Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang

Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance

"Exquisite and adventurous" -- Bustle, "11 New Fiction Books You Need"Orphaned, raised by wolves, and the proud owner of a horned pig named Merlin, Weylyn Grey knew he wasn’t like other people. But when he single-handedly stopped that tornado on a stormy Christmas day in Oklahoma, he realized just how different he actually was.That tornado was the first of many strange eve...

Title:Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance
Author:
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Edition Language:English

Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance Reviews

  • Carole (Carole's Random Life in Books)

    This review can also be found at

    .

    This was such a magical story. I don't read a whole lot of magical realism but it seems that I love them when I do read them. I am not sure that this book would work for every reader since there are a whole lot of strange occurrences but it worked well for me and I am so happy that I decided to pick it up.

    This book tells the story of Weylyn Grey. We don't learn his story from Weylyn. Instead, we learn about him in different points in

    This review can also be found at

    .

    This was such a magical story. I don't read a whole lot of magical realism but it seems that I love them when I do read them. I am not sure that this book would work for every reader since there are a whole lot of strange occurrences but it worked well for me and I am so happy that I decided to pick it up.

    This book tells the story of Weylyn Grey. We don't learn his story from Weylyn. Instead, we learn about him in different points in time from others that are close to him. We see Weylyn as others see him and learn all of the incredible things that play a part in his life. Each section of the book shares a very vivid snapshot of this wonderful character.

    Weylyn lives a life unlike anyone else. He is different in a lot of ways. He has a certain innocence throughout the book and it is hard not to fall in love with him. I also really liked the characters in the story that shared Weylyn's story. These characters grew and changed over the course of the book and seemed to be positively changed through their association with Weylyn.

    There is a bit of magic on nearly every page of this charming story. This was a strange book in a lot of ways but it was strange in the best way possible. There are so many strange things associated with Weylyn and his life that I never knew what to expect. I quickly learned not to even try to guess what Weylyn would do next and just sat back and enjoyed the journey.

    I would highly recommend this book to fans of magical realism. I found this book to be a wonderful story filled with magic. I am very impressed by Ruth Emmie Lang's debut novel and can't wait to read more of her work in the future.

    I really enjoyed this book filled with things you wouldn't expect. This probably won't be a book for everyone but it worked well for me.

  • Tudor Vlad

    follows the life of

    , from childhood through adulthood and beyond. It’s a powerful story filled with kindness, love and magic. A story about how one person can influence the lives of so many. I can’t even begin to describe how much I loved

    , he is so selfless that it hurts. It’s tragic and beautiful at the same time, every time you see him helping people you can’t help but feel good, but at the same time you realize that the one person that n

    follows the life of

    , from childhood through adulthood and beyond. It’s a powerful story filled with kindness, love and magic. A story about how one person can influence the lives of so many. I can’t even begin to describe how much I loved

    , he is so selfless that it hurts. It’s tragic and beautiful at the same time, every time you see him helping people you can’t help but feel good, but at the same time you realize that the one person that needs help the most is him. The whole book is in fact filled with the perfect balance of happiness and sadness, it feels like life.

    As a matter of fact, it only takes about 50 pages for it to pull the punches. I think it’s a new record for me, it usually takes a lot of build up to make me invested enough in the characters and the story before I become emotional. Not with this one, I was crying and feeling so many things right from the start and that was the moment when I realized that this is indeed something special and magical.

    Through his life,

    will encounter many people. In fact, it is through the eyes of others that we get to meet and know him. This is where

    stands out, characters come and go but in the short time that we get to spend with them, they manage to make more of an impression than other characters do in an entire book. It only takes one chapter and it will be enough to make you fall in love with the characters that the author created. It’s not only people, some of the most lovable and memorable characters are actually animals, from wolves to pigs and even bees,

    companions come in all forms and shapes.

    It’s tough to write about this book, the more I love a book, the harder it is for me to gather my thoughts, especially when the only thing I can think about are the feelings that I experienced while reading it. How could I put those feelings into words, I’m not a writer, I’m not that good with words but I think I know someone who is. If you want to experience an immersive and magical journey with characters that almost pop out of the book, you should read this. I don’t think you’ll regret it.

  • Hannah

    This is - again - one of those books I was sure I would love but didn't. I enjoyed reading it but I just thought I would adore it. On paper it has everything I look for in books: whimsy, fairy-talesque writing, quirky characters with a human core, with a story spanning decades but something didn't quite click for me.

    This is Weylyn's story - an orphan raised by wolves, able to control the weather and speak with animals, a gentle soul with a heart of gold. This is also the story of the people whos

    This is - again - one of those books I was sure I would love but didn't. I enjoyed reading it but I just thought I would adore it. On paper it has everything I look for in books: whimsy, fairy-talesque writing, quirky characters with a human core, with a story spanning decades but something didn't quite click for me.

