Beasts of Prey by Ayana Gray Book Review
Beasts of Prey by Ayana Gray Book Review is here! This book immediately caught my eye; the title, the cover, everything about it screamed: “read me”! I typically read a lot of fantasy, mythology, and young adult books, so I was hooked once I knew the genre, and I was sold after I read the synopsis. I am so excited to share my reading experience with you all!
In the city of Lkossa, magic doesn’t exist. Or, at least, not anymore. Koffi has spent years as an indentured servant in the Night Zoo alongside her mother. When she finally has a chance at freedom, one mistake costs her more than just that. Ekon has always dreamed of becoming a Son of the Six. He is well on his way until a chance encounter with Koffi ruins any chance he had of joining the ranks his father once fought for. Both determined to set their life back on track, they take on the task everyone else has deemed impossible; find the Shetani. The beast takes the lives of countless innocents in Lkossa, and Koffi and Ekon must complete their task without also becoming one of it’s victims. Together, they set off to fix both of their destinies, but along the way, they realize their future holds more than they planned for.
I loved this book! First off, the author did an outstanding job with the worldbuilding. Gray used history from the entire continent of Africa instead of focusing on just one region. She pulled different cultures, religions, and folklore to help her create the story. This made the entire plotline, the plethora of characters, and all the beasts so much better than I could have even deigned to imagine. Aside from that, she also used some of the bookish world’s favorite tropes; enemies to lovers, the chosen one, a grand quest, and more.
Halfway through, I got a sense of déjà vu, and then I realized the story was playing out a lot like the Percy Jackson series!
From the found family to the epic quest, even the deities helping them along their journey, I was experiencing one of my favorite stories in a whole new light. Gray wrote this book in such a style that while the storylines may be similar, they are different in all the best ways.
From the beginning, I knew these characters were special. They have all experienced trauma, heartache, and the loss of loved ones. It took me a couple of chapters to even realize she had beautifully written in a character as neurodivergent! I don’t see it often in young adult or fantasy books, and it is even less often written this well. Aside from that, the character development throughout the book was incredible and realistic.
They still had setbacks and betrayal of trust, but they came out stronger in the end. This always resonates with me, as I know from personal experience that change is not linear. The book ends with both Koffi and Ekon suffering their own life-altering experience, leaving the reader at the perfect cliffhanger. Luckily for me, and hopefully for all of you, the second book came out just a few days ago, on July 26, 2022! You’ll be hearing from me again when I get my hands on Beasts of Ruin.
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