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Reviewed by Lisa McCombs for Readers' Favorite
Calysta, Lance, and Malaya are deep into their senior year, anxious for their next adventure. Would it be college, a new job, travel? Whatever the opportunity, they were ready for the challenge. Or so they thought. When Calysta’s father announces that he is in a serious financial situation, Calysta is the only one who can help. An offer from the Guardian, a mysterious beneficiary, will pay her father’s debt if Calysta agrees to leave her family and friends in order to befriend the Guardian’s reclusive nephew. While fulfilling this strange request, Calysta will receive free education, be pampered as a guest in a hidden mansion, and want for nothing. If at any time the circumstances of her stay become unpleasant she is free to leave, no questions asked and the debt fully paid. The only stipulation is she is never to share any details of her experience. Sounds simple enough. The catch is the nephew’s horrific nightmare of an existence. Calysta will question God’s plan daily while living in the mansion.
Calysta and the Beast: The Sacred Scarred: Book 1 by Joanna Alonzo is a modern-day version of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, with the unexpected twist of a religious theme. Told in both past and present points of view, the reader follows the characters in a unique time-lapse tale of human failings and the power of faith. Joanna Alonzo provides a scriptural foundation in a totally new way. The novel’s structure provides fast-paced action and a multi-faceted plot. Christianity and literary fantasy meet with success in this adult fairy tale.