I suppose I should start by saying that technically this wasn’t technically a bad book there was just very, very little in The Beast Call. The protagonist of The Beast Call is the young woman Dray Rena, who reluctantly follows her brother into battle after she runs away from an arranged marriage. Her main purpose is to protect her brother from getting into too much trouble but ends up becoming quite the warrior in her own right with a gift to talk to animals.
I expected quite a lot from this novel with such an interesting storyline but unfortunately that was not to be. The novel was disappointing thanks to a very linear storyline, with very little in the way of character development or side storylines. The storyline is the generic fight the bad guy scenario but it seems a bit too smooth, too quick and lacks any defining events that really make it different.
Dray flits from one event to the other with very little to challenge her and most of her thoughts being on her brother. Your few snatches of the political situation or other characters’ concerns are brief and used only to help give you a sense that something is happening. There are several moments in the novel that could lead to potential storylines which would develop the ‘cause’ or even various characters but these have little impact on the story and seem to be brief and fleeting. Dray’s mastery of her gifts is also somewhat bland as the few times she rarely takes the time to learn about her gift, thus resulting in some disappointing scenes when she does actually use it.
A particular mention has to be made of the ending. While the ending itself was very good but it felt somewhat empty and unsatisfying after such a straightforward storyline. The novel appears to be a standalone fantasy novel, which was quite surprising. With a story such as this I was half expecting for there to be some indication of a possible sequel.
The Beast Call could have been a great story with the potential to have a storyline that would span several books but the short and narrow storyline prevents it from being a good young adult book. Even for a series in the fantasy genre The Beast Call falls short of being a good introductory book. Unfortunately I wouldn’t recommend this book unless you want something very quick to read and if you don’t mind there being a lack of substance to a book.
Review by Anna Sheldrick
The Beast Call
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