This review is based on a complimentary book I received from First Reads. It is an honest and voluntary review. The complimentary receipt of it in no way affected my review or rating.Beasts Made of Night by Tochi Onyebuchi
Genres: Fantasy, young adult
Release Date: October 31, 2017
Format: ARC, E-book
Source: First Reads
Length: 7 hours
Purchase at: Amazon ◊ Barnes & Noble ◊ Book Depository ◊ Google Play ◊ Kobo ◊ IndieBound ◊ Audible
In the walled city of Kos, corrupt mages can magically call forth sin from a sinner in the form of sin-beasts – lethal creatures spawned from feelings of guilt.
Taj is the most talented of the aki, young sin-eaters indentured by the mages to slay the sin-beasts. But Taj’s livelihood comes at a terrible cost. When he kills a sin-beast, a tattoo of the beast appears on his skin while the guilt of committing the sin appears on his mind. Most aki are driven mad by the process, but 17-year-old Taj is cocky and desperate to provide for his family.
When Taj is called to eat a sin of a royal, he’s suddenly thrust into the center of a dark conspiracy to destroy Kos. Now Taj must fight to save the princess that he loves – and his own life.
A gritty Nigerian-influenced fantasy.
In Beasts Made of Night there is a sect of society called the aki. The aki are young people that at some point manifested the ability to eat sin. They are not able to call forth the sin, that is the job of the mages. The aki are not revered for their position, in fact they are little higher than slaves at the whim of the Mages who control them. The citizens need them to eat their sins but they also fear them.
The Aki are easily recognized by their eyes and because when they consume an inisisa, the form that the sin takes once out of a body, they are left with a tattoo that is the shape of the beast. Pretty freaking cool! Some aki have more tattoos than others but Taj has the most because for some reason his never fade.
Through a series of misfortunate events Taj is thrown into a circumstance that lands him at the palace under the thumb of the mage he hates the most. He becomes isolated and trapped in a situation where he truly cannot tell friend from foe. He will have to use all his cunning in order to discern truth from fantasy before time runs out and everything is lost.
I really enjoyed the concept of the sin-eating, how it came about, why it was done, who was chosen for the task. I appreciated that the society was developed in such a way that you could clearly understand the class differences and how the Aki’s were treated in relation to everyone else. It really sent home a feeling of injustice and made me want more for “lesser” society members.
I did enjoy the writing and the attention to detail that painted very vivid scenes for me in Beasts Made of Night. What I did not feel was any kind of connection to the story. I did not get behind any one character. I felt completely detached throughout the entire read and that is very unusual for me. The fantasy was truly an adventure and I love the Nigerian-Influence that is prevalent throughout. I believe that there are going to be very many readers who love this story and are swept away by their imagination, this was just not the case for me.
*Thank you to First Reads for this eARC of Beasts Made of Night*