Beauty and the Beast is easily one of my favorite fairytales. From the Disney version to the Disney Live-Action to the dozens of retellings like Beauty and Rose's Daughter I love them all including the dozens of originals (or really older versions). And this retelling did not disappoint. I'll try not to spoil anything and explain why it's one worth reading.
If you like steampunk, vampires, werewolves, supernatural (both show and concept) you will love this book, and the spin-off series it started. I am not a steampunk reader. I've only read a few, and it was because of this book. This book is a great introduction to the world of steampunk if you're unsure how you feel about it because it introduces steampunk troupes without them being all the book is about and shoved in your face over and over. I love that. And though I have found myself not much for steampunk books, these books make me like being casually in the world of steampunk.
And if you want a heroine who's no pushover, look no further than Lucy Picket. She studies vampirism and tries to find a cure. She's also working against the government's push to simply eradicate the vampires and changelings from the world. She comes to stay with a close friend who is worried about her friend who is living in what she believes to be a hunted home. It's haunted by the ghost of the owner's dead wife, or so she believes. Rumor has it, her husband, a Byronic, grump of a man who's not been the same since the Indian wars, murdered her. Lucky finds the owner, Lord Blackwell a terror.
And as it's a Beauty and the Beast retelling, you can guess how that goes, but the real meat of the story is the mystery of the ghost, Lucy's work with vampires, and the medium who comes to help them discover if there is a ghost.
I'm telling you if you're into that kind of mystery, strong heroines, and the supernatural try this book. If you normally don't like steampunk, don't let it scare you off. It only adds to the world and it's far more paranormal than steampunk in many ways (though steampunk is known for its love of vampires and werewolves too).
Seriously, I know it seems like a super nitch book, but it's not. Give it a try and see if this book can't just sweep you away to a magical world you wouldn't have expected.