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The Beast Player

Narrated by: Caitlin Kelly
Length: 14 hrs and 50 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Nahoko Uehashi's The Beast Player is an epic YA fantasy about a girl with a special power to communicate with magical beasts and the warring kingdom only she can save.

©2009; 2018 Text copyright Nahoko Uehashi; Translation copyright Cathy Hirano (P)2019 Macmillan Audio

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

The Best Player

Caitlin Kelly is a great narrator! This book surprised me with how good it is. I like that the main character Erin is able to communicate wot magical beasts. I also like the play on words: The Beast Player instead of the 'best' player. I also thought it was cool that The Beast Player is also an anime.

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    4 out of 5 stars

A lovely, calming world to get away in

If you enjoy Studio Ghibli movies (particularly Princess Mononoke), I have a hunch you will enjoy the Beast Player. The world that is built for us, inspired by ancient Japan, is enchanting. There is a lot of beautiful imagery, and you learn a great deal about caring for beasts both real and imagined (In fact, one character is a beekeeper, and I enjoyed learned about the bees in detail more than the fictional Royal Beasts that take the stage later in the story.)

While this story certainly has it’s share of dark themes and bloodshed, there are a handful of characters who are unwaveringly good and kind throughout, which made the story a feel-good read for me, though I know some are not as fond of that kind of characterization.

The ending was fairly abrupt in my opinion, so much that I had to double check that I hadn’t accidentally skipped a chapter on accident. A lot of relationships and the main conflict are then left outright unresolved, though a resolution is implied. Still, if you’re someone like me who enjoys their standalone novels concluded with every loose end tied up nicely, the end may frustrate you a bit, lol.

Caitlin Kelly did a lovely job in my opinion; with her voice calm and serene to match the main character, and her voices for the cast are distinct. There were a couple times however, that she pronounced things differently each time she said them, though as the narration is heavy with Japanese terminology, this is understandable.

All in all, a enjoyable read for someone who wants to be taken into a new world with a strong but emotionally honest main character.