Title: The Beast of Talesend
Series: Beaumont & Beasley (Book I)
Genre: Fantasy Adventure
Release Date: January 16, 2017
Descriptive Blurb: Private eye Nathaniel Beasley lives in a world where fairy tales ended a long time ago – where zeppelins now soar the skies instead of dragons, and where the first automobiles have taken the place of flying carpets. He’s made a name for himself across the Afterlands by debunking fake magicians and exposing fraudulent monsters. This is the modern age, after all. Magic and monsters are long gone. At least, that’s what Nathaniel believes. Until he gets magically transformed into a monster, that is. The only person who may be able to help Nathaniel is Lady Cordelia Beaumont, one of the last enchantresses in the Afterlands. But in order for her to cure him, they’ll have to retrieve a powerful artifact from a ruthless crime lord – who is also Cordelia’s father. The fate of the Afterlands lies in the hands of a runaway enchantress and a monstrous ex-detective. What could possibly go wrong?
“A Rare Gem”
My Impressions: OMG, I love this book. Written in 1st person POV (which I usually hate), but here I barely even noticed. Ironically, I think the main character’s casual and rather comical narrative style is perfectly nuanced for this particular story. The book has a light tone…almost to the point of being a spoof, but in a good way.
The Romance Angle: There’s definitely a potential for some romance. Nothing notable evolved within this book, but there’s some set up, I think. I hesitate to make any predictions because the world the author creates is so completely off-the-wall and non-typical until it could go either way. I like Nick…and I adore Cordelia. I mean, I could just as easily see them evolve into more of a partner-esque relationship. I’m not even sure I have a preference, frankly. As long as they continue to be written with the same panache in future books as they were in this one, I’m a happy camper. (And that’s really something coming from me, because I have a strong preference for romantic storylines. But this book is definitive proof that a well written story, with a strong female character can be just as compelling even without an overt romance developing.)
The Real Lowdown: The world that the author creates in very unique…and interesting. The characters are atypical, and nicely written…Nick is a cynical non-believer in fairy tales. Crispin is his lovable slacker brother, Cordelia is a bit of a bumbling enchantress and then there’s her dad, the evil king. On the surface they may seem simple and flat, but not so much…Nick and Crispin’s sibling relationship has depth…As does Cordelia’s dysfunctional father-daughter connection. I could not predict anything that happened or what the characters would do. Even the humor often came as a surprise. Cordelia is a hoot and a half. (Nick gets props, too) About 90% of the humor (esp. Cordelia) is totally unexpected, which is what makes it so hilarious. Cordelia is my favorite character…I don’t even know how to describe her except to say that she wears many hats. All the humor was dry and sarcastic… a fav of mine. And it works well in this setting too. I mean, we’re in a fairytale land and they’re poking fun at some of the most beloved and well-known childhood fables (Snow White, Beauty & The Beast, etc)…And at the same time the author reworks them to provide some new and interesting twists. Bottomline, the book is an amicable fantasy adventure that doesn’t take itself too seriously and its all the better for that reason.
Extra Touch: Foliage plays a huge part in the story (never thought I’d say that about any book I read, but there it is.) There are some vivid descriptions, which quite literally leap off the page. In one scene, I felt like I was walking through an evil Garden of Eden…the plants have a life of their own! It’s both fun and creepy at the same time. In a lot of ways, the foliage itself was the main villain in this story…and it stole every scene it was in, quite frankly. I Love it!
Minor Beefs: A few insignificant typos and one or two grammatical things…but they are rare and easily ignored. I honestly cannot find anything to complain about with this book. It’s taken me by surprise.
Cliffhanger: Not in the normal sense. The central conflict is wrapped up. But it’s not the usual “and they lived happily ever after” ending…Thank goodness. I won’t spoil, except to say, that there were a few issues left over which, I assume, will be fodder for Book 2…which I definitely want to read.
The Verdict: Great Book, and a true gem. (with cool points for creativity.)
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Kyle Robert Shultz began writing in his early teens after being bitten by a radioactive book. As a Christian, he strives to write fiction that is entertaining and wholesome, but devoid of overt “messages” or agendas. He lives in the wilds of southern Idaho, removed far enough from civilization to keep humanity safe should any of his rough drafts break through the electric fence. Aside from writing, his other passions are worship music, digital art, horseback riding, and raising miniature sheep.
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