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Tale of the Gévaudan Beast (The Enoc Tales) Paperback – October 9, 2013
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First let me begin by saying I was already aware of this author from a previous book (Tale of the Wisconsin Werewolf) which I read a couple of months ago. The author is Edison Crux and he has a really different spin on the typical monster genre. I noticed in his first book that his character development was remarkable. I really felt I knew those characters. And, in this book, he's done it again. The characters in Tale of the Gévaudan Beast are so incredibly real... with real emotions... and real character flaws. As much to be admired as hated. To me the best indication of a "must read story" is a strong cast of believable characters that are well developed. Mr. Crux has made this book a "must read story".
The story begins as a young love story. Boy meets girl (who is way out of his league), boy crushes on girl, girl finally returns the attraction. The couple marries, has children, and is pretty much living a perfect life. But, that's where it all takes a tragic, desperate, painful turn. The diagnosis of an incurable terminal disease. What will one do for love? Anything... and that's where the nightmare really begins.
This story is truly in the Horror genre... it's not a namby-pamby love story with a happy ending. Not even close! It's a story of love turned to desperation. Confidence turned to fear. Hope turned tragedy. One of the many things I like about Edison's writing style is the way I feel I am inside the characters minds. How they feel, how they make decisions, what their fears are, and what their inadequacies are. Brilliant, simply brilliant. Another aspect of Mr. Crux's writing style I find most appealing is his attention to detail, and his ability to engage my senses (sight, smell, taste in particular).
When the main character journeys 4000+ miles to France to track down a miracle cure, I feel like I am actually on the trip. When he meets the mysterious (creepy) Dr. Dupuis, my terror senses start to tingle. I mean, after all, Dr. Dupuis' clinic is in the middle of nowhere and is curiously decorated with subtle hints that this is not the place to be -- I loved the description of this clinic!
One of the most unique parts of this book is that there is actually part of another book inside of this one. Two chapters are dedicated to "Livre de la Bête" - The Book of the Beast. This is actually another historically based plot element that Edison skillfully weaves into his main story. The look of the pages, and the tone and style of the writer are much different than the rest of the Tale of the Gévaudan Beast. This really captivated me and made me feel that I was indeed reading a mysterious ritual and history of the cult -- Circle of the Beast. Very interesting way of providing colorful backstory.
I found that I wanted to try to explain to the main character what mistakes he was making (of course I couldn't). But, I always felt his underlying motivation was based on his total love for his wife. What will one do for love? Well, in Tale of the Gévaudan Beast you will find out. And, believe me, it's way more than you could hardly believe.
So, as I sit here on All Hallows Eve digesting this fabulous story, I want to implore you to give this book a read. You will become a fan! Like I said, I read Edison Crux's book "Tale of the Wisconsin Werewolf" first, and this story is actually the prequel to that book. So, you could read either one of them first, but you'll really be glad you decided to read them both.
I highly recommend this book to all mature, horror loving readers.
While reading this book, I felt like I was right there, taking part in the action. The sadness, tension, anger, and every other emotion the protagonist felt is also felt by the reader.
I would recommend this book to pretty much anyone, especially anyone who has read the prequel to this book. It has one of the most compelling and interesting story lines I've seen, realistic and lifelike characters, references to various myths, a take on werewolves that is quite different from what you're probably used to, a story of love and loss, and to top it off, it makes the story line from Wisconsin Werewolf feel all the more complete.