Review: Depravity by M.J. Haag

Posted September 23rd, 2015 in book review / 24 comments

Review: Depravity by M.J. HaagDepravity by M.J. Haag
Series: Beastly Tales #1
Publisher: Self-Published on June 10, 2015
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Fairy Tale, Adult
Pages: Novel Length
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Purchase: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads
Rating: three-stars

A classic fairy tale with a new twist, the Beauty and the Beast saga begins with Depravity...

Sixteen year old Benella is concerned with two things–avoiding the two village boys who torment her and scrounging for food to help feed her family. Unfortunately, the best wild fruit and vegetables are near the walls of the estate, a dark misty place inhabited by an unforgiving beast.

When her tormentors lock her behind the massive gates, Benella knows her fate is sealed. Yet, the fate isn’t one she expects. Her encounter with the beast starts a bizarre cycle of bargaining for her freedom, a freedom the beast seems determined to see her lose.

At A Glance

I enjoyed the story a lot but it was weird.

The Good

I am so conflicted with this book. First off, who doesn’t love a dark Beauty and the Beast retelling? And it was very dark, and very erotic without being full-blown erotica.

Benella lives with her two horrible sisters and indifferent dad in a messed up village full of a-holes. Benella spends the majority of the novel trying to keep her family alive by finding and trading for food. Two village boys torment her constantly and try to get her killed by throwing her into the Beast’s gated courtyard. The Beast always threatens her, sometimes hurts her, but never kills her. Beast grows attached to her but only as a possession to ward off the loneliness. Benella keeps her distance but finds herself being drawn back to the Beast time after time.

Weird, right? Yeah, now you know how I feel. But for some reason I was fascinated the whole damn time. I found it hard to put this book down because I was enthralled by it’s, well, depravity.

I found Benella to be a very strong character though I hated how she let other people ruin her life. Her curiosity was the best part of the book. She goes on a lot of little adventures. She learns about sex, the good and bad of humanity, and what sacrifice really means.

I really loved learning about the Beast’s mansion. Some weird stuff goes on there.

The Bad

It’s like so much happens and nothing at all happens. It’s weird. We get very little going on with Benella and the Beast. Just bits and pieces. It ends when the good stuff was about to start. This book felt long, it could have gotten the point across in 50 pages.

The Beast is an asshole, the whole time. Almost no redeeming qualities at all. So really, it wasn’t much of a romance because Benella only goes with the Beast because he threatens her like every second they are together.

The majority of the secondary characters were so horrible it just didn’t feel authentic. Can everyone in that village be that evil? Even the father and sisters. The sisters are selfish bitches and the father lets the only daughter that supports the family wonder around for days and almost get raped or killed every two seconds.

The Snuggly

The sex was weird. It was either with secondary characters or the beast and a wood nymph. I just wasn’t into it. There is also an attempted rape scene. I am nervous for book 2 because Benella is 16 and I know she is going to have sex with the beast soon. So wrong.

Final Thoughts

I actually wanted to read the next book but for $3.99, I didn’t think it was worth it, especially since I got this one for free. I am more of a $2.99 and lower ebook kind of girl. Overall, I loved Depravity, but I also hated it. Don’t know what else to say. Maybe try it, maybe don’t.


This quote kind of sums up the book’s weird feel:

“If a man’s energies are pent and not released, he will become volatile, unpredictable. Tension will creep into his body and often stay there even after the energies are eventually released. If you touch a man, no matter how innocent the touch, watch for the signs,” Aryana warned. “Be sure your touch is only releasing tension and not building pent energies.”


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24 Responses to “Review: Depravity by M.J. Haag”

  1. Lekeisha

    So yeah, I may or may not have DL this. 🙂 It sounds kind of sick and twisted, which is neither a good thing or bad thing. I’m going to cross my fingers and give it a shot.

  2. kindlemom1

    This does sound a bit strange with the whole nothing happens but so much happens at the same time. I totally would have picked this up too. I’m such a sucker for a Beauty and the Beast retelling.
    Wonderful review!

  3. Nathan

    I am really curious about this dark Beauty and the Beast tale. I need to give it a try and see how Benella deals with her challenges and adventures.

      • Nathan

        I just finished reading Depravity, Benella’s world is hard and does have a number of “bad humans” in it. She has great negotiating skills provided the person she is talking to can reason. But how far can she reason with the beast in the next books? Can she undo the curse on the beast?

  4. kimbacaffeinate

    It’s like watching one of those gross videos don’t like it but you keep looking. I see how conflicted you were. I am a total sucker for B and the B, so yeah I get the appeal and love the darker aspects

    • Jennifer Bielman

      LOL, that sex was kind of hot, but messed up because it was in front of the nymphs boyfriend and the nymph really had no choice. Yeah, messed up.

  5. Melissa (My words and pages)

    Hmm. And it’s part 1. So there’s more to come. Maybe the beast transforms as the parts come. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!

    • Jennifer Bielman

      I feel really bad for the nymph. And for the girl, I read some reviews of the next book and it’s not good for you.

  6. Melliane

    Oh it’s too bad about the Beast but I always love a good retelling and this one looks quite well done! I’m always really curious!

  7. Jaclyn Canada

    I love a good retelling, but I think I’ll pass on this one. The Beast having no redeemable qualities and the constant threat of rape would get annoying to me. Thanks for a great review!

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