My initial first response in reading this book was sheer childlike glee and excitement.
It has been a LONG time since I dove into a Fantasy novel, especially by a new author, and loved every moment of it.
There were snippets here that reminded me a bit of the Kingkiller Chronicles by Patrick Rothfuss. I feel like especially the elements toward the end where a certain young character is introduced who believed in magic.
I especially like that the narration of this entire novel all the way up until toward the end featured characters talking about our main character and we didn’t get a peek into his perspective until the second to last pov change.
I really enjoyed getting to learn about each of the lives of those telling their views and not only how Weylyn was part of their lives, but also how it was when he wasn’t. (A difficult feat even for some seasoned authors and here Lang knocks it out of the park in her debut work? Bravo!) I also was a big fan of how the relationship dynamics were portrayed from the various perspectives. The way Weylyn affected the lives of those both close (and not) without even really knowing he had was intriguing to me. I also enjoyed the pig. (No spoilers, but that pig should have had more page time!)
I loved that in reading this it felt real and nailing that magical realism aspect while also adding in small humor was a strength here.
If there were any drawbacks to be had in my humble opinion, it would be the overuse at times of analogy and similes. That may just have been my own personal preference as a reader though, I’m not quite sure. It felt a bit too much at times to me is all.
I would highly recommend this one to adults as it feels like a magic story on par with the greats out there all compacted into one lengthy but worth it epic wild-ride that kept me hooked from beginning to end! If you are looking for a light, fun, and engaging read with a bit of magic thrown in? This one is a winner for sure!
Page Count: 352
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Expected Publication Date: November 7, 2017
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.