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Monday, 2 March 2015

Blood Beast by Darren Shan (Demonata, #5) - Book Review

5/5 Stars

Unleash the monster...

861539

Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 262
Chapters: 17
Publisher: HarperCollins

Book Links: Goodreads
                      Amazon
                      Author's Website

Review

And yet another punch to the gut! Blood Beast is a smashing read. It's still as potent as the first time I read it. We're back with Grubbs in the modern world, and boy are things steaming up there, in all the worst ways. You can just feel and taste that something massive is on the horizon, and this entry to the series beats down our characters to the point where even the reader is doubtful if they'll be able to face the coming darkness. With sharp plotting and ever-evolving characters, what does the world of The Demonata hold in store?

Sensations. I can tell you that.

SPOILER WARNING


Grubbs has been through more than most.
Hell, he's been through that times ten.
But when something dark and predatory awakes within him, he's more scared than ever before.
It's the curse, the curse that will turn him into a monster he doesn't want to be, and it's the one thing he isn't sure he can fight.
Only there are worse things plotting behind the scenes.
And Grubbs might not be able to face them with enough strength to win...

Blood Beast is, simply put, fantastic. The story twists and turns in ways you not only don't expect, but can't believe can actually happen. It's fast, filled to the brim, and reminds me once again why I fell in love with reading. To escape to such a world, pumped full of magic and adrenaline, is the very definition of the word escapism.

Grubbs is also put forward as our main, main character. It's his viewpoint we see from the most in this series, and that's a strong point. He's the most layered character, the most likable, while also having some drawbacks that keep him human. Plus he rocks that whole tortured, reluctant hero thing I'm a sucker for. In this entry we get a true glimpse into how magic and his own curse affect his 'normal' life. It's touched upon in previous books, but now we see first hand the balance he's trying to strike, his need to hide in the unremarkable.

I was worried for him in this instalment. His friendship with a bully verges on turning the reader against him, but thankfully that line is never crossed. It almost overwhelms his hero-like nature. Though in retrospect it works in line with the story, keeping everything very human and tethered to reality, which in turn stops the story flying off in a direction we can't really follow.

I hate Loch. His death doesn't impact me at all.

Poor Bill-E though. He's shown as timid and in a small way a coward, but it's these things along with what he's been through that reveal how truly strong he is. It's different from Grubbs's strength, extremely subtle, but nonetheless there.

It's Bill-E who highlights probably the biggest theme in Blood Beast: Where do we fit in the world? A thought that occurs to most of our characters is their own self-identity, and where they'll end up in life, the people they'll become. It's an awesome theme, that I feel doesn't just apply to teenagers or the younger generation. We're always reinventing ourselves, always learning a little more as we grow that causes us to change. Then there are the choices we're presented with throughout our lives, and how our decisions will shape us.

It's that that further cements my feeling that, although these novels are marketed for young adults, an adult could easily pick them up without any barriers.

Heck, look at me, even though I can be a bit biased...

But that cliffhanger ending with Juni? Warm, loving, sweet Juni?

All it needed was a To Be Continued...

Oh wait, we get that.

Time to grab the next!


Previous Instalment: BEC
Next Instalment: Demon Apocalypse


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