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Beast in the Machine

4.40  ·  Rating details ·  25 ratings  ·  19 reviews
A SciFi retelling of Beauty and the Beast.

There are only two reasons people move to Ilford: to study at the renowned scientific research center, or to escape society. Dr. Richter intends to further his research. But his daughter Isabelle finds there is a strange enmity between the scientists and the villagers, and it has something to do with the reclusive man who hired her
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Average rating 4.40  · 
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 ·  25 ratings  ·  19 reviews

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Dec 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I LOVE this story.
I often find myself unhappy with retellings. They sound exciting in their premise, but often they don't live up to my hopes and more often than not they miss out on the heart of the story. ESPECIALLY with Beauty and the Beast which is such a deep and nuanced story, with so many ways to go wrong. Often retellings focus on the dynamics of beast's anger issues and Belle's innocence, ending up as more of a twisted story of abuse with a headstrong but still powerless female MC.
Katelyn Buxton
Dec 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
And with the close of Beast in the Machine I will happily gobble up anything E.B. Dawson writes. Beauty and the Beast is probably my favorite fairy-tale, and this little novella zeroed in on everything I already love about it. Dr. Prince was a broken man in need of healing, and Isabella a ready-for-anything girl with a healthy dose of Real Life behind her smile. I really have no words to accurately describe how much I love this book... my only complaint is that I would have gladly read a novel-l ...more
Laura A. Grace
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a great reading experience! Not only did I read this book in one sitting, I'm quite certain I also audibly gasped, smiled, and leaned a little bit closer to my Kindle.

"Beast in the Machine" was a very unique retelling of Beauty and the Beast. I haven't read much sci-fi and that alone made it the most unique aspect of this story, but I also enjoyed the rising awareness of anxiety (and fighting it) as I continued reading. The story took on deeper themes then I expected (including the interac
A brilliant sci-fi retelling of Beauty and the Beast on par with the Lunar Chronicles. Like that series, it adapts a familiar fairy tale into a sci-fi world without stripping away the charm and magic of the original. While I generally am left wanting more when I reach the end of a really good novella or short story, I didn't feel that way in this case...but only because I was completely satisfied. It didn't need to be any longer. All the character arcs were brought to an earned conclusion, and t ...more
Hufflepuff Book Reviewer
Beauty and the Beast is by far my favorite fairy tale, so I was really looking forward to reading The Beast in the Machine—a sci-fi retelling of this classic story. It did not disappoint! I think my favorite aspect of the piece would have to be Isabelle’s character. Extremely dignified and tactful but also subtly quirky, Isabelle just might have become my favorite female character from any indie book ever. Admittedly, I had a pretty big crush on her. I was also thoroughly impressed with Dawson’s ...more
emrys merlin
Mar 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Typically, I'm not huge on retellings, as I either find them unrecognizable from the original or too much so. Yet I quite liked Beast in the Machine, as it managed to avoid these traps.

It takes all the main core elements of Beauty and the Beast, and yet still makes enough changes to be its own fresh spin on the tale.
Nothing makes this clearer than the deepening of Bell's (Or, in this, Isabella) and Beast's (Sebastian). They both had roughly the same personalities as in the original story (And
Feb 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
There are few things more fun to read that a well-written fairy tale retelling, so when I first heard about this story (and saw the gorgeous cover, because I’m a sucker for a good cover), I immediately wanted to read it. EB Dawson delivers a tale that puts an intriguing sci-fi spin on the classic story and reinvents characters in unique ways. Protagonist Isabelle is a heroine worth rooting for who has overcome her own challenges and maintains a hopeful optimism in spite of everything. She has a ...more
S. M. Metzler
Sep 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I read a TON of beauty and the beast retellings ( because it's my favorite fairytale), and I can tell you this short little gem IS MY FAVORITE EVER!! I honestly don't know what else to say ....but I shall try

For starters for being so short it felt like such a big story , it can hold it's own to full length novels and I would say come out winning.

The writing is soooooo beautiful and I was in love right away!

That ending was PERFECT!!

A must read if you like retellings!
Bethany Fehr
Dec 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Beauty and the Beast has always been my favorite original fairy tale because the heroine is responsible for taking the happy ending into her own hands through an act of selfless love. Beast in the machine takes so much of what I appreciate about the original and amplifies it.

Virtuous characters who aren't also marked by significant flaws get a bad rap for being unrealistic and boring. This story proves that sentiment dead wrong. Isabelle is living proof that characters can be interesting because
Beth Wangler
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This story was a beautiful sci-fi adaptation of Beauty and the Beast. I loved how well thought-out the characters were, and the world of the story felt like it has a much greater life outside of the story, not like it only exists for these few characters. I want my own little robotic helper, too!

Dawson took characters I already love and only deepened them, making them more human than before. Her descriptions of the town, the mansion, and the technology were stunning and made them feel real.

S. M. Holland
Dec 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
It was cute and quirky, towards the end was my favorite, I think that's when Dawson shined the brightest with this story.
Love the cover!
Janelle Garrett
Dec 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Loved this story so much! One of the best retellings I’ve read. Somehow Dawson makes a familiar story come alive in a new way.
Shannon Hiner
My only complaint with this short story is that I wish desperately it was longer. At least a novella...I wouldn't complain if it was a full length novel...just tell me what I have to do, Dawson, I'll do it!

One of the hardest things to do in a short story is character development, but Isabelle leaps off the page almost immediately and I was ready to follow her into the Beast's castle -- er, Sebastian's house. I love any concept that deals with dream-walking and controlling dreams, so the conflict
Erin Dydek
Apr 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: indie
If you enjoy retellings, check out this story! It’s a great reimagining of “Beauty and the Beast” that doesn’t retread old ground, working in the staples of the tale in unique ways (a robotic Cogsworth, anyone?). It also has a more playful tone than some of Dawson’s other works, which is fun to see.

Along with this, “Beast in the Machine” looks at emotional trauma, and the importance (and hope for) healing from it. Isabelle’s wisdom and strength plays a prominent role in this, and she’s a ‘Beauty
Katherine M
Jul 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Amazing story about courage and compassion. I can’t wait to read more by this author!!
C.O. Bonham
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A new kind of Beast

Beast in the Machine is a sort of modern Beauty and the Beast retelling. It takes place in an idyllic village, timeless and old fashioned, but features advanced technologies instead of magic.

Sebastian Prince is a Beast. But one who suffers from lack of impulse control as a result of his risky nerological experiments.

It was an interesting exploration of what it means to be a beast. We all know that physically disfigurement was not the moral of the original tale, only the side
rated it really liked it
Dec 26, 2019
James Fehr
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Dec 30, 2019
Mariah Walton
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Jul 25, 2020
Kim Wangler
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Dec 11, 2018
Laurel Chandler
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Apr 29, 2020
Rebecca Fehr
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Jan 08, 2020
R.M. Archer
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I grew up in Southeast Asia. My first experience with America was when I was six years old. Sometimes I amuse my friends by telling them stories of my first impressions of this country (clean bathrooms, Toy Story, Taco Bell, getting lost in department stores).

My family moved to California when I was eleven and completely changed the course of my life. On the outside I'm a well-adjusted American a

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