Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Sci-Fi Romance ARC Review: Ensnared by Rita Stradling

by Rita Stradling

Genre: Science Fiction Romance
Age category: Adult
Expected Publication Date: TBD
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. She says goodbye to the sun and goes to live in a tower no human is allowed to enter. She becomes the prisoner of a man no human is allowed to see.

Believing that a life of servitude lies ahead, Alainn finds a very different fate awaits her in the company of the strange, scarred recluse.

My Review:
Ensnared is like Beauty and the Beast with AI robots tossed into the mix. To save her father from going to jail for fraud when Rose, the robot he built for Lorccan, refuses to go, Alainn pretends she’s the robot and goes in her place.

This was an intriguing read on many levels. First, there’s the new take on the classic fairy tale. Unlike in the original story, Alainn isn’t actually Lorccan’s prisoner. He has no clue she’s even human, thinking instead that she’s the amazingly realistic robot Alainn’s father built for him. I thought that made it easier to sympathize with him.

The story delves into several directions AI could take. The robots and AI in the story have drastically different levels of self-awareness and motivation. Some work towards the good of their owner, some for their own good, and some to shape their world in their own image. Some don’t seem to have any motivation at all. It was interesting, and also rather disturbing at times, just imagining robots that could seem so real they could be mistaken for alive, and vice versa.

I also thought the love story was rather sweet. Two people suffering from the trauma of their pasts finding healing in each other. It takes a long time for the love to develop, and in Lorccan’s case, he fights it hard, under the impression he’s falling for a thing, not a person. It gave the story a rather unique dynamic.

I didn’t really dislike anything about the story, but I must say I was surprised when the first intimate scene rolled around. I thought the scenes were well done, but very detailed, and I’d no idea the story was going to go there. That being said, I personally liked how it wasn’t just the act but the emotions that go with it, and I think folks who dig love scenes will probably like the ones in this book.

Overall, I loved this story. It’s a fun, fairytale retelling with a sci-fi twist. There’s a greater plot than just the love story, making this original despite its inspiration. Folks who like fairytales, romance, and sci-fi with a focus on AI will probably like this book.

I received the ARC of this book from the author via Lola’s Blog Tours.

You can find Ensnared on Goodreads

Watch the Book Trailer



Rita StradlingAbout the Author:
Rita Stradling is the author of The Deception Dance series, the Dakota Kekoa series and The Fourteen Day Soul Detox Novella Serial. She has a BA in Art History and a particular love for modern and medieval art.

Rita lives with her husband and son in Northern California.

She has an insatiable novel addiction and mostly reads young adult and adult: romance, paranormal, urban fantasy and high fantasy.

You can find and contact Rita here:
- Website
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- Goodreads