Review: Beast of All
Beast of All by J.C. McKenzie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Torn between lovers, devastated by secrets revealed and tortured by enemies, what more can happen to Andy? This fifth book is a stunning conclusion in this series. This is not a standalone book. It must be read in the order written. I have been waiting for this book and eagerly devoured it.
This story starts out dark and gets grimmer. This story picks up right after Andy's gone on a killing rampage in a berserker rage. Trapped in a hellish off-the-books government site, Andy is kept as a lab rat for testing. When it seems like there is no hope, Andy finally gets a lucky break and freed. Instead of immediately going for revenge, she takes a different path. This turn in the story was a bit confusing for me at first. It slows the story pace down and almost makes it too slow. It's a time for self-discovery and healing. At first, I didn't like this slowdown because it felt a bit too boring. However, a few key elements needs to take place which brings it all together. Just when I think it can't get any slower, Ms. McKenzie kicks it up into high gear.
The last third of the book is when events move at a fast pace and it's adrenaline pumping good. Several of the conflicts from the previous books are resolved. Most especially, her romantic ties which were complicated and heartbreaking - finally come to a happy resolution. What is surprising is how many who have been against her are now becoming her allies. And amusingly, her issue with how to pay the bills and have a house over her head is completely taken care of. This story is a nice balance of bitter and sweet. Out of several painful experiences, Andy grows into a stronger and better person. I liked watching her grow under this pressure. How she resolves her inner conflicts and hurt feelings also worked well for me.
This world is a fascinating one for me. Even though this ends the story of Andy and her specialness, I wish there would be a spin off or more in this world. Ms. McKenzie creates a world with intriguing characters and many possibilities. Some of the secondary characters who are anti-heroes just scream out for their own story. (Hint hint) What I enjoyed most is the character development. There are no good guys in this book. There are various shades of grey. Each character is flawed and they have their own reasons for their madness. This thread of realism makes the story more engaging and poignant. This urban fantasy is recommended to readers who enjoy flawed characters who are survivors.
*provided by NetGalley