    This is Weylyn's story - an orphan raised by wolves, able to control the weather and speak with animals, a gentle soul with a heart of gold. This is also the story of the people whose lives he touched and changed and influenced. Somehow he is able to make other people better while at the same time being unable to find balance for himself. We only get glimpses of the man he becomes because while he is at the centre of this tale he is also elusive and hard to grasp.

    Some of the characters were absolutely brilliant: I adored his adopted sister Lydia and her refusal to be like her parents want her to be. Their sibling relationship was beautifully executed and I would have loved to spend more time with them together. I also thought Weylyn's first teacher, Meg Lowry, was a great character, hardworking and honest and so willing to do what's right.

    The least convincing part of the book for me was Weylyn. For some reason he never felt like a proper character but rather a puppet there to move the plot along - or to get other people to think. That made it difficult for me to care about the love story at the core of this book because I found the other characters way more interesting.

    As such I found the book worked best when it focussed less on Weylyn and more on the other characters and their lives and decisions. I adored the parts where characters were at a crossroad and had to decide between the easy path or the more difficult path that might lead to more happiness. These parts ran true and were engrossing to read and I wish we had seen more of that.

    First sentence: "I have delivered over a thousand babies in my career, but one in particular stands out in my mind."

    _____

    I received an arc of this book curtesy of NetGalley and St. Martin's Press in exchange for an honest review. Thanks for that!

  • Sara

    I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

    There are hints of many classic novels in this, including The Wizard of Oz and The Chronicles of Prydain series, with its depiction of a plucky young hero and a trusted sidekick. But Weylyn is slightly different from these characters, as Weylyn can control the weather. And bring plants back to life. And talk to animals. From the moment he was born, sprinkling the doctor with snow, he's been special. After the accidental death of his

    I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

    There are hints of many classic novels in this, including The Wizard of Oz and The Chronicles of Prydain series, with its depiction of a plucky young hero and a trusted sidekick. But Weylyn is slightly different from these characters, as Weylyn can control the weather. And bring plants back to life. And talk to animals. From the moment he was born, sprinkling the doctor with snow, he's been special. After the accidental death of his parents, Weylyn is left to survive with a pack of wolves. And then he meets Mary.

    This reads a bit like a modern day fairy tale. It's full of magic, wonder and adventure. I liked the descriptions of the various weather events, ranging from snowstorms and rain, and I felt the magical aspects of the tale were woven together well into the story. It never felt overly 'fantasy', and kept itself grounded in realism.

    The characters Weylyn meets are vastly varied - including a pack of wolves and a talking pig. However, I felt aside from Mary, they were rather woefully underdeveloped with no depth or dimension to them. I also didn't really connect with Weylyn himself. Perhaps this is because we don't hear from him directly, as the story is told from these characters he comes into contact with rather than himself. I would have preferred to have had a few chapters from Weylyn's perspective to gain some kind of emotional attachment to him, and get to know him better at the sacrifice of some of the many characters. However, that said I like the interesting way the author told the story through these 'bystanders' as opposed to the main character - it showed the story in a rather unique way. Perhaps this would have worked better if there were fewer narrators which were more 'fleshed out'.

    I also found the plot a little lacking in direction. Although we see, essentially, Wenlyn on a journey to self-acceptance and a 'home' to call his own, I found myself wondering - what's the point?

    A short read, that would have been better if longer and the characters more developed. But I liked the ideas, the imagination, and the memories it invoked.

    2.5 stars, rounded up.

  • Jenny (Reading Envy)

    I wasn't sure what I would think about this book because I don't always like fantastical elements but I found it charming and well-written, with several characters living unusual lives. A boy named Weylyn who lived with wolves, friends Mary and Lydia who influence his life in different moments, and a special pig who might have the ability to control the weather.

    I liked the changing perspectives

    I wasn't sure what I would think about this book because I don't always like fantastical elements but I found it charming and well-written, with several characters living unusual lives. A boy named Weylyn who lived with wolves, friends Mary and Lydia who influence his life in different moments, and a special pig who might have the ability to control the weather.

    I liked the changing perspectives and the jumps between decades, because they kept the story moving forward and allowed it to be examined from different angles. I am surprised this isn't marketed as YA, despite some of the characters moving well into adulthood.

  • Purple Country Girl (Sandy)

    I won a copy of Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance in a Goodreads Giveaway.

    4.5

    A boy is born and when he takes his first breath, snow begins to fall. It’s not a delicate snowfall but more like a sudden, blinding blizzard. The infant open his eyes, looks around and when he closes his eyes to rest, the snow stops and melts immediately. What’s even more strange about this unexpected and brief snow storm? It’s the end of June.

