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Black Beast (Shadow Thane, #1) by Nenia…
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Black Beast (Shadow Thane, #1)

by Nenia Campbell

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It takes a lot for me, and i mean a lot to pick up an young adult novel. No i am not that old that i can't relate, it's just that i am tired of reading bubbly, high-school drama crap.

Let's start this review off by listing the things this novel didn't have.

1. A female lead that bemoaned her paranormalcy, wishing for a more humane existence.

2. The above mentioned female focusing all her struggles on first kisses and prom.

3. A friend who she was crushing on since, like, foeva. And! Finaly when they get it on....

4. A super-sexy 'new guy' in her class, that appeared out of thin air and has a distinctively European name, that matches his distinctively expensive European car, and his distinctively designer European leather jacket. All of this is necessary, of course, as it is a deflection method to avert interested individuals from his 'dark and troubled' and slightly 'unusual' past.

5. A triangle of such epic proportions that would make the one in Bermuda piss it's pants.

Nop....none of that....refreshingly this young adult, urban fantasy novel had something more.....a story!

This particular story is about a young woman named Catherine, who happens to be a shapeshifter, with a slight defect. She hasn't truly found her form, and as it is customary to have your form by the time you hit your puberty, this leaves Christine isolated in her shifter community. Since in this world all the paranorms are still in the proverbial closet, it leaves her feeling and behaving like a freak.

The shifter community is bound by tight laws set in place to curb their behavior and minimize any potential exposure to the general public. These laws are implemented by witches, who are shifters natural enemies.

Christine is young, happy, a bit of a rule breaker, and something in her family line causes her to get the attention of the chief enforcer of the witches council.

Finn....The more then 'slightly' sexually deviant witch with enough emotional baggage to sink the Titanic. Twice. Who happens to have a thing for furry young things. (Sounds dirty????Good, because it is!)

From there the story explodes in five different directions, packed with non stop action. There is a book involved,dark magic to the core. There are assassins and car cashes. There is a dark demonic presence invading dreams. Also there is a kitten.....that poops where it should!

Once again Campbell delivers a book that is truly entertaining and different, with characters that live their life in the gray area.They are not walking pillars of virtue and they are not evil, mustache twirling masterminds. Depending on the situation, they feel a wide array of emotions good or bad.It gives them so much more then those dreaded two dimensions.

....bit bummed at this point that there is yet no solid release date on the sequel, but good things come to those who wait. ( )
  IvieHill | Aug 6, 2015 |
Read more reviews at The Beautiful World of Books!

"Catherine would have had to break the oath she had made to herself so long ago, when she heard the tales of atrocities committed by her kind: that she would never hunt a human - ever.

All because the little shithead wanted to get lucky."



I've decided to keep the solid 3 star rating, because it means "I liked it". Which I did. Immensely.

However, I didn't like it as much as dear Nenia's other works, which is a bummer. I don't know why, it might be because I enjoy her suspense/thriller stories more than this one, which is paranormal/supernatural.

This is what I liked:

- The premise. Catherine Pierce is a shape-shifter who hasn't quite 'settled' yet. Considering she should have settled years ago, in her community this makes her a 'freak'. Someone you should steer clear from, because they're not normal. The premise is exciting and new - you not only have a 'freak' shape-shifter, but you also have an evil witch and his familiar, someone who's trying to killer who isn't the witch; there's black magic, folklore, legends and a beautifully written prophecy which is all yet to unfold. Exciting!

-Catherine Pierce. I loved her. She's sassy, rebellious and refuses to back down. She does what she wants and tries to live her freedom to the fullest, without breaking any Laws (which is difficult).

-The Pierce family. This is what I love about Nenia. She writes books about teenagers whose families are actually present. We get a good insight to Catherine's home life with her brother and parents.

-David.Because he turns into a cute raccoon and who doesn't like raccoons?!Because he's sexy. Sexy, smexy. And nice, obviously. *winks pervertedly*

-The writing. It flows beautifully, reels you in and keeps you trapped until you've finished devouring it. If it hadn't been for the fact that I had to work, I'm sure I would've finished Black Beast that same day. I adored the prophecy and the legends/history of the witches and shape-shifters. The information was scattered loosely enough for me to be absorbed by the story and learn at the same time, but not enough to bore someone to tears, which is always a plus.


What I didn't like:

-Sharon, Catherine's friend. She reminded me of my enemy back when I attended school. She's the polar opposite of Catherine, but not in a good way: she's annoying and mean and I didn't like how she constantly called Catherine a bitch or a skank. *Angry face* Catherine needs a better friend.

-The insta-relationship. David and Catherine had only really been talking properly for a week before they were smooching and becoming an item. After their history, I would've liked a bit more build-up before it officially happened, especially since we only see David two or three times in the book.

-Nothing really happened. Don't get me wrong, this isn't necessarily a BAD thing. I know there's going to be more books, so the first one is sort of filler - meet the characters, the premise, learn more about the prophecy/history, give it a nice build-up. However throughout the story I was waiting for something to happen, but apart from a bit of tussling with a witch and releasing a bunch of crickets, nothing happened.

-The goddamn cliffhanger. Screw you, Nenia. You and your damn cliffhangers! I was going to read the second one anyway, but now... no pressure. But I kinda need the second book real fast. *wink wink* No, cliffhangers also aren't necessarily a bad thing, but I'm such an impatient person. Damn waiting!

Overall, I liked this book and can't wait to read the second one. So a solid three stars it is.

PS

Seriously. Don't get on my bad side. ( )
  Aly_Locatelli | Jan 26, 2015 |
A paranormal novel about a rebellious female shape-shifter shunned for her attitude, behavior and inability to settle into a specific form. She comes into possession of a mysterious book which results in her becoming the target of witches, vampires, and hunters. It is the first book in the Shadow Thane series.

Black Beast is an interesting paranormal novel that shows great promise as a developing series. The magic system is a nice mixture of familiar and different. The basic information needed was revealed and hinted at developing attributes to be explained later on in the series.

The world building had an interesting interpretation of paranormal politics, genetics, origin and social structure. Meanwhile a majority of the human population is unaware of the paranormal entities that they coexist with increasing the need for secrecy.

The characters were interesting as they came to terms with trying to have a dual existence. I enjoyed reading the internal personal and paranormal conflict that the two main characters struggled with.

The story had a strong introduction that had dynamic paranormal aspects. The story became more elusive with providing information as new elements were introduced. Laying the framework for futures stories to come.

The focus shifted to the main character enabling her to further develop as well as to establish another character. The story created a good foundation for the series to build upon.

Black Beast is a paranormal novel with an intriguing magic system and dramatic world building that promises to develop further throughout the series. I look forward to reading forthcoming books. ( )
  eloquent_codex | Apr 14, 2014 |
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