Beauty and Beastly

Steampunk Beauty and the Beast (Steampunk Fairy Tales)
Narrated by: Lesley Parkin
Length: 6 hrs and 4 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (79 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In this tale as old as time, Isabelle Hawking must tinker a solution to a heartbreaking mystery.

When Isabelle Hawking and her papa set out from London on a sea voyage, Isabelle is thrilled. Visiting foreign courts, learning from master tinkerers, and studying mechanicals is her dream. It doesn't hurt that the trip also offers Isabelle an escape from her overbearing and unwanted suitor, Gerard LeBoeuf.

But Isabelle never arrives. Swept up in a tempest, her ship is lost.

Isabelle survives the storm only to be shipwrecked on a seemingly deserted island. The magical place, dotted with standing stones, faerie mounds, and a crumbling castle, hints of an ancient past. Isabelle may be an unwilling guest, but her arrival marks a new beginning for the beastly residents of this forgotten land.

See how New York Times best-selling author Melanie Karsak puts a steampunk spin on the classic Beauty and the Beast fairy tale.             

©2017 Clockpunk Press (P)2018 Clockpunk Press

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Delightful Steampunk Version of Beauty and Beast

Melanie Karsak takes the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast and puts a steampunk twist to it. The beautiful Isabelle and her father are tinkers; people who work on the delicate mechanical innards of all things clockwork. They create exquisite clockwork-artwork and it is on their way to deliver some of this artwork that they are shipwrecked during a Tempest (Shakespeare anyone?). They find themselves on an island with inhabitants under a curse. Like the fairytale, Isabelle puts her father before herself and he leaves to bring back help.

I’ve avoided steampunk in the past worried no writer could bring justice to such an amazing genre. Within a couple hours of listening to Karsak’s Beauty and Beastly, I was on Facebook and telling my friends about this audiobook. Karsak rocks this genre! Her detailed fantasy world is full of airships, mechanical clockwork devices, automatons and all things steampunk. I love her intelligent heroine, Isabelle who often has gear grease smeared on her hands and face. Peppered within the book were references to the Disney version of Beauty and the Beast, Celtic myths, the faery folk and King Arthur. The chapter names were alternatingly whimsical and witty. I read Karsak’s biography and the English instructor in her is wonderfully apparent and I geek-squeaked each time I caught one of her nods to Shakespeare.

Don’t get me wrong, I liked Disney’s version just fine but Melanie Karsak’s steampunk version takes the cake in my opinion. Her Beauty is a great role model for young women. Unlike the Disney version, her “Beast” is more of a gentle soul and even Gerard isn’t cruel but just loud and flirty. An added bonus is the inclusion of some of the characters from Karsak’s other books. I can easily see this being made into a fantastic movie.

I particularly love the narrator, Lesley Parkin. With her British accent, her narration fits with the United Kingdom setting of Karsak’s novel. She is a skilled narrator who is able to switch between several different dialects and voices so that each character is distinct. Parkin’s performance just added to this outstanding novel. I really think that Karsak and Parkin make an ideal combination and I wholeheartedly recommend this wonderfully imaginative audiobook to anyone who loves steampunk or Beauty and the Beast.

This is an excellent audiobook with clean romance, no sexual content or frightening scenes.

Audiobook was provided for review by the author/narrator/publisher.
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3 people found this helpful

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Good Overall fantasy novel with some steampunk on the side

Yes the steam punk theme was thrown in there but not overtly. The main character is a tinkerer and they talk about airships but besides that it’s just a fun take on the old fairy tale of beauty and the beast. Definitely worth the listen, I enjoyed 😍

1 person found this helpful

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A familiar story with an unfamiliar twist

This is not the first book that I’ve read from this author, but it is definitely my favorite! I’m a huge beauty and the beast fan and this retelling was beautiful! I loved the steampunk twist which made this tale even more fascinating.

As a bonus, the narrator’s voice was lovely.

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A Clockwork Tale as Old As Time

Beauty and the Beast is not usually one of my favorite fairy tales but I loved Karsak's retelling in this steampunk version. Nothing like Uprooted or A Crown of Thorns and Roses, this still breathed new life into a story as old as time.

Isabella is a tinker, just like her father. She makes beautiful clockwork music boxes. On their way to a wedding their airship crash lands on an island and Isabella must stay with the strange clockwork lord while her father races home to rescue her.

Uniquely reimagined, this was a great listen of a familiar fairy tale.

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amazing story

this was such an amazing story. I won this book in a giveaway but I'm glad I did. the story was amazing and the world I love it. this retelling of beauty and the beast was something new to me because it was steampunk and never had read anything like that. I'm glad I give this book a chance if you like retelling I would really recommend this book.

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A unique twist to an a well loved story.

Reviewer: Teresa Fallen Angel

Summary:
This was a fascinating twist to the original Book adding a steampunk feel. I loved how the old characters were altered into mechanical beings who lived on an island where everything was changed in the same way. Isabelle and her father are known for their beautiful mechanical items. On the way to a wedding they find themselves stranded on a mysterious island.