    This is our introduction to Weylyn Grey.

    Weylyn is one of the most uniqu

    I won a copy of Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance in a Goodreads Giveaway.

    4.5

    A boy is born and when he takes his first breath, snow begins to fall. It’s not a delicate snowfall but more like a sudden, blinding blizzard. The infant open his eyes, looks around and when he closes his eyes to rest, the snow stops and melts immediately. What’s even more strange about this unexpected and brief snow storm? It’s the end of June.

    This is our introduction to Weylyn Grey.

    Weylyn is one of the most unique, charming and intriguing characters I’ve ever encountered. Orphaned at a young age, he is raised by a pack of wolves and later gains a "magical" pig named Merlin as his constant companion. His story is told mainly by the people he encounters during his life. Some are friends while most are strangers, each relating a tale about the effect that Weylyn has had on his or her life. Many only have one unusual tale to tell but others, like Mary Penlore, a girl he meets when they are both children, come in and out of Weylyn’s life many times over the years. These stories are full of a magical vibe, endearing characters and a sense of wonder.

    The book follows Weylyn throughout his life and across the country. Mystery and curious events seem to follow Weylyn everywhere he goes. He seemingly can manipulate weather and has a connection to animals that could rival Dr. Doolittle’s. More at ease in nature and with animals, Weylyn continually struggles to form lasting attachments to people. Most think he’s weird and only a few manage to get through his walls and maintain some type of a relationship with him. While Weylyn is mostly portrayed as a positive person, he is often lonely and you really feel for him. That said, the book is never maudlin. Though Weylyn meets and helps many people during his life, his story always comes back to Mary Penlore.

    I really enjoyed Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance. Ruth Emmie Lang’s debut novel is imaginative, beautifully written and wonderfully accomplished. So much love went into writing it. There are so many lovely moments and it reminds me of some of Alice Hoffman’s earlier works. I think it’s definitely worth a read if you are a fan of magic realism. I look forward to watching Lang grow as a writer and I eagerly await her next book.

  • Book of the Month

    Weather Or Not

    By Judge Steph Opitz

    This wonderful, whimsical, warm-hearted novel is filled with subtle and not-so-subtle nods to the books I loved as a child. White Fang, The Jungle Book, The Wizard of Oz, Charlotte’s Web, and even Lord of the Rings—they’re all in there. Reading Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance made me I realize that there’s nothing better than a novel that feels both new and familiar at the same time.

    Beasts follows the lovable Weylen Grey, a lone wolf (pun intended), whose l

    Weather Or Not

    By Judge Steph Opitz

    This wonderful, whimsical, warm-hearted novel is filled with subtle and not-so-subtle nods to the books I loved as a child. White Fang, The Jungle Book, The Wizard of Oz, Charlotte’s Web, and even Lord of the Rings—they’re all in there. Reading Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance made me I realize that there’s nothing better than a novel that feels both new and familiar at the same time.

    Beasts follows the lovable Weylen Grey, a lone wolf (pun intended), whose life is the stuff of fairy tales: his parents die in a blizzard, he was raised by wolves, he struggles with a foster family, meets a magic pig, stops a tornado, struggles to fit into society, and wanders the country on all sorts of grand adventures. And, he falls love.

    This story defies all meteorological, botanical, and geographical laws. Thunderstorms and blizzards show up seemingly out of nowhere, forests grow overnight, and wild animals seem to be able to communicate with humans. It’s both a fairy tale and a love story, but love and affection seems to envelop so many different things: the natural world, a family, a partner, and the unexpected joys of navigating life’s ups and downs.

    Reading this book is so comfortable and uplifting, you almost feel as if you could conjure a herd of fireflies to get through a power outage, or a field of daffodils to celebrate a loved one’s birthday. Beasts is exactly the book I needed right now, and it made me so happy I wanted to howl at the moon.

    We're happy to announce our exclusive title, Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang. This is an early release for BOTM members only - the rest of the world has to wait till November. Read more at

  • Ali Edwards

    I can’t remember the last time I read a book like this - it just thoroughly delighted me. I really enjoyed her writing style - especially noticing some of her word combinations. Loved the magic, loved a bunch of the chapters, and loved the way it was told through reach of their perspectives.

