Book of the Month, Review

Review: The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh

20191018_145530.jpgAuthor: Renée Ahdieh

Genre: Fantasy/horror

Published by: Hodder & Stoughton

Publication date: 08/10/19

Pages: 448

My rating: ★★★★★

Synopsis from Goodreads:

In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But to seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau, New Orleans provides her a refuge after she’s forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent along with six other girls, Celine quickly becomes enamored with the vibrant city from the music to the food to the soirées and—especially—to the danger. She soon becomes embroiled in the city’s glitzy underworld, known as La Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group’s leader, the enigmatic Sébastien Saint Germain. When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in the lair of La Cour des Lions, Celine battles her attraction to him and suspicions about Sébastien’s guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret.

When more bodies are discovered, each crime more gruesome than the last, Celine and New Orleans become gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose—one Celine is sure has set her in his sights . . . and who may even be the young man who has stolen her heart. As the murders continue to go unsolved, Celine takes matters into her own hands and soon uncovers something even more shocking: an age-old feud from the darkest creatures of the underworld reveals a truth about Celine she always suspected simmered just beneath the surface.

At once a sultry romance and a thrilling murder mystery, master storyteller Renée Ahdieh embarks on her most potent fantasy series yet: The Beautiful.

Trigger warning:

  • violence
  • Death
  • Sexual assault
  • Attempted rape

I received a free review copy from Hodderscape in exchange for an honest review

I’m so glad this book isn’t a standalone because I’m in desperate need of more! More vampires, more Celine, more of New Orleans. I asked for Vampires and was blessed with this absolute stunner!

Plot:

Set in nineteenth century New Orleans, following Celine as she travels with Pippa from France where they’ll join a convent while suitable husbands are found for them. Not long after Celine’s arrival, a girl is murdered on the docks, and a girl from the convent is murdered not long after, Celine takes it upon herself to find and stop the culprit. It’s not long before Celine realises those around her aren’t what they seem, finding herself drawn into a world of vampires and other supernatural beings.

I feel like The Beautiful has barely scraped the surface of what this world has to offer. I know it’s the first in a series, usually by the end a fair amount of withholding is there. With this one, it feels like there’s so much there and very little at the same time, does that make sense?

Characters:

I’m so glad The Beautiful isn’t a standalone, I’m nowhere near ready to leave these characters behind yet. Can we all take a moment to appreciate Celine and Bastien? I can’t help but love Bastian, there’s something about him and I can’t quite put my finger on it. Celine is brilliant, strong willed and doesn’t take no for an answer and I just adore her! I can’t wait to see what’s in store for them next!

Overall thoughts:

There’s something so intriguing and captivating about the setting, enticing the reader, leaving them wanting more. It’s been awhile since I read a book that’s captured my heart like The Beautiful has, vampires are definitely back and I’ve never been happier.

Buy from: Book Depository Waterstones

7 thoughts on “Review: The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh”

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