This story takes the original story in a unique and fascinating way. I loved how Isabelle found everything on the island both unique and wondrous. Add a fae being to the mix giving you a wonderful story where the audiobook format brought the story to life for the reader.

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A tale as old as time, as old as steam

A tale as old as time. A tale that has been told more times than anyone would dare to count and yet we are all still fascinated with it.
This fairytale retelling is a solid mix of the Disney and Celtic versions of the story but with a few fun twists of its own. To begin with the Beast is a clockwork automaton and the Beauty is a tinker.
Hello Steampunk! I have a huge affinity to anything steampunk. I love working with metal, talking about different kinds of metal and reading about creative ways to repurpose metal.
When Isabella and her father ship wreck on their way to show off their inventions and find themselves on an island where everything, even the flowers, are made of clockwork only one of them can escape. Isabella investigates the automatons and the island they are hidden on.
Set in 1814 Regency England, the narrator's accent adds to the illusion beautifully. The characters seem to each have a rich background and history but as the story progresses there is a bit of rushing and suddenly they are in love. A little more development to the character's would've added a lot after so much world building had been done.
I plan to listen to the other Steampunk retellings by Melaine Karsak eventually when I need something light and predictable to lift my spirits.

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A BEAUTIFUL RETELLING

There are so many "retellings" out there, but this one was definitely worth it. A beautiful story, that was so well written, and detail oriented. I felt like the narration was wonderful and really added value to the story, allowing listeners to be whisked into this land and really understand what was happening with the characters physically, but also mentally.

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Another classic

Such a great tale with a steampunk twist! As usual Lesley's narration was perfect for the story.

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True love!

Loved this story! Narrator makes you feel like you're in the fantasy world! You feel like you're traveling in their world!

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Profile Image for Sally Goddard
  • Sally Goddard
  • 05-01-20

Enjoyable steampunk retelling

Really enjoyed this retelling of Beauty and Beast and its Steampunk twist. The narration suited.

I definitely have confidence in buying other books by Melanie Karsak as this one was well written and her imagination is fantastic.

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  • L. A. Greenbank
  • 01-28-20

Beautiful

At the start of this book, I did struggle to see how the author would make it truly 'steampunk' and not just have a couple of clockwork elements in it. I love that Isabelle has a mind of her own, turns down a marriage proposal and is a craftswoman in her own right, I struggled with her changing attitude towards "the lord" as I found it quite abrupt which didn't really fit with the rest of the story, but overall I really enjoyed it.

I should also note that I took an instant dislike to the narrator: she grew on me and is a perfect fit to the Isabelle I pictured by the time they boarded the ship (the sea one, not the air one) but is very different to the narrators I've been listening to at late

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  • S
  • 01-24-20

Isabelle is a smart heroine and inventor

After a shipwreck, Isabelle finds herself in a clockwork world full of surprisingly detailed and realistic automatons. The Lord seems very harsh and angry but after spending a few days on the island he starts to soften. Isabelle soon realises there is a lot more going on than she first thought.
Isabelle is a smart heroine and inventor, though she seems a bit too obsessed with fashion, mentioning it all the time. She creates wonderful clockwork creations, they are described are beautifully in the book that I would so love to see them for real. Being a Beauty and the Beast retelling, I was happy to read about the huge library in the mansion.
The narrator of the audiobook is very expressive, really bringing to life Isabelle's thoughts and feelings.

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  • Layla
  • 01-22-20

Beauty and Beastly

I liked it more then I expected. I have read many retellings of beauty and a lot of the time they are a disappointment but this one is good. I liked the fact there was some mystery and intrigue.
The author knows how to tell a story, I will be checking her other books out.

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  • DD
  • 01-03-20

Beauty

This is an interesting retelling of the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale. Beauty and Beastly kept me wondering whether there was a curse put on this particular beast or if was there something else entirely different going on. The author keep me guessing, which is a good thing. I don't like stories that are predictable. I love that this fairy tale retelling was steampunk, and I love that it had a bit of mystery and intrigue.

The narration was perfect. I like that the narrator gave Isabelle her own distinct personality, which in turn allowed me to visualize all her facial expressions and the emotions she was experiencing. The beast is an interesting creature, too, but I don't want to say too much about him. You will need to listen to the audiobook or read the book to discover more about the beast.

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  • Lolah
  • 12-17-18

The perfect story for your listening pleasure

I had read the book of this steampunk fairytale before, when it was first released, but to listen to the audiobook, excellently narrated by Lesley Parkin, was almost like experiencing the story for the first time. Lesley really brings the story to life, and I would heartily recommend listening to this book (or reading it!) if you love adult fairytale retellings, steampunk stories or, best of all, a combination of the two, with a dash of romance and a twist of magic to provide the perfect story for your listening pleasure.

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  • Rogernie Roberts
  • 09-16-18

A great retelling of beauty and the beast

I've enjoyed Isabel and Reese's story with Isabel trapped on Reese's island she's captivated by him and his household. Reese appeared to be an autonomous being who thinks he's master of the house but somehow Isabel falls for him despite him being terrible to her.