Monday, December 6, 2010

The Beast of Noor

The Beast of Noor Janet Lee Carey

The Beast of Noor reads like a fairy tale which seems only fitting since the overall plot is centered on an old legend in the world of Noor. The legend of, you guessed it, the Beast of Noor. Without going into too much detail, suffice it to say that it involves a curse on a certain family for the actions of an ancestor, actions which resulted in a monstrous dog, known as the Shriker, who now haunts the woods. Leave it to the protagonist, Miles Sheen, to make it his mission to destroy this demon, stop the ruthless killings, and redeem his family’s name in the process. The story is predictable enough once the reader finds out exactly how the Shriker came to be since there really is one sort of ending possible in books intended for the younger demographic. Despite this, it’s a charming book with a mild horror streak and notable character development even if it’s pretty straightforward development. The characters are interesting and likable enough…most of the time. There’s some whininess and somewhat irritating character choices, but it’s almost to be expected with these prepubescent heroes. The beginning seemed bogged down in exposition, but once it got that over with, clipped along at a steady pace. Carey creates a world of fairies and spells that, in all fairness, we have seen before. After all, it’s quite difficult to lay claim in originality in the world of fantasy what with the works of J.R.R. Tolkien and J.K. Rowling wandering about. Regardless, it’s a recommended alternative to the usual. It’s also for those who are looking for a darker novel, yet pretty light on the horror in comparison to the more visceral books in this genre. Bottom line, it’s solid, nicely done, and, at the very least, worth a look. 4 stars. ****

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