DNF: Ink and Bone  My Thoughts: Six of Crows My Thoughts: A Darker Shade of Magic My Thoughts: Quake

Monday, August 5, 2013

[Review] The Beast Within, by Catherine MacPhail

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (2 April 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747582696
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747582694
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 19.7 cm
  • "Ram has cheated death - four times. Who is so desperate to kill him? And why? On the run, Ram finds himself on desolate moorland. He knows he is being stalked, but this time by something less than human ...Ram is rescued by the seemingly generous and kind William and Mary. But his relief fades to suspicion and fear when, on learning he has no memory, they insist on calling him Noel. Ram is full of doubt. He has no memory of who he is, but he knows he is not Noel - doesn't he? And odd memories start to surface. Memories of guns, rifles, explosions. Strange phrases seem to ring bells. Why does Ram feel in his gut that his secret past is not just vitally important to him, but could have even global significance? Macphail brilliantly sets the clues and racks up the tension in the second of this four-part instalment about Ram and his deadly opponent, the Dark Man. As the series evolves it will be revealed that there is a global terrorist coup being plotted and Ram - unknowingly - holds the secret and the ability to prevent it. Will he realise in time - or will the Dark Man get to him first?"-Amazon
  • _____
My Thoughts:
At first; I thought the main character was abducted by a pair of lunatics. 
Between Uncle William's creepy smiles, and the odd excitement of finding a boy with no ID, I was fully convinced that I somehow got the wrong book.

But alas, that's not the case; and in came the all-devouring mystery of Noel Christie. Or as I like to call it, the irrelevant conundrum that possessed the novel's soul - and held it hostage.
The mystery of Noel Christie has absolutely nothing to do with the core problem of the series, or anything else vital to the novel's success. Its an off hand puzzle that absorbed the novels being; essentially making The Beast Within a giant detour.

Along with the mystery of Noel Christie, there was another problem spontaneously inserted into the plot. The issue of the Beast, who coincidentally happens to be a ravaging animal killing off innocent civilians.
This "creature" was not fully explained in the Beast Within, and I'm still left with questions as to what it is. I am unsure if this was purposeful (as the Beast might make an appearance in later books), or because the author wanted the reader to create their own ending to the Beast problem.

I am now convinced that the reason why I didn't like this novel is because it is for a younger age group. According to the author this series is YA, yet I found it to be an odd mix of both. The plot itself was something you would expect from - lets say a 4th grader novel. However the writing and thickness of the book, suggest it would be somewhere in the 6th grade area.

If you add up those problems, with the lack luster motives behind Uncle William's child-abduction, I was left rather nonchalant over The Beast Within. I will not be buying the sequel.

Rating: 2.8/5
What To expect?
  • Mystery
  • The Dark Man
  • Teachers
  • An Unknown Beast
  • _____

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