Monday, August 20, 2012

Book Review: The Way of the Black Beast by Stuart Jaffe...

Title: The Way of the Black Beast

Author: Stuart Jaffe

Publisher: Create Space Independent Publishing Platform

Pages: 310 (Print), File size: 512 kb

Page Number Source ISBN: 1466321849 ASIN: B005NRXT6W

Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

Summary from

In a parallel world destroyed by the abuse of magic, one woman fights all odds to survive and find the answers behind her mysterious past.

Despite the challenges - crazed magicians, guitar-playing assassins, mutated beasts - she pushes on with a single-mindedness that may destroy all she holds dear.

My thoughts:

'The Way of the Black Beast' is a post-apocalyptic fantasy. Malja is a warrior. She's a fighter, she's a loner and she's on a mission to find the two men who hurt her the most. Growing up, Malja was raised by two brothers, magicians both and not exactly loving men. They trained her from the beginning to be something she wasn't and when she doesn't turn out how they planned after ten short years, they desert her and leave her to die. Enter another man, a different kind of man. One who is more nurturing than the two previous. He takes Malja in, trains her even further but when she suddenly becomes a threat to the two brothers, they send assassins to kill her.
Only they kill the man she's come to love and respect as a father.
Malja sets out to find the two brothers, to confront them and put an end to them once and for all. She's tired of running, she's tired of fighting, but it is in her blood and she's good at. Damn good. Along the way she picks up a young boy who she takes under his wing. He's a magician, but in this world, when you use magic it makes you crazy. Literally.
Killing the brothers is her only real chance at survival and living as normal a life as she can carve out for herself in this alien world. Secrets are revealed to her in the end and sometimes, vengeance leaves more of a mark than anything else.
This book was well written. There were a lot of moments of memories, flashbacks and a large chunk of past information that I felt could have been done differently. You take out a good amount of those moments and you've got an awesome story you can't put down. I liked this book a lot, but was not too thrilled about the information moments, the reflections on Malja's past. I know the importance of it all to the heart of the story, to learn about the character, but overall, it could have been done differently. There are two more books in this series that I intend to read. I like Malja's character and the entire world this story is set in. Well developed characters, good story, just needs ... something.

I give this three and a half skull and crossbones.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Too many flashbacks distract from the story for me.

Mel Chesley said...

I agree. It took me some time to get through this book. Once it was done with the flashbacks, though, it was a really good book.