Axlin’s world is full of monsters. Some attack the travelers on the roads, others besiege the villages until they manage to completely destroy them and others enter the houses at night to take the children while they sleep.
Axlin is the scribe of her village, the only one who can read and write. And she has decided to investigate everything she can about monsters and translate her findings into a book that can serve as a guide and protection for other people. That is why she decides to leave with the peddlers to gather the ancestral wisdom of the villages in their precarious fight against the monsters. However, throughout her trip she will discover things she would have never imagined when she left.
The book tells the story of Axlin, a girl who lives in a village, here they are known as “enclaves”, in which they must try day by day to survive, as monsters constantly lurk in order to kill humans. Kill, don’t eat.
Axlin herself knows for sure, because a “knobbly” left her with a limp for life, a lower price if we take into account that she was lucky enough to survive.
This fact, among others of her life, generated in her a great curiosity to know and discover ways to protect themselves from monsters. For example, in her enclave, everyone was shaved to avoid “longfingers” (I think it’s the worst enclave just for this ?).
Since everyone worked to survive. No one knew or was interested in learning to read, only the scribe of the village knew, and he chose Axlin as his successor.
<< Axlin, thirteen years old, is the new scribe of the enclave >>
So far I was sure that I had understood what the story was about, but I was very wrong.
Axlin begins to write a book to capture everything she learns about monsters thanks to the peddlers and her own experiences in the village, but she soon realizes that if she wants to continue with her book, she needs to get out of her enclave. Like this she begins her journey with the peddlers, learning from the wisdom of each of the villages she passes.
For situations that I will not mention so I don’t ruin the book to anyone, Axlin meets Xein, an extremely handsome young man with a very strange characteristic, his eyes are golden. Even stranger, he seems to feel no fear of monsters, he even thinks he is capable of hunting them. Will he simply be crazy or have any reason?
Xein was calm and confident; normally, his attitude was enough for her to relax too, or at least a little. However, a disturbing idea crossed his mind suddenly: What if Xein was crazy?
Axlin and Xein don’t have much time to spend together, but they still generate a powerful relationship that, unfortunately, must be postponed, because Axlin feels she can’t leave her mission incomplete.
– And you? If you met a special girl … would you be willing to leave with her? …
– I wonder what kind of boy would be willing to lay with you on the roads cataloging monsters – he countered. And Axlin found herself answering: -Maybe one who doesn’t fear the monsters. A hunter, and not a prey.
I feel it could have been a very good book so far, and the truth is that here the best is just beginning.
El Bestiario de Axlin is a complete book. It has adventure, action, romance, suspense and more! You really don’t want to put it down since you start reading, and it’s only the first part. There are many characters and each of them feels real, not just as a filler. The protagonists in particular have an impressive development as they discover who they are, and must fight against who they are supposed to be.
From the beginning I could realize that it would not be a simple light reading, because the story begins quite dark and the descriptions of the monsters are macabre, especially when contrasted with their very simple names. One of the things that caught my attention and I really liked is the analysis of the society that is done in the book: It really serves to beat the monsters, or in a world where humans do not need to worry about surviving, they can become something worse than monsters?
I’ve said that it’s very difficult for me to put 5 stars to the first book of a saga. But this one deserves it by far. I can’t wait to see the new twist that this story will take in the following books.
Bye bye ?
* When I did this review there was no English version *
* I read this book in spanish and some things are translated by me, so they may not be identical to the spanish version *