  • Diane S ☔

    Meet Weylen Grey. Orphsned at the age of four, taken in by a wolf pack, loves nature in all it's permutations, needs to feel free, and has strange talents and beliefs. One day, he meets a young girl named Mary, and his life begins to change. Where this story will take him he doesn't know, but he is soon going to find out. This is Weylens story but also the story of all those he touches, and let's into his life

    I loved this story, the strangeness, the uniqueness. Sounds trite to say it struck a c

    Meet Weylen Grey. Orphsned at the age of four, taken in by a wolf pack, loves nature in all it's permutations, needs to feel free, and has strange talents and beliefs. One day, he meets a young girl named Mary, and his life begins to change. Where this story will take him he doesn't know, but he is soon going to find out. This is Weylens story but also the story of all those he touches, and let's into his life

    I loved this story, the strangeness, the uniqueness. Sounds trite to say it struck a chord it me, but it did. The tenderness with which all the characters are treated, even those the most flawed. Non judgemental. Touching and honest.

    The difficulties those who are different have to fit into acceptable, supposedly normal categories. How they are seen by others, and the trouble they have trying to deny who they are, or what they can do. Of course, most people do not have Weylens particular talents but the struggle they go through are probably much the same. Weylen touches many lives, from a young boy, to a girl who is, well a kind of adopted sister, to a nephew who is in love with super powers and magic. He will change many, before he learns it is possible to find someone who will love him for just him, a journey that just might be worth taking. An unforgettable character.

    "I asked my father if he believed in magic, and he said he believed in possibilities.," Well, who is it with enough hubris to say that they understand everything in the world? Not me, but I do believe in possibilities, and would love to have a little of the magic of Weylen in my life.

    ARC from Netgalley.

  • Larry H

    4.5 stars.

    One of the factors that helps transform a very good novel into a great one is memorable characters. And while I've read a lot of books this year and over the last several years that featured characters I couldn't quite get out of my mind, it's rare to find a character as special, as incredible as Weylyn Grey, the main character in Ruth Emmie Lang's terrific

    .

    "Weylyn doesn't quite fit into the world we're familiar with," Daddy said, choosing his wor

    4.5 stars.

    One of the factors that helps transform a very good novel into a great one is memorable characters. And while I've read a lot of books this year and over the last several years that featured characters I couldn't quite get out of my mind, it's rare to find a character as special, as incredible as Weylyn Grey, the main character in Ruth Emmie Lang's terrific

    .

    "Weylyn doesn't quite fit into the world we're familiar with," Daddy said, choosing his words carefully. "He's a strange boy, but in a wonderful sort of way."

    Orphaned at a young age, Weylyn was raised by wolves—literally, he lived with a pack of wolves—and is more comfortable being with animals and living outdoors than following traditional social constraints. But that doesn't mean he doesn't get lonely, and when he meets 11-year-old Mary Penlore in the woods, and he saves her from being attacked by one of his wolves, Mary realizes that Weylyn is unlike anyone else she has ever met, and even then she realizes she needs him in her life, and in fact, is willing to run away from home and live among the wolves with him.

    The thing is, when Weylyn is around, interesting things happen. The weather seems to change dramatically, he can literally communicate with animals of all types, and he seems to be able to stop tornadoes and storms from happening. But at times, it also appears he might cause those things

    happen. He can't explain it, and no one around him can either (if they actually believe what they see), but his biggest fear is somehow he'll cause harm to someone he cares about, so he's more willing to go it alone than hurt someone.

    "I've been called magic, but I wouldn't use that term exactly. I like to think of myself as always being in the right place at the right time, or the wrong place at the wrong time. Very rarely am I simply in an acceptable place at a generally convenient time."

    follows Weylyn through his life, as he makes his way across the country. It's a story told by those who got to know him, even for a short while, and feel the amazing impact he had on their lives. A family challenged by the decision to take young Weylyn in as a foster child, a teacher struggling with her own childlessness, a young mayor tired of living his life in his father's shadow, even a young boy who wants to believe magic is real—these are the people whose lives Weylyn touches. And as a touch point is Mary, whose life always bears the indelible impact of knowing him.

    This is one of those special books that requires you to suspend your disbelief, or simply believe that there are things in life that may seem impossible to grasp, but you just need to accept them. If magic, and communicating with animals, and causing strange phenomena to occur doesn't appeal to you, you'll probably not enjoy this book. But if you do, and you can just let yourself take a leap along with the characters, this is a story you'll marvel over.

    I was absolutely charmed by this book from start to finish. I loved nearly all of the characters and I loved Weylyn's relationships with the many people he met. One character remarked that Weylyn might be "too good for this world," but fortunately the world isn't quite as cruel to him as I feared it might be. I also worried that Lang might take the plot into melodramatic territory, and I was so pleased she steered clear of that.

    Lang is a fantastic storyteller, and her imagery and dialogue are so skilled, it's so hard to believe this is her debut novel. Books like this don't come along too often, so this is a special one to savor. I can't wait to see what Lang has up her sleeve in the future.

    NetGalley and St. Martin's Press provided me an advance copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review. Thanks for making this available!

    See all of my reviews at

    .

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