Savage Beasts

Source: DRC Via NetGalley (HarperCollins UK, One More Chapter) in exchange for an honest review
Publication Date: May 25, 2023
Synopsis: Goodreads
Purchase Link: Amazon (not listed on US Amazon at time of review publication – will update when available)

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Why did I choose to read this book?

The cover drew me in on the “Most Requested Books” section of NetGalley, but then the description called it “A propulsive retelling inspired by the Greek myth of Medea” and “A perfect read for fans of The Song of Achilles” and look, I am an absolute slut for any kind of mythology so of course I slammed that request button.

What is this book about?

This book is about the conflict between India and the East India Trading Company (British). Meena is the daughter of an Indian king/governor whose family relocated in order to escape the fighting. Meena meets James, the nephew of the head of the EITC, and discovers he’s trying to get information to her father, She helps him, to her detriment, and their story goes from there.

What is notable about this story?

Books set in India are so fantastic. It’s an area of the world that I have not visited yet, and as I’ve mentioned before I love to travel through books. So reading this story helped me to envision what it would be like to be in India.

Was anything not so great?

This book was a “Did Not Finish” for me. I made it to about 30% on the advance copy, but I was so bored with the story that I had to put it down. Meena sneaks out of the palace, meets James, sneaks back into the palace, gets caught, gets punished, rinse and repeat: and it’s literally this for the first third of the book. I am supposed to believe that Meena and James have romantic feelings for each other, but there’s not enough there to support its existence. Meena’s father is extremely abusive to his children, and her brother is an absolute asshole. And none of the characters have enough depth to them to make me care about anything that is going on. All of this woven together created a very monotonous read, which I had to pull the plug on.

What’s the verdict?

One star on Goodreads because I just couldn’t get into it at all. But I didn’t finish it – so I’ll include the caveat here that this book might be for you even though it wasn’t for me! The concept behind it was enough to get me to try it out, so if it sounds like your jam, you should too!

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