Title: Beasts Made of Night
Author: Tochi Onyebuchi
Pub. Date: October 31st, 2017
Genre: YA Fantasy
In the walled city of Kos, corrupt mages can magically call forth sin from a sinner in the form of sin-beasts – lethal creatures spawned from feelings of guilt.
Taj is the most talented of the aki, young sin-eaters indentured by the mages to slay the sin-beasts. But Taj’s livelihood comes at a terrible cost. When he kills a sin-beast, a tattoo of the beast appears on his skin while the guilt of committing the sin appears on his mind. Most aki are driven mad by the process, but 17-year-old Taj is cocky and desperate to provide for his family.
When Taj is called to eat a sin of a royal, he’s suddenly thrust into the center of a dark conspiracy to destroy Kos. Now Taj must fight to save the princess that he loves – and his own life.
A gritty Nigerian-influenced fantasy.
Beasts Made of Night is a rich new YA Fantasy centered around Taj and his group of Aki friends who all have one thing in common…they are outcasts of the same society that needs them to ward off evil. The Aki are sought out by Mages to eat the sins of others for which they are in turn paid. Once a Aki eats a sin beast, a tattoo appears on their skin. The severity of the sin determines the size of the animal. With time, the tattoos fade from the Aki’s skin however, this is not the case with Taj. A powerful Aki, Taj is the Crown’s personal sin-eater often called to the castle to eat the sins of royalty. Taj’s tattoos do not fade, his skin is covered with them & the sins of others often invade his mind. For the Aki, eating souls is how they earn their living & for Taj it’s how he provides for the family he was forced to leave behind. The Aki are feared by the same people they take on the burden of eating sins for. Their skin covered in tattoos are a reflection of the amount of sins they’ve eaten & also the very same reason for which they’ve been ostracized.
The world Onyebuchi has created in Beasts Made of Night is rich with Nigerian-inspired influences. Details of life in the city of Kos such as the singing & dancing, food, and traditions that commemorate rites of passage for young women excel in transporting the reader into the world of the Aki. The magic system is also well fleshed out, there’s a fee system in place which determines how much a Aki will be paid for eating a sin. Mages also exist in this world & are responsible for seeking out the Aki’s services. The Mages also need to be present for the sin-eating since they utilize their magic to call forth the beast living inside of the “inflicted” human which the Aki ingests. We meet mages in training along the way as well as other groups of characters that further develop this world.
There were a few things I would’ve liked to get more of with regards to character development. Although Taj does live with other Aki who are his close friends, these characters were not deeply fleshed out. There is also the princess who is presented as a love interest at the very end which felt rushed & can definitely be seen as “insta-love.” There is another character in the book that I much preferred as a love interest which is a first for me since I typically ship whoever the author intended 😂
The overall plot also could’ve used more development along the way & I do believe my enjoyment with regards to the world building compensated for some of the plot holes. Pacing typically isn’t a issue with me since I enjoy slower paced reads every now & again however, the last few chapters did feel rushed & open ended. If Onyebuchi were to write a sequel, would I read it? Absolutely! I really enjoyed this new fantasy & the unique magic it brought to the page and will be keeping an eye out for more from this author. When thinking of my rating for this book I took my overall enjoyment of this story into account. I’m a lover of world building, diverse reads, and complex magic systems which all can be found in Beasts Made of Night. I haven’t seen mention of a sequel even though the plot truly piques in the last chapter leaving readers wondering what’s next?!?! This is one story I’d say has the potential for growth and hope to see the author delve deeper into the characters he’s created in this lush world.
HUGE thanks to Razorbill, Penguins First To Read, and Tochi Onyebuchi for the eