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Publisher's Summary

Debut author Tochi Onyebuchi delivers an unforgettable fantasy adventure that powerfully explores the true meaning of justice and guilt. Packed with dark magic and thrilling action, Beasts Made of Night is a gritty Nigerian-influenced fantasy perfect for fans of Paolo Bacigalupi and Nnedi Okorafor.

In the walled city of Kos, corrupt mages can magically call forth sin from a sinner in the form of sin-beasts - lethal creatures spawned from feelings of guilt.

Taj is the most talented of the aki, young sin-eaters indentured by the mages to slay the sin-beasts. But Taj's livelihood comes at a terrible cost. When he kills a sin-beast, a tattoo of the beast appears on his skin while the guilt of committing the sin appears on his mind. Most aki are driven mad by the process, but 17-year-old Taj is cocky and desperate to provide for his family.

When Taj is called to eat a sin of a member of the royal family, he's suddenly thrust into the center of a dark conspiracy to destroy Kos. Now, Taj must fight to save the princess that he loves - and his own life.

©2017 Tochi Onyebuchi (P)2017 Listening Library

Critic Reviews

"The beginning of a great saga.... Fantastic worldbuilding sets the stage in this debut novel, as Tochi Onyebuchi conjures up a busy market city inspired by his Nigerian heritage and populates it with a group of outcast kids who shoulder the sins of the rich and powerful.... This is not the first fantasy book to take more interest in the world than the story - it certainly worked for Tolkien, and Beasts Made of Night could do much worse than to follow in those footsteps. Onyebuchi has created a world that will no doubt inspire many in turn." (NPR.org)

“This compelling Nigerian-influenced fantasy has a wonderfully unique premise and lush, brilliant worldbuilding that will consume you until the last page.” (BuzzFeed

"Onyebuchi's debut novel explores class, politics, religion, and so much more, all in a world that is masterfully built, sweeping, and imaginative." (Bustle

What listeners say about Beasts Made of Night

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Amazing narrator and worldbuilding

The setup and the incredible voice of Prentice Onayemi drew me on powerfully, but be warned that once it settles into the storytelling and leaves the stunning worldbuilding behind, the story lands in a fairly paint-by-numbers YA formula with a brutal cliffhanger that resolves nothing. This is really just Act One- and while well written and produced— it’s a very long inciting incident with the genie only out of the bottle in the last fifteen minutes.

3 people found this helpful

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🤩ALAS I SEE IT! By the Gods that was killing me!

Taj is a "beast" fantastic plot... would have liked more scene set up tho! but it is STILL lit af!!! It unravels the world of truth slowly and keeps us craving just a little more insight... it will make you feel a vague sense that there is a puzzle here somewhere and a peice of it is missing! the book forces you to view the world through the main characters tunnel vision and when he puts it all together, ALAS I SEE IT! By the Gods that was killing me!

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

So. Many. Questions.

Let me start by saying I ALWAYS love Prentice Onayemi’s narration. He is brilliant, and I love even more that he read this book with the accent of the narrator. His narration is probably what kept me listening. The premise sounded amazing, I loved the Nigerian influences, and the world built by Onyebuchi was genuinely interesting; however, the world and characters did not feel fleshed out quite enough and left me with many questions that went unexplained. Why don’t Taj’s spots ever fade? How did the family in power get there in the first place? Why were there tunnels under the city? Could the aki have just collectively refused to eat sin? Why did the royal family have to pretend to arrest Taj to get their plan to work? Do different sin beasts in fact represent different sins or are they random? Etc etc etc.

Quite frankly, his lust for the princess irritated me to no end. If I could have skipped those parts, the book may have been better. She was completely unlikeable and his love for her made absolutely no sense. The plot twists, though surprising, were again, nonsensical to me.

It’s worth a first listen, but I don’t know if I’ll be invested in it enough to read the second book, which makes me very sad.

2 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Beautiful Narration

If you could sum up Beasts Made of Night in three words, what would they be?

Fantastical, unrepentant, and insightful.

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

I love the magic being woven into what is really a story about class, trust, and personal growth. There were a couple parts where the story seemed a little disjointed, but I listened to this while incredibly tired while driving for several hours. I do plan to listen to this again. I was expecting to see more struggle for Taj -or maybe hoping Taj would struggle more and not be so perfect at what he does. But maybe the struggle seems less listening instead of reading?

What does Prentice Onayemi bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

The narration was stunning. I loved hearing the character in the tone and cadence he would naturally speak in. I could hear him slip at the start of a new chapter, but overall quality was really great. I love that this was unapologetically African -from the the speech of narration to the world Tochi built. Praise!

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes! I binged this on the 8.5+ hour drive from Sacramento to Portland all night.

Any additional comments?

Overall a great read -good for a one-time binge. Story is beautiful and I'm looking forward to listen to the next book.

2 people found this helpful

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Great Concept, but...

It feel short for me. the book seemed short sighted. one of the characters was curious about everything yet it went into no real explaination of why or how certain people ate sins. or who the scholar whose writings she followed so fervently.

1 person found this helpful

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Maybe for kids?

The only reason I got this book was because of Prentice

I found the concept silly and the story sloooooooooooow

J

1 person found this helpful

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Promising idea, but too little plot

I was initially intrigued by the idea of the sun waters and the balance of power between the ages and sun eaters. However, the book soon became tedious in absence of a plot.

The narration was well done, though heavily accented. Just takes a chapter to tune your war to the cadence of the reader’s performance.

With so many excellent books out there to read/listen to, I’d skip this and pick something better.

1 person found this helpful

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felt incomplete

I enjoyed this book, but felt that there were some plot holes, unexplained key elements, and strange character development choices.

1 person found this helpful

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Excellent story

Beasts Made of Night was a thoughtful plot with deep symbolism regarding conflicts among different members the socioeconomic hierarchy in society and especially in social caste systems. The narration by Prentice Onayemi was excellent (however I found that 1.2 speed was a more natural listening pace for my ear.

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Great story - Fantastic Narrator

This is a really good story. it is so authentic. The author did not just give his characters Nigerian names, he actually fed them Nigerian foods. I finished in one day as the story was so interesting. It was neither predictable nor wandering. I feel as if every scene and chapter expertly blends the storyline and the story's world together without slowing down the pace of the story. I'm starting the second book in this series today.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 12-08-20

*Early review*

I'll update once it's done. 3 chapters in and so far it's a good story and the performance is pretty much perfect. I see no reason not to recommend it; however, the author also wrote War Girls which is one of the most powerful books I've ever read so hopes were ratcheted ridiculously high. So far this is a very good story but no War Girls. I may change my mind.

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  • Avid Reader
  • 06-24-19

Enjoyable - something a bit different

A good adventure with an original premise. I hope to see more stories from this writer soon.