Title: The Beast of Talesend
Series: Beaumont and Beasley (#1)
Author: Kyle Robert Shultz
Summary: Private eye Nick Beasley lives in a world where fairy tales ended a long time ago – where zeppelins now soar the skies instead of dragons, and where the first automobiles have taken the place of flying carpets. He’s made a name for himself across the Afterlands by debunking fake magicians and exposing fraudulent monsters. This is the modern age, after all. Magic and monsters are long gone.
At least, that’s what Nick believes. Until he gets magically transformed into a monster, that is.
The only person who may be able to help Nick is Lady Cordelia Beaumont, one of the last enchantresses in the Afterlands. But in order for her to cure him, they’ll have to retrieve a powerful artifact from a ruthless crime lord – who is also Cordelia’s father.
The fate of the Afterlands lies in the hands of a runaway enchantress and a monstrous ex-detective. What could possibly go wrong?
Review: Ready for a quick, action-packed ride that'll have you believing in fairy tales again? I've been hearing about this book for MONTHS, had it recommended so many times by so many different bookworm friends and fairytale enthusiasts, and I finally just NOW sat down to read it.
Wow. It was everything I'd thought it would be, and nothing like what I expected.
Nick is a detective -- and, he's certain, a pretty good one at that. His job has been to rid the world of the false belief in magic. He's cracked multiple fairy tale cases wide open, proving to everyone that magic is, in fact, not real. When we first meet him, his persona is almost that of a Sherlock Holmes character -- confident and clever, but with a tick of desperate as his funds are quickly running out. If he's going to continue to support himself and his little brother, he needs to crack another case soon and get paid considerably.
The case that comes to his door is not exactly the one he's hoping for, but it does have a hefty payment attached to it. With no other option, Nick Beasley agrees to help the infamous Lord Whitlock find a magical artifact: the Clawthorn Rose of the Beauty and the Beast legend.
And that's where all his troubles start. Throw in a snarky, spontaneous younger brother and a lady-turned-enchantress who doesn't always have the best of plans, and you've got the perfect recipe for a fairytale adventure.
Is there anything really that I could say I didn't like about this book? Ummm... not really. Except the length. Way too short for the amount of adventure and humor that I wanted. Good thing this is only the first in the series. Warning: You will want book two immediately, so be prepared.
Crispin was my favorite, of course. I'm a huge fan of younger siblings with a passion for trouble, and he was just spot-on, the best, the cat's pajamas, etc. etc. And there are also steampunk things, which always makes stuff better. What's not to like about steampunk fairytale retellings? *cough* No, that's not shameless advertising.
I also really liked all the fairytale elements. Not only is the book a spin on the traditional Beauty and the Beast story, but we're also visiting things from Snow White (which Shultz's version made TONS more sense than the original fairy tale, but still creepy) and other fairy tales. And, of course, the rest of the series seems to promise only that in abounds.
Advisory: Violence. Through the magic of the Rose, several humans are turned into beasts. Fighting commences, blood is spilled, but nothing terribly graphic.
Magic, of course. There's not a ton about it packed into this book since the book itself is so short. Cordelia is one of the few Charmbloods left in existence, families who are able to learn to control magic. Apparently, only those with Charmblood, er, well, blood in their veins are able to control it, but it is a skill that must be learned. Magic can be performed through casting of runes, though it takes a life source to sustain a spell, whether that be the caster himself or another life form nearby. The magic in this book didn't really bother me, as it's clearly a fairytale setting in a fictional world.