2019 Nov 10
Cloaked in mist and shadows, four close friends begin their search for a mysterious ‘beast’ in the spooky nighttime wilderness of their homeland. Little do they know that they’ll discover much more about themselves on this beautiful, bleak young adult adventure. Love, danger and the depths of the soul- it’s all here, and all part of this tale of wonder, friendships, survival and deception.
The group learns, in a series of dramatic events just how much they mean to each other, and that sometimes, people aren’t what they seem on the surface.
‘The Beast’ is Sri Lankan born Jude Perera’s debut novel. While having previous experience in short fiction, lifestyle and travel blogging, his recent YA novel is based entirely in the lush splendour of our very own Horton Plains.
Having a diverse set of characters from different castes and beliefs, ‘The Beast’ follows the lives of four adolescents in their search for a mystical creature. However, as the novel progresses, you realize the message is about far more than the wonder of youthful aspirations and magical beliefs but addresses some very real problems about life and its harsh realities. Within its 115 pages, it also focuses on young love and the importance of friendship.
The author does a remarkable job in breathing life into this world heritage site and showing off Sri Lanka to be the beauty that it is. He also allows the dialogue to flow as you would expect it to between English speaking Sri Lankan citizens of different generations- not polished but realistic- and allows for brief pops of humour that Sri Lankans can definitely relate to.
While this is a short, lighthearted read that almost moves at too fast a pace at times, it contains plenty of action, while also highlighting threads of mystery and romance. This is best labelled a journey of self-discovery between four teenagers and what truly makes it a touching read is the message of positivity it spreads to a multi-ethnic and multi-cultural community such as ours.