I can’t remember the last time I was so utterly charmed and delighted by a story. Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance reads like a middle grade novel for adults, and I need more books like this one in my life. There is a wholesome, wonderful innocence to the story that won me over immediately. I’ve never been a fan of the word “precious,” but that term perfectly describes Lang’s debut novel.
I’m a sucker for stories in which nature is a main character, and that is definitely the case here. Lang does a marvelous job describing the natural world. The way in which she presents forests, and wolves, and storms, and bees is simply lovely. Everything in this book, whether human or fauna or flora, is bursting with character.
Weylyn is an absolute treasure who needs to be protected at all costs. He’s charming and innocent and kind and selfless and incredibly loving, and I adore him. I just wanted to adopt him. But though his life is a bit of a mess, he does come across good people who love him for and in spite of his inexplicable uniqueness.
This is the kind of magical realism that I love. The story takes place in our world, but with one major difference: Weylyn. All of the unusual and uncanny events center around and siphon through him. There is never an explanation given for how or why he is the way he is, and I was totally okay with that. The mystery is part of the magic. With the right casting, I think this could be a brilliant movie.
Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance is one of those rare books that I could comfortably recommend to just about anyone. It’s light in tone with plenty of depth, it’s relatively clean, and it’s concise. I read it in roughly 48 hours or so. But more than anything, it was a delightful breath of fresh air during a difficult year. It’s definitely worth your time.
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