Reviewed: April 23rd, 2022
Released: March 3rd, 2022
Genre: YA Magical Fantasy
Magic doesn’t exist in the broken city of Lkossa anymore, especially for girls like sixteen-year-old Koffi. Indentured to the notorious Night Zoo, she cares for its fearsome mythical creatures to pay off her family’s debts. But when they are threatened by the Zoo’s cruel master, Koffi unleashes a power she doesn’t fully understand.
As the son of a decorated hero, Ekon destined to become an elite warrior. Until a fire at the Night Zoo upends his future and, on the brink of his final rite of passage, Ekon is cast out – his reputation left in tatters.
For Koffi and Ekon, the outlook is bleak – unless they can capture the Shetani, the vicious monster that plagues their city. As Koffi and Ekon enter the Greater Jungle, a world steeped in wild magic and danger, the tentative alliance between them is tested to the extreme.
The hunt begins – but are they the hunters or the hunted?
Helen’s thoughts: 5/5
Enter a magical world full of vicious creatures and impenetrable jungles. Enter and it’s unlikely you will return.
Beast of Prey is a wondeful debut novel from Ayana Gray, introducing us to a rich and vibrant world full of flawed and misled people. Koffi is indentured to the Night Zoo and is desparate to be free to make her own choices. Ekon is desparate to dedicate his life to the Sons of the Six and bind himself into their service, but fate intervenes and the adventure begins.
Both Koffi and Ekon are wonderfully flawed characters with their own issues to resolve, Kofii to stop and think on occasion instead of diving straight in. Ekon to overcome his deep guilt and anxiety, and to free himself enough to actually relax.
This book is beautifully written, creating a rich environment with wonderful characters that drawn you in. There was one time jump towards the end of the book which could have been smoother, it confused me to begin with until I realised it wasn’t Ekon dreaming but actually happening. But that is a minor nitpick.
I love the twist on the title, very clever. I won’t say as I don’t want to spoil it, but you’ll understand once you’ve read the book. I can’t wait for the sequel, Beasts of Ruin, which is due out July 28th, 2022.
About the author:
Ayana Gray is an author of speculative fiction and a lover of all things monsters, mythos, and #MelaninMagic. Originally from Atlanta, she now lives in Little Rock, Arkansas where she reads avidly, follows Formula One racing, and worries over the varying moods of her adopted baby black rhino, Apollo, and her mini goldendoodle, Dolly. Her debut novel, BEASTS OF PREY, is being adapted for film by Netflix.
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If you enjoy fantasy books then you will love my epic fantasy Sentinal series. As a new threat against Remargaren is discovered, only one man can wake the ancient guards who can protect them, only he doesn’t know how. Start the adventure and stay for the journey.
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