I received a copy of Beetlebrow direct from the author Ben Parker in exchange for an honest review.
Beetlebrow follows the story of two young girls, Beetlebrow and Pook, on a journey to deliver a message from one king to another to save their people.
We start out with Beetlebrow and learning about her home life with her mum and two brothers which is terrible. It really sets the scene and you can feel the impoverishment of the town and of Beetlebrow's family. Her brothers are both just horrible human beings, but her mother does everything she can for the family.
Without any spoilers, circumstances occur and Beetlebrow decides to leave and she goes to find Pook whom she had met in the market previously and had hit it off with and the story progresses from there.
The book is well written, though there are a few minor things that have been missed in editing. I felt the world building was very strong and I could quite easily picture each town and place that is visited throughout the story. There is one part where they are crossing a desert and I really became immersed and I could feel the heat and dryness of it and just how awful it would have been.
Beetlebrow's character was also well developed and the decisions she made, made sense from what we knew about her life, especially as we also get to see more of her brothers personalities. Her relationship with her mother was really nice and I liked that we got to see more of it at points throughout the book. Pook however I felt that I never really got to know her as much and she seemed a bit one dimensional and she slept or was tired an awful lot throughout the story. I also felt that the description "her slim body" was overused for both her and Beetlebrow.
The relationship between Beetlebrow and Pook isn't just a friendship, they become partners too as their love for each other becomes stronger. One of my favourite scenes in the book is when Beetlebrow is trying to tell Pook how she feels about her and she's explaining that when she saw girls talking to their friends she'd want to talk to her friends like that if she had any, but with Pook she feels that these things just aren't enough and she wants to say so much more. This to me is one of the best descriptions of how you feel when you love someone, everything just is so much more special with that person than with everyone else.
I would definitely have preferred this book to be longer so that the journey felt a lot more epic. I feel a lot of scenes could have done with more time focusing on them so you got a real feel of the danger etc of what was happening at the time. But the story definitely does not feel rushed, this would just be my preference. Also I am hoping that there is a book following Beetlebrow as I would like to find out what happened following the decisions made at the end of the story.
Overall though a really great book and one I thoroughly enjoyed reading. I am definitely hoping for a second book so I can continue following Beetlebrow's adventures.
I started this book on the 12th of August 2016 and I finished it on the 20th of August 2016
I gave this book 4 stars on Goodreads