(10/20) Beasts of Prey – “20 YA Novels for Adolescents”

Beasts of Prey is a young adult fantasy fiction novel written by Ayana Gray. It was published on September 28, 2021 and it consists of 496 pages. The awards and nominees for the novel are:

  • An Instant New York Times Bestseller.
  • An Indie Bestseller.
  • A 2023-2024 South Carolina Book Award Nominee.
  • A 2022-2023 Arkansas Teen Book Award Nominee.
  • A 2022 Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year.
  • A 2022 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults Pick.
  • A 2022 Books All Young Georgians Should Read List Pick (GA).
  • A 2021 Kirkus Best Book.
  • A 2021 New York Public Library Best Book Pick.
  • A 2021 Chicago Public Library Best Book Pick.
  • A 2021 Tor.com Young Adult Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Best Book Pick.
  • A 2021 Parade Best YA Book Pick.
  • A 2021 Black Caucus American Library Association Best of the Best Booklist Pick.
  • An Apple Best Book of the Month Pick – October 2021.
  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month – October 2021.
  • An Indie Next Pick.

Beasts of Prey is about two teenagers named Koffi and Ekon who travel to a magical jungle, a very dangerous jungle, called the Greater Jungle. The two teens are very different than one another, but they both work together in order to capture a creature called the Shetani.

I chose to read this novel because it is not only a fantasy novel, but a fantasy novel with POC representation. Usually, whenever I hear about novels or just stories in general with POC characters, it’s almost always a story that focuses on the struggles of people of color. It’s nice to get to read more stories where characters are POC simply because they are. People of color deserve to be represented in movies, shows, and novels without there necessarily being a reason as to why they are POC characters.

For a read aloud, I would especially read:

  • Pgs. 19 – 20, “Sahel”.

  • Pgs. 30 – 31, “Disappearance”.

When it comes to fantasy in general, I’m always impressed when they are written as novels because I feel they are tough to execute with nothing more than words as the tools. If an author manages to grab my attention in a fantasy novel, I consider it impressive in my book (pun not intended). Beasts of Prey was one of the many fantasy novels that did just that and I loved it. It was very immersive, very detailed, and kept my eyes glued to every word and every sentence.

I would love to explore more fantasy novels similar to this one, as well as fantasy novels with their own unique touch. I have never read the Harry Potter novels (I only saw the movies), so I would love to give the magical fantasy series a try. Beasts of Prey helped me pave the way to exploring a lot more fantasy novels that especially have magic.

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