Book Review: Poor Unfortunate Soul (Villains #3) by Serena Valentino

“The sky, they thought, was particularly breathtaking at twilight; it was their magic hour, when everything looked perfect, and they felt anything was possible.”

― Serena Valentino, Poor Unfortunate Soul

Serena Valentino, the author of The Beast Within: A Tale of Beauty's Prince and Fairest of All: A Tale of the Wicked Queen, has published a new book titled Poor Unfortunate Soul: A Tale of the Sea Witch. It provides a history for Ursula the Sea Witch and describes her past, her relationship with King Triton, her position in the kingdom of Atlantica, what led to her expulsion from it, as well as the circumstances that led to her demise. It is based on The Little Mermaid. It was made available on July 26, 2016.

Synopsis from Goodreads... 

The tale of the sea king's daughter Ariel is a beloved one of losing―and then finding―one's own voice.

The story has been told many times and in many ways. But always the mergirl wants more than her world can offer, and her father demands that she live within the confines of his domain. Her rebelliousness costs the little mermaid her voice and nearly her soul. But the power of good prevails, and Ariel emerges proud and unchanged.

And yet this is only half the story. So what of Ariel's nemesis, Ursula, the sea witch? What led to her becoming so twisted, scorned, and filled with hatred? Many tales have tried to explain her motives. Here is one account of what might have shaped the sea witch into a detestable and poor unfortunate soul.

My reaction to the novel...

I am quite eager to read Ursula's story. When I learned that the third book in the Villain series is all about Ursula, I couldn't control my enthusiasm. After reading and viewing The Little Mermaid, I got fascinated about how she came to be the way she is. I really wanted to discover more about the main character, therefore my expectations were really high. I find it annoying that the three witches are still present as usual. They are, in my opinion, both the main characters of the entire bundle and the embodiment of all that is wicked. Anyway, I was a little upset about Ursula's fate and what it meant for her. However, I also believe the plot to be pretty weak, which I really can't say much about. Maybe, unlike the first two books, I just didn't feel any attachment toward this one.

It was quite disappointing to me that this novel seemed to place more of an emphasis on the three wicked sisters and Tulip than it did on Ursula. It would have been interesting to learn more about Ursula's relationship with Ariel's mother, in my opinion. I believed it might have been more sinister and menacing.  After what occurred with her land father, she through an incredibly traumatic experience. It would have been interesting to learn more about her history with Triton and the exact moment that their relationship began to deteriorate. To learn more about her dark demeanor would have been incredibly intriguing.

I was terribly bored with this book. Though I want to read the entire bundle, I must admit that this book fell short for me. I would have preferred if this novel had focused more on Ursula's childhood experiences and true character, but it didn't. Her back story was essentially condensed into one chapter. It was excellent yet rushed. Because there were three storylines blended together that didn't really explain why, it was a bit difficult to follow. Ursula's history is just briefly mentioned in less than a fourth of her book. Except for the introductory chapter, the remainder was perceived as a recollection, as opposed to the Evil Queen and Beast, where the events occurred in real time.

I'm not sure if I'll suggest this third book. This novel can seem like a fishing line to Ursula fans. You could experience disappointment, just like I did.

My Overall Rating: ⭐✨(1.5/5)

“The sky, they thought, was particularly breathtaking at twilight; it was their magic hour, when everything looked perfect and they felt anything was possible.”

When the circumstances are ideal, anybody might believe that they can do anything and that everything appears to be in line with their aims and beliefs. Most of the time, we rely on natural cues before we do or do anything. 


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