Review: At One's Beast

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At One's Beast by Rachel Barnard

Published July 24th 2014 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Genre: Fantasy
Reviewed on January 2, 2015
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Book Blurb

Every girl and boy in the village of Frey fears the beast who lives in the forest. Ten years ago, the beast was formed from the town’s rage -- and the evil that lurks inside all people in moments of weakness. Every year since, the townspeople have sacrificed one of their own to appease his anger. This year the sacrifice does not go as planned. A young man saves the chosen girl from fate. She is torn between doing her duty and untangling the identity of her savior and captor. The young man grew up with thoughts of revenge on the town that turned their backs on him, but when he is close to the girl, he is reminded of who he used to be. From once upon a time to happily ever after, the people of Frey will have to rally together to rid the town of evil once and for all, but in the process will they destroy everything that is good in their world?


I received this book for a Read for Review.

At One’s Beast is a fantasy read about sacrifice, betrayal, the thin line between losing yourself to good or evil, family, friendship, and love.

Zosimos was tormented by his inner and outer self. Consumed by revenge and bitterness for the village who betrayed him out of fear for the unknown and out of guilt for what they did to him, Zos was only tamed when Alcina, a brave and compassionate girl, reappeared in his life ten years later.

I’ll try to keep this short and simple.

Despite this story being nicely written with beautiful phrases, everything felt rushed.

At the beginning, I didn’t know how to feel about this story, but as it progressed, I began liking it— but then I kept losing interest and I simply didn’t know how to feel anymore. “Do I like it? Or do I dislike it?” I didn’t know.

Therefore, I kept reading (while procrastinating at the same time) and this was what went through my mind: What is happening? What is going on? Why do I feel like the author is being lazy and trying to rush everything into place just in order “to get it over with”?

It all happened so fast when Alcina accepted her place in Zos’s home. I found it hard to believe she wasn’t bursting with questions: What happened to her best friend Iris? What happened to the other sacrifices? Did Zos know about them? Did these sacrifices fall prey to vicious jackals? Did they fall victims to the forest?

Honestly, I’m not the sort of person to be rude and call writers “lazy” (this is my first time saying something so insulting), but this is too much frustration for one reader. I want details, explanations, back stories, more depth. I wanted so badly to sink into this book and get lost.

Unfortunately, it didn’t happen for me.

And to top it off, even though I had nothing against the characters, I couldn’t find myself caring a whole lot about them or rooting for them.

Too many parts of this story left me feeling “That’s it? That’s all?” Towards the end, I practically had to force myself to keep on reading and I didn’t even rejoice the happy ending, which is strange because I always do.

The one positive thing about the ending is that it sends a powerful message: Let go. Let go of all your anger. Let go of the evil. Let go of your haunting nightmares. Be free from it.

Nonetheless, I enjoyed the story just enough not to hate it, and no, I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone. I really wouldn’t. However, don’t let me stop you from reading it for yourself and forming your own opinions.

Best of luck to Rachael!

Update: It would have been nice to know how Zos reacted to his mother's death too. Too many things in this story are left ignored.



Nancy Her


Cee named The Mistress Case after Sherlock (BBC with Benedict) and Supernatural (Dean, baby). She writes mainly book reviews. On occasions, movies and TV shows. She reads and reviews in many genres, including fantasy, historical, contemporary, romance, erotica, mystery, etc. She personally rains more love on fantasy and historical romance and hopes you won't hold it against her. Caoi.


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