95/100 This could quite possibly go down as one of my favorite books of all time. The characters, the way the book was written, the tie-ins with New York City and the Point of View all come together to create a literary masterpiece.
I loved this book because of it's world, and it's complexity. Even though the book is set in New York, Evans has created a completely different way of looking at it. In a squirrels eyes, cars become death machines. The sewers and drains become a kingdom beneath. Skyscrapers become mountains. Garbage bags become seed pods, full of food. All the different types of animal have their own language, and Patch (Our hero) can speak both mammal and bird. Evans has created an amazing world, with things we can all rate too.
The battle scenes are epic, and I loved that each of the animals became a sort of infantry class. Squirrels and rats become basic soldiers. Cats are like Hummers, powerful and dangerous, but not indestructible, and Hawks become stealth bombers, capable of tearing enemies to shreds. There are other types of animals in the story too, but I won't give them all away.
I could go on for days about how good this book is, and I can genuinely say that, should this book get a bit more hype, it could go down in history as a classic. And the best part is, it's free! You can read it right now, on goodreads! Trust me, you won't regret reading this book. Read it.
Patch is a squirrel who lives in central park in the treetops tribe. When the food goes missing along with his fellow squirrels, Patch goes to find out what happened to them. When he tries to find food and sees the rats devour one of his squirrel brethren, Patch is sent far away from home. Can Patch return in time to save his world from the rat's evil plan to destroy all the squirrels and more? Read on and find out for yourself.
This was a pretty good action-packed dark animal fantasy about the animals of New York City. If you want to see what the big apple is like through an animal's eyes, check out this book. You'll enjoy it. You can find this book for free on feedbooks here at this link: http://www.feedbooks.com/userbook/23420
Beasts of New York is about a squirrel named Patch who, out of desperation and need, adventures beyond his home in Central Kingdom to try and save it. While it seems that fate is conspiring against him, taking him further from his home than any squirrel has traveled, his journey is a necessary step to saving all of Central Kingdom from the evil trying to consume it.
What did I love about this book? Well, first of all, Patch is an amazingly brave squirrel. No one can read this book and not admire his determination. He has a way of making friends wherever he goes, not by being overtly friendly, but by being him. Would we could all so easily say, "I don't care what the other squirrels think."
This book reads like a fantasy novel, even though it is set in New York City. The horrors that Patch encounters at times seemed so unreal to me, despite knowing where they were. Seeing them from another pair of eyes gave some things a new air of terror and others one of wonder.
This is not a light novel. It is very dark, and at times absolutely horrifying, but I connected so much to Patch as a hero that, in the end, I was left with tears of relief and happiness in my eyes.
This book is superb ! Think Watership Down and this is the squirrel version. Not the sort of book I would have normally chosen to read, but I read it by recommendation and thoroughly enjoyed it. It really was a page turner (or page clicker if you read it on your Kindle!). It's well written and extraordinarily well observed - the view of the world from a squirrel's perspective is ingenious. Without doubt, you will view squirrels quite differently after reading this. It's crying out for a film version. I am certainly going to read more from this author.
this book was not good for my soul, for my animal-loving heart, for my poor stomach, i almost dropped it at the beginning but i trudged on for Patch, he must have his happy ending, so i persevered, and in the end, as i do Watership Down, i am giving this all the love. just what a cruel, wonderful way to win my heart.
I really enjoyed this story. It's exactly what it says it is, a children's book for adults. If you like action, adventure, and lovable animals all rolled into one you'll love this book. It's well worth the read. Two thumbs up :)
Update Dec/11 When I read this book a year ago it was a free download. I think of this book quite often and smile. How often do you read a book and a year later still think of the antics of the characters involved? Now that the author has finally found a publisher and it is available in hardcover I went and bought it, I enjoyed it that much.
Update Oct/12 I wanted to add that I have submitted a recommendation for this book for Canada Reads 2013-Ontario. If you enjoyed it as much as I did and you think it deserves to be recognized I suggest you visit the Canada Reads website and submit it for your own recommendation for the region of Ontario.
I would recommend this book to anyone who has enjoyed reading the Harry Potter series. While that might seem a bit of a leap, one of the most beloved components to Harry Potter is the wonder that is inspired by the imagination of an entirely different world within our world. Here you find that same wonder by experiencing New York City as seen by squirrels- and it is a completely different world. I cannot stress enough the enjoyment I recieved reading about Patch's adventures and seeing the world through a new set of eyes. What an imagination Jon Evans has! And the plot will keep you riveted. This book lacks nothing.
I loved this book, in the end; it is exactly what its subtitle says. I couldn't put it down. Although I thought in the beginning the morality lessons were a bit heavy-handed (Kingdom of Madness, dangers of pollution, etc.) for grown-ups, the story just kept sucking me in. After the first hundred pages or so, I stopped noticing the things that had earlier broken my suspension of disbelief. I wish that a few things had been more fleshed out -- the details of the squirrel kingdoms, for example -- but (a) I'm a world-building addict and (b) I understand the POV limitations as well as the fact that not EVERYONE would want an 800-page treatise on the world Evans created.
This is an absolutely charming tale and has really all the aspects of a great bedtime story, except for the part where you'll stay up all night just to read one... more... page!
It's hard to believe Evans couldn't find a publisher for this book -- it's such a well-written and engrossing story. But because it was so different and not easily placed into any genre, a well-established author couldn't sell this book.
The story follows Patch, a squirrel of Central Park, on his quest to return home, win a war, save his home, and rescue his mother. What a scrappy little thing! Along the way, he makes some unconventional friends who all have their role to play in Patch's ultimate success.
So this is the story of a young squirrel who goes on the best adventure EVER! It starts in, from what I can tell, Central park aka The Center Kingdom. Patch is transported all over New York it seems meeting unforgettable friends and terrible foes. I really enjoy seeing the world from a squirrel's prospective. One of the best parts is figuring out the things he describes because of course he does not know the human names. Heroic to the end this tale has captured my heart.
I thought this book was surprisingly long for the subject matter, but then the book does say it’s written for grownups despite the child-like genre, so I guess it does what it says on the label! It did make me wonder whether the story would feel dragged out for the sake of extending it but I didn’t find this at all when reading – the plot carried you well from start to finish. The vocabulary was simple which fitted with the feel of a children's story and allowed you to read without it being taxing.
I think the author successfully wrote from the animals’ point of view – continually keeping what they would know and how they would describe things in mind, which meant you were able to stay immersed in the book without incongruous parts stopping you in your tracks and leading you to think about them rather than enjoying the tale. In most instances I was able to tell easily what the squirrel was describing, but in some cases I did struggle, though this made no difference to my ability to follow the story. I particularly I liked the way he had changed common human turns of phrase into ‘animal speech’ so they were still recognisable but fitted with the character saying/thinking it.
I did wonder before beginning this book whether my total lack of knowledge about New York would affect my appreciation at all, but I don’t feel it did and though it probably would have been nice to recognise the land marks and mentally follow his journey (possibly also making it easier to tie up descriptions), it was nice to explore the area with the same eyes as the characters.
Reminiscent of Watership Down, though perhaps just because of the animal theme – I found it a little more farfetched due the apparent invincibility of certain squirrels and the slightly more fanciful animals involved (though I liked the epilogue at the end explaining this and reinforcing the feasibility). However; it’s a good tale in its own right.
This is a wonderfully imaginative, entertaining, heart-warming, engrossing and thrilling read that follows Patch a squirrel of the Centre Kingdom as he battles against the army of rats, crows and the many other creatures found in the five boroughs of New York to protect his homeland and his family and friends. This does have some morales woven into the story but so do all of the traditional fairytales we are told as children and this definitely fits into that genre (although this is definitely one for the adults).
Evans has created a world that is realistic and believable that just sucks you in until the very last page and even then it keeps a little piece of you there (I am never going to look at my local wildlife the same way again). All of the characters are brilliantly written, with each of them suiting their respective species superbly. Evans' view of the human world through the eyes of the animals in the story is also brilliantly done and really gives the reader the sense of dread and fear that the weird human world must cause, especially when you're the size of a squirrel.
A superb read and I'm glad to hear that this will be published by The Porcupine's Quill next Spring (2011), can't wait to read it again.
I'm really enjoying Evans' writing style. This book reads like a fresh wind, for how often do you get to witness the world from a squirrel's perspective. It's an epic tale of adventures taken, friendships made and wars fought. It's a gripping story that kept me wondering how the squirrels were doing during the day and kept me glued to the actual pages at night. I loved reading it!
Those random books you decide to read just because you need something to read, and aren’t sure what else to grab sometimes end up being amazing. Though if you’d told me that a book about a squirrel in central park who goes on an EPIC adventure to save his home could be this good… well, actually, I’d probably have believed you. But I didn’t know it going in. Honestly, I didn’t even know what it was about when I started it. I just picked it from the back catalog of Kindle books I’ve acquired and never got around to.
Go me for picking it up, and deciding to read it. While I think a bit of my appreciation comes from the fact that I live in NYC now, mostly it’s because I just really enjoyed reading it. It’s a great adventure story, with interesting diverse characters who all have their own motivations, drives, and desires. That they’re all animals just makes it a little bit more interesting. And I can only just imagine the human reactions to the events of the story. There are some hints, and we get to see a bit, but mostly they’re barely even in the background.
I first read this back in 2010 and I must say I think I love it more on the second reading. There is just so much going on as Patch finds himself far from home and has to travel across man-disturbed and man-made worlds in order to get home. Not only has Evans created a beautiful world within the smog chocked noise of New York, he's able to show the human world through the eyes of Patch, his friends and his enemies in a way that is poignant yet non-judgemental. Even the dog fighting scenes are handled in a way that lets the events speak for themselves. And yet this commentary does not take away from the fantasy story of the Squirrel/Rat wars, which in themselves provides an under-commentary about the fuility of war. And Westergard's engravings are superb, not to mention the quality and feel of Porcupine's Quill printing, no thin pages here.
If you loved Animals of Farthing Wood and/or Watership Down, this needs to be the next book on your list.
Pros: -Really enjoyed the shorter chapters, made it much easier to read in small periods. -Interesting and varied characters -Plot continued into some surprising and gritty places. -While it may not be for everyone, the experience of reading that particular ending at this particular time is exquisitely horrifying and an experience I'll never forget.
Cons: -Could have used another go-over by an editor for a few small grammar mistakes. -Some of the characters don't have very satisfying endings, they come in, do a job, then disappear. -Possible sequel setup but is too vague to be sure.
I really enjoyed the book. The way the book describes the world from an squirrel’s point of view and all the events in it, is really fascinating. The characters were really well developed with enough details to get to know main characters in depth, and story line was exciting and full of surprises. I liked how at the end everything came together and made sense.
DNF. This is the 2nd time I've tried and failed to finish this... It really wants to be a modern Watership Down but there's something about the writing that annoyed me so much that I quit after an hour.
The problems I had with this book is that the characters had no personality whatsoever, and I was very bored with it all - with Patch trying to get home to defeating the final boss. He wasn't even the one to do that.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
This is probably the best epic fantasy starring a heroic squirrel that I will ever read. It’s dark and violent without being hopelessly grimdark. And the cast of characters includes the Queen of all Cats.