Do you ever read a book and think it should be much more well-known than it is? Beasts is one of those books!
The future seems beautiful in the World Collective. This nation exists 1,000 years from now and is the perfect utopia… or so it seems. A deadly truth lies underneath the dome force field that is chilling. Atlia, a member of the World Collective, discovers the truth when she is wrongly accused for her father’s murder. She was one of the prospective leaders until she is framed for the crime of telecide – murdering her father via his telegraphic, an advanced biotechnology. Once she finds out the truth, she has two choices: (1) to tear down the only world she knew or (2) go back and forget what she learned. Will she bring the truth to light or bury it deep within the fake utopia that the World Collective exudes?
Firstly, the “crime of telecide” – admit it, that sounds so cool? The wonderful thing about sci-fi, especially in a novel set 1,000 years from now, is the possibilities are endless. In Beasts, Levley has created such a detailed world. Don’t let the technology put you off, while being complex in creation, you quickly understand the World Collective. Language is ancient, people “intention” to each other through a group channel or a private channel – this method of communication was one of my favourite things about this novel. Not just because it’s so cool, but because nothing was done without intention. (sorry, I could help it!). Nothing was done without meaning, and this novel had more meaning than the blurb would have you believe.
You have an interesting story, a heroine in Atlia – despair, hurt, hate, love, laughter, you experience it all with her! But more than the story, which was great, and I’m really hoping a second book will follow, is the questions this novel raised. By the second page, this novel made me pay attention!
“I have read about you. How you made something called money, a non-existent item. That you were so untrustworthy of other people, you put their merit into pieces of “digital currency”. You are known to my people as the brokenhearted, for your hearts must surely have been broken to stoop so low as to treat lives as things.”
I love when characters talk directly to you the reader, personally involving you in the plot. When it feels like a character is talking directly to you, it makes you feel accountable, and that’s the thought-provoking nature of this novel. You question your actions and those of society – I did plenty of that while reading this one! For example, what if everyone knew all of your thoughts all of the time, how would your relationships with those closest to you change? And for the first time ever, a book made me think about vegetarianism and veganism – it was so cleverly done too; not through any kind of cruelty to animals, no direct telling the reader not to eat meat, but it was seamlessly weaved in in a way that you don’t even realise until you pause reading and start to really think about the messages being delivered in this novel.
Levley is an author you may not have heard off, but Beasts really is a novel that should be more well-known. Levley is a great storyteller, she has crafted a new world, written a thought-provoking novel, that not only challenges the perspectives of the characters but challenges the perspectives of the reader! This is definitely a novel, I recommend!
*My thanks to the author for providing me with a copy of this book*