REVIEW: BEASTS OF EXTRAORDINARY CIRCUMSTANCE By Ruth Emmie Lang

Posted January 23, 2018 by Renee / 32 Comments

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Published Nov. 2017 By St. Martin’s Press

Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance tells the story of Weylyn Grey’s life from the perspectives of the people who knew him, loved him, and even a few who thought he was just plain weird. Although he doesn’t stay in any of their lives for long, he leaves each of them with a story to tell. Stories about a boy who lives with wolves, great storms that evaporate into thin air, fireflies that make phosphorescent honey, and a house filled with spider webs and the strange man who inhabits it.

There is one story, however, that Weylyn wishes he could change: his own. In this warm debut novel, Ruth Emmie Lang teaches us about adventure and love in a beautifully written story full of nature and wonder.

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As many of you know, I’ve had a run of 2018 reads that haven’t worked for me lately and I’ve been dying for something to come along and sweep me away, compel me to stay up late and create that excited feeling of ‘I can’t wait to get home and read.’ I’m happy to say Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance has been that book! I don’t even know where I came across this book…Goodreads perhaps…but there was something about the synopsis that drew me in because really…this isn’t my typical type of read but it’s EXACTLY what I needed right now. Don’t you love it when just the right book comes along?

So what’s it about you might be asking and here’s the thing…I’m not going to tell you too much about the plot because this is a story best experienced by knowing as little as you possibly can before starting. Just trust that you’re going to experience a magical, original, charming story of love, friendship, and fate. This is ultimately the story of one man, Weylyn Grey, who we first encounter at his birth before quickly moving ahead several years to his childhood when he’s an orphan living in the woods with wolves. I was immediately captivated with Weylyn, so much so that I didn’t quite care where the story went, I just hoped he made it out of each situation with his essence still intact. I haven’t felt this invested in a character since Cyril Avery from The Heart’s Invisible Furies (my top pick of 2017)! In fact, this book reminded me of Heart’s in the way it was structured as well as how it made me feel. Similar to how Heart’s was set up, I loved that, through the years,  we got to meet many different characters who in some way were connected to Weylyn; some who resurfaced later in the story and others who became friends we never saw again.

I want to gush a little here about the fact that I thought the writing in this story was just beautiful! From the language, to the flow, to the dialogue…to me it was all brilliant. One of my favorite passages was made by Weylyn toward the end and made me literally smile while on the elliptical….

“I’ve been called magic, but I wouldn’t use that term exactly. I like to think of myself as always being in the right place at the right time, or the wrong place at the wrong time. Very rarely am I simply in an acceptable place at a generally convenient time.” 

By the middle of the book I had decided I was immediately seeking out Ruth Emmie Lang’s backlist and reading whatever she’s wrote only to discover this is a debut! Incredible is all I can say, and please write as fast as possible Ruth Emmie Lang because I’ll be first in line for your next book. Can you tell I loved this one? One final thought…yes, there’s a certain amount of suspension of disbelief required in this story and if you aren’t in the mood for magic, communication with animals, and strange weather phenomena then maybe this won’t be for you but if you’re willing to take a chance on a wonderful, charming story you just might be rewarded with your next favorite read. I’m calling this one now for myself…this will have a place in my top 10 reads of 2018!

 

32 responses to “REVIEW: BEASTS OF EXTRAORDINARY CIRCUMSTANCE By Ruth Emmie Lang

  1. Susie | Novel Visits

    Wow! High praise indeed. I have to admit this is a book I’ve really heard nothing about, but the fact that you liked it so much AND that you’re putting it up there with THIF really has me intrigued. Suspension of disbelief can sometimes be difficult for me, but I’m going to take a closer look at Beasts. Great review!

    • Thanks Susie, I have to say when I initially came across this book I wasn’t sure I’d try it but after my string of bad/mediocre reads lately I was ready for something different and the way the story is told.. I had no trouble whatsoever suspending my disbelief. I’ll be here to chat if you read it:)

  2. Oh, my gosh! What a glowing recommendation, Renee! I have heard some great things about this one, via some of the readers I follow on Instagram; thanks to this review, I may need to add this one to my next Book of the Month shipment, since it was a previous selection of theirs. You’ve sold me!

  3. Oh, Jeeze. Ordering this very moment. There goes my January reading list. But if you’re even mention this book on the same page at The Heart’s, I must read it!

    • I’m thrilled…and a little nervous that you ordered it:) ..I hope you love it as much as I did! It’s different than Heart’s as far as type of story of course but I felt for Weylyn like I did Cyril and the fact that it spanned decades reminded me of it as well. Let’s chat about it if you do read it!

      • I love the description and I think I know what you mean – that the book elicited similar emotions? I often find myself comparing books that are totally dissimilar in plot or genre because of the way they make me feel. In fact, I’ve been toying with the idea of trying to incorporate those feelings into my reviews. It’s kind of tough though because it won’t be exactly like a recommendation “for fans of” a certain author or book. Does that make any sense at all?

        • It does, and while I didn’t have the same all encompassing love that I did for Cyril and Heart’s this is still the first book that made me feel similar towards the character since I read Heart’s in Aug. Maybe we need to do a feelings post…books that elicited similar feelings in
          us🤔

  4. Wonderful review, the book seems so original and I do like a “magic” touch every now and then so… 🙂 So happy you loved it!

  5. I hadn’t come across this one until your review but you’re so enthusiastic about it that I’m going to track it down. Isn’t it the best thing when you find a book at exactly the right time for you, that does what you were looking for it do? (Even if you didn’t know that at the time!)

    • Yes it’s fantastic and you put it perfectly because I never thought I wanted to read a book with magic about a boy who lives with wolves but I knew as soon as I started this that I loved it!

  6. This sounds amazing Renee. I am glad that you decided to try out something new and it ended up being such a great read. The book reminds me a little of Once Upon A Time(TV Show) perhaps because of the magical elements. It sounds great!

  7. Ti

    The cover grabs me for some reason which is a pretty good indicator that I will read it someday. Gosh, I love a good cover.

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