheread★☆
    Mar 01, 2017

    This book is a Beauty and the Beast retelling….

    Kind of reminded me of Unrooted and Crimson Bound. *shrug*

    I actually liked this

    vibe-ish feel it had going on. The characters are exactly how I think they should have been considering the other issues I’ve had with this book. The characters growth was set at a decent p

    This book is a Beauty and the Beast retelling….

    Kind of reminded me of Unrooted and Crimson Bound. *shrug*

    I actually liked this

    vibe-ish feel it had going on. The characters are exactly how I think they should have been considering the other issues I’ve had with this book. The characters growth was set at a decent pace and the the MC’s, though both had some past issues, relationship worked with that growth. Though I do feel as if once they went past that

    , it all seemed rushed. If you know what I mean.

    *wiggles eyebrows*

    I do love Rosebud. I think she has to be one of my favorite characters (until that one part) and Blue. Those are my babies.

    This was a very well done book and very thought out, scientific wise. Though I did have some issues with the beginning of the story as it felt like there were about 1/4 of the book missing at the beginning. I would've liked to have seen how they got to the point of Alainn driving up to Mr. Garbhan's house. That and more world building. I would have liked to see how they came about needing the robots and how Alainn's father was making a more humanoid one compared to the rest of the world’s population of robots.

    What did Alainn’s dad do that was so bad for him to be sent to jail? (Was it the gambling or what?!) What about the barely mentioned ‘fraud’ at the beginning of the book? Where did all these robots come from? Why is her dad the only one to make the most human robot the world has ever seen?

    We don’t even know how that came to beeeeeee!

    WHY WHY WHY!?!?!?!

  • Emer
    Apr 25, 2017

    A futuristic Beauty and the Beast retelling with robots and shizz...

    And I got it for free through Kindle Scout....

    Really shouldn't have much to complain about should I???

    And yeah....

    It was fine.

    I was moderately diverted....

    But it was too long.

    I had issues with the main characters...

    But mostly I just feel ambivalent about the whole thing and really don't feel like dissecting why!!!

    So it's

    and I'll just move swiftly on to my next (hopefully better) read!

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