What if Belle’s mother cursed the Beast?
Belle is a lot of things: smart, resourceful, restless. She longs to escape her poor provincial town for good. She wants to explore the world, despite her father’s reluctance to leave their little cottage in case Belle’s mother returns–a mother she barely remembers. Belle also happens to be the captive of a terrifying, angry beast. And that is her primary concern.
But Belle touches the Beast’s enchanted rose, intriguing images flood her mind–images of the mother she believed she would never see again. Stranger still, she sees that her mother is none other than the beautiful Enchantress who cursed the Beast, his castle, and all its inhabitants. Shocked and confused, Belle and the Beast must work together to unravel a dark mystery about their families that is twenty-one years in the making.
I was less than impressed with Braswell’s A Whole New World and was content on just forgoing her obvious pandering to Disney synergy series when I saw As Old as Time‘s premises and then I was like.
Because Beauty and the Beast and the twist looked actually interesting. And besides, surely after two books with poor reviews, surely Braswell was able to pick up some pointers on what was going wrong with the synergy pandering series. Obviously, I was wrong. The same habits that made A Whole New World a hot mess, were included in As Old as Time including the whole let’s quote the movie.
Note, I had to wonder how it was possible to regurgitate an eighty minute movie’s script in 400 pages but oh-the twist, oh the twist is that we’ll include Maurice’s romance with Belle’s mother who’s the Enchantress.
The bumbling absentminded idiot of a father of Belle’s who gets together with Mrs. Potts at the movie.
Well, at least I think they get together. It’s in my head cannon anyway. But when I think of romance with Maurice unless it involves Mrs. Potts it’s a no go.
And yes, I know that cannon assumes that Belle’s mother must’ve been a pretty hot number given the fact that Maurice is…well, Maurice and everyone in town sings about Belle who looks nothing like Maurice. But the Enchantress?????
It’s not like it’s even explained that well in the alternating chapters where I’m supposed to ship Enchantress/Maurice.
It just doesn’t work. Much like the fact I’m supposed to like a woman who cursed an eleven year old spoiled little boy and then…well, then regurgitate the screenplay which while simple enough in it’s Disney form was enjoyable because you know great voice actors/animation and Alan Menken songs. Not so much here.
The characters are extremely flat. And it’s not the story. The story has been retold many times in YA before. Sure, those versions aren’t based on the Disney movie, but that shouldn’t really matter. At the core the book was a retelling of a fairytale and while Braswell was using the Disney movie as a template there were plenty of jumping off points that could’ve made the story interesting.
But to focus half of the book on Maurice??????
I feel bad for all you Potts/Maurice shippers that’s for sure (surely, there have to be some) As for me, I am not planning on touching this series with a ten foot pole ever again. It doesn’t matter what movie they decide to retell. Although, I did accidentally grab buy Once which I didn’t realize was by Braswell until it was too late so….
You know, I could just give that book away. Yeah, that’s how annoyed I am with this author’s writing.
Overall Rating: DNF.