Aiming too high and trying too hard,
This review is from: Beauty (FANTASY MASTERWORKS) (Paperback)
There's a lot in here. Fairy tales (Sleeping Beauty, obviously, Snow White, Cinderella, plus some nonsense with a frog), time travel, ecology, Good versus Evil, romance, horror, you name it, it's here. But for me, way too much, and the tendency to make comments on various 'issues' - the environment, the nature of evil, gender issues, and so forth, became very irritating. Lots of stuff here to show how wicked mankind (should I say humanity?) is.
So, for large chunks of this book I ploughed on, hoping for the parts, the passages, the ideas, that were genuinely interesting. I forced myself to overlook the chunks that seemed there to fill out an already long book, the characters who came and went with little discernable characterisation - I had to track back 200+ pages in some instances to find out who they were. I still haven't figured out who Israfel was. I tried to ingore the preachiness of some of the points that were made rather heavy-handedly. In the end, I think the whole is somewhat less than the sum of the parts. There are some delightful moments, passages, ideas in here. But Beauty herself is not an especially inspired creation. By the end, I had rather had enough, which is a shame, as I very much enjoyed the first half of the book.