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Beasts Made of Night by Tochi Onyebuchi ARC {3.5 Stars}

Beasts Made of Night by Tochi Onyebuchi ARC {3.5 Stars}

Beasts Made of Night by Tochi Onyebuchi
Published by Razorbill on Oct. 31st, 2017
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Page Length: 304 pages
How I got my copy: Borrowed
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In the walled city of Kos, corrupt mages can magically call forth sin from a sinner in the form of sin-beasts – lethal creatures spawned from feelings of guilt.

Taj is the most talented of the aki, young sin-eaters indentured by the mages to slay the sin-beasts. But Taj’s livelihood comes at a terrible cost. When he kills a sin-beast, a tattoo of the beast appears on his skin while the guilt of committing the sin appears on his mind. Most aki are driven mad by the process, but 17-year-old Taj is cocky and desperate to provide for his family.

When Taj is called to eat a sin of a royal, he’s suddenly thrust into the center of a dark conspiracy to destroy Kos. Now Taj must fight to save the princess that he loves – and his own life.

A gritty Nigerian-influenced fantasy.

3.5 Stars

Note: I received an advanced copy of Beasts Made of Night from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version.

Strengths:

  • Sin-eating magic! Beasts Made of Night explores how an entire society could revolve around sins showing on people’s skin and the nobility’s quest to remain pure of sin by forcing sin-eaters to carry their sins instead.
  • Onyebuchi clearly takes inspiration for the setting from places other than the stereotypical magical pseudo-European fantasy village. There are references to Islam such as halal and stopping to pray many times during the day. While nothing explicitly states that this city practices Islam, it is in the background the same as Christianity is often in the background in many fantasy stories.
  • The sins show up as animals that are apparently dependent on what type of sin caused them, hence the title and gorgeous cover.
  • While none of the characters stood out as a favorite, I really enjoyed getting to know many of the secondary characters and found them interesting in their own ways.

Weaknesses:

  • There isn’t really an ending? It sort of just feels like the story got chopped off because otherwise it would be too long….
  • There isn’t a traditional plot arc, which I’m fine with from an objective viewpoint, but made my reading experience less enjoyable and less satisfying.
  • We don’t get a lot of details about the magic and world despite those details being relevant to the story. Which sins look like which animals? No idea beyond maybe one. What is going on with the nobility? No idea, they are just clearly evil.

I’ll definitely be reading the sequel, mostly because it feels like I stopped a really great book halfway through.

 

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
– Anya

 

Beasts Made of Night by Tochi Onyebuchi

© 2017, Anya. All rights reserved.

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