Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance
Read: 9th – 13th November 2017
My Goodreads Rating: 5 Stars
So, before we get into what I thought about this book, I want you to know that I was lucky enough to be given a digital version of this book for free from the publisher (St Martin’s Press) after making a request via Netgally.com in exchange for an honest review.
The Hardcover and audio CD can be bought from 14th November 2017 I’m unsure when the paperback and digital versions will be available.
Thanks for the advance copy.
…So what’s this book about?
Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance is a standalone novel (approximately 352 pages) that would sit happily within the literary fiction, urban fantasy and/or magical realism genres and quite possibly the young adult genre too due to the lack of any explicit 18+ content.
If you’ve read any of my reviews before, you’ll know that I don’t post spoilers of any kind or reveal any plot twists in my book reviews, so here’s what the official blurb has to say about the story:
Orphaned, raised by wolves, and the proud owner of a horned pig named Merlin, Weylyn Grey knew he wasn’t like other people. But when he single-handedly stopped that tornado on a stormy Christmas day in Oklahoma, he realized just how different he actually was.
That tornado was the first of many strange events that seem to follow Weylyn from town to town, although he doesn’t like to take credit. As amazing as these powers may appear, they tend to manifest themselves at inopportune times and places. From freak storms to trees that appear to grow over night, Weylyn’s unique abilities are a curiosity at best and at worst, a danger to himself and the woman he loves. But Mary doesn’t care. Since Weylyn saved her from an angry wolf on her eleventh birthday, she’s known that a relationship with him isn’t without its risks, but as anyone who’s met Weylyn will tell you, once he wanders into your life, you’ll wish he’d never leave.
Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance tells the story of Weylyn Grey’s life from the perspectives of the people who knew him, loved him, and even a few who thought he was just plain weird. Although he doesn’t stay in any of their lives for long, he leaves each of them with a story to tell. Stories about a boy who lives with wolves, great storms that evaporate into thin air, fireflies that make phosphorescent honey, and a house filled with spider webs and the strange man who inhabits it.
There is one story, however, that Weylyn wishes he could change: his own. But first he has to muster enough courage to knock on Mary’s front door.
In this warm debut novel, Ruth Emmie Lang teaches us about adventure and love in a beautifully written story full of nature and wonder.
So, what did I like about it?
As a début author, Ms Lang has set the bar high with this novel; I found both her plot involving and her characters engaging (even the ones that were hard to stomach). I liked the way she paced her tale, how she balanced the emotional scenes with more light-hearted/humorous ones and the sprinkling of unexplainable events (magic) that can be found throughout.
I like that Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance gives us snapshots of Weylyn Grey’s life, from when he was a boy through into adulthood, to his present day existence, however, I never felt lost in the epic timeline as Ms Lang clearly titles each story (book) with when and where the events to follow take place. What I thought was unique, was the fact that we see these events not though Weylyn’s eyes (our main character) but from two “supporting” characters that were there at the time; this also allows us the opportunity to understand how Weylyn impacted their life. But fret not, lovely followers, Ms Lang ensures that we don’t get lost by allowing each character clearly labelled chapters within each story (book) to describe their account.
Oh, and as I’m waxing lyrical about the characters, I also loved the fact that Ms Lang spent as much time crafting her supporting cast as she obviously did for Weylyn. As you can imagine, some characters play bigger parts than others in the overall tale and although we may only get a glimpse into their lives, thoughts, hopes and aspirations, every single one was included to highlight a specific purpose. I embraced the fact that certain scenes really made me stop and think about the way we view and treat others who are different from ourselves in our, so call, civilized society.
Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance made me both laugh and cry, the gentle mystery of Weylyn’s powers delighted my intellect, the emotional journey pulled my heart strings, I was charmed by Weylyn’s animal companions as well as his innocence and view of the world and I couldn’t wait to find out what would happen next to this amazing individual.
So, ummm, was there anything I disliked about it?
Nope, nothing. (Hence the 5 star rating.)
So, basically what I’m saying is…
I fell in love with this novel!
Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance had everything that I look for in a 5 star book; intelligent writing style that’s easy to read, main characters with depth of personality that I can like (or love to hate) and believe in, depth of character in the supporting cast, believable background story/setting (even when there’s magic involved) and a balanced mix of relationship – platonic or romance – scenes to scenes with action. I was left utterly charmed wondering where Ms Lang would take us next.
So, has my review of BEASTS OF EXTRAORDINARY CIRCUMSTANCE encouraged you to find out more? Just click on any of the links below to check out the book yourself, find out more about the author or to see the books I’ve read, take a look at my profile on Goodreads.
See BEASTS OF EXTRAORDINARY CIRCUMSTANCE on Goodreads.com