Apr 3, 2020

Review--Wicked Abyss by Kresley Cole

This fairy tale doesn’t end with a kiss in this spellbinding Immortals After Dark tale from #1 New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole!

The terrifying king of hell...

As a boy, Abyssian “Sian” Infernas had his heart shattered by a treacherous fey beauty who died before he could exact vengeance. Millennia later, a curse has transformed him into a demonic monster—just as she’s been reincarnated. Sian captures the delicate but bold female, forcing her back to hell.

Meets his match.

Princess Calliope “Lila” Barbot’s people have hated and feared Abyssian and his alliance of monsters for aeons. When the beastly demon imprisons her in his mystical castle, vowing revenge for betrayals she can’t remember, Lila makes her own vow: to bring down the wicked beast for good.

Can two adversaries share one happily-ever-after?

As Calliope turns hell inside out, the all-powerful Sian finds himself defenseless against his feelings for her. In turn, Lila reluctantly responds to the beast’s cleverness and gruff vulnerability. But when truths from a far distant past are revealed, can their tenuous bond withstand ages of deceit, a curse, and a looming supernatural war?

This is not your average The Beauty and the Beast retelling! Kresley Cole takes Wicked Abyss to the edge and spins up a new version of the beloved tale and gives it a life of its own! This was my first adult book of Kresley's and I quite enjoyed it...though I can't say I'll start this series all over because my TBR pile is already out of control! I was happy to find that I could easily dive into book without needing to read the previous 16 installments! True, a few characters popped up that I am sure had books of their own and previous appearances, but the story stands just fine on its own.

Let's also mention in case any of my younger followers are reading this, this is most definitely an adult themed book, so be advised!

Calliope aka Lila has been exiled for most of her life by her betrothed, Saetth. When her parents plotted to kill him, he decided she would prove her loyalty to him by living in Gaia aka Earth for mortals. And so for half her life, Lila has lived in the mortal world which is where fate or Nix, finds her...in the Most Magical Place on Earth...yes, Lila was working at DISNEY WORLD! Oh, how I fangirled over this! After serving her sentence Saetth and Nix--a mystery character who I take it is a bit of a trickster, come to her with one last test for her to prove her loyalty. She is to allow herself to be captured by the king of hell, Abyssian Infernas, where she will then find out his weaknesses and the best way to overtake his kingdom, yadda yadda court politics. She will more than likely have to seduce him and when she succeeds, she can once again return to her homeland and rule with Saetth as king and queen.

Abyssian, or Sian as he goes by, has the knowledge that Lila is his reincarnated mate. A few thousand years ago, his mate betrayed him and broke his heart before she died. For eons he's hated her and missed her to some degree and when he has the chance to seek his revenge on the new version of his mate, he takes it by having her kidnapped.

Sian is also cursed into a beastly form. He will continue to grow beastlier as the years go on and never be able to have children unless he were to find his true mate and procreate with her. After that, he'd be free to be with any other woman he so chose. So...you kind of get an idea of his plan. He's not the greatest guy in the world, but at the same time, you understand him, but then also you want to slap him upside the head and say that Lila is not a replica of his past mate just because she is the reincarnate!

So what you have here is a very adult version of The Beauty and the Beast! I mean we know the original fairy tales were more for adults then children, and in a sense Wicked Abyss reflects that. I mean, Lila is betrothed to her cousin after all! There were also little nods to our favorite Disney movie too. Just little tiny ones here and there, a love of reading, some animal/beings of the castle friends, and of curse Disney World itself!

There was perhaps just a little too much emphasis on sex for my liking. I'm not usually a straight up romance reader, I like my romance on the side when it comes to my books. So for true paranormal romance readers, this is likely just your style! And because of Sian's curse, I was a bit worried rape might factor in, but that wasn't an issue at all, so rest assured of that friends!

I did like that the true romance between Sian and Lila was a slow to develop one. It's a pure hate-to-love relationship with a good bout of attraction and fire between them as they get to that point.

What I enjoyed even more was the ending! It had a twist you won't see coming and it was heartening. Since this is a series of standalones in the same greater world, it did end happily as paranormal romances are wont to do and perhaps hinted at a future installment as well. I am quite satisified with this one though and had picked it up because of the sheer The Beauty and the Beast retelling element! In that sense, Wicked Abyss was a perfect re-imagining of the adult version of a tale as old as time!

Overall Rating 4/5 stars

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