I was a little hesitant to begin this book, as I have been in the mood for scary, haunted thrillers. I was really glad that I picked this book up despite my recent literary cravings and read the first chapter. After that, I was hooked, and I think you will be too. Beast of Extraordinary Circumstance is a unique story that goes in line with Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children and The Lightning Thief.
The story starts out with a group of kids daring each other to touch Old Man Spider’s house, broken down and covered in spider webs. Roarke accepts the challenge, mostly to impress Ruby, but ends up falling through the roof. He is caught in thick and massive amounts of spider web, which has a ton of stuff caught in it-pots and pans, his knife, silverware. And then he sees Old Man Spider with his pet wolf!
Weylyn Grey is a one-of-a-kind boy. His parents died in a blizzard when he was young, and he was raised by a pack of wolves. Not only does Weylyn understand and communicate with wolves, but he can also alter the weather and nature around him. He befriends a butcher’s daughter, Mary, who makes the weekly meat delivery to Weylyn and his wolf family. The two become close friends, both in need of human kindness, and set off into the wild when Weylyn’s pack is forced to move on. When authorities finally find the two, they are set down tow different life paths. Mary returns to her father and pursues a career researching animals, eventually back to wolves. Weylyn ends up with an Oklahoman family who tried to refine him, but it was his wildness that stopped a tornado headed for their home one Christmas. When the family decides that he is too much for them, a teacher takes him in and raises him. Adult Weylyn is brought to a coastal town to help stop of hurricane, but can he? Even if he can’t, it brings him right back to Mary. They set off on their own, settling in Montana, but Weylyn struggles to fit in with people. Awkward and with special abilities, he realizes that the only place for him is in the wild with his new pack. Separated from Weylyn again, Mary is forced to move on with her life. But not forever…
I bet Roarke had no idea that falling through Old Man Spider’s roof would bring Weylyn and Mary back together in the end.
As I said before, I was so pleased that I started reading this book. Not only is it unique, but it reminds the reader that all of us crave kindness from humans, no matter how wild we are. The book is divided into sections, each section bringing the story of different people who encounter Weylyn. First there is the family that tried to raise him, and then a mayor’s son who tries to save his town, and a logger who can’t explain why the forest keeps regrowing after it is logged. After meeting Weylyn, each character ends up with a new outlook on life and more fulfilled as a person. There were several awkward sentences that disrupted my reading rhythm and didn’t seem to match the writing style of the book. Other than that, this story has well-developed characters, all of which I still think about as if they are real people in town, and a strong plot. Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance is a fulfilling read and one that you will probably read more than once. I am sure that this will be a blockbuster movie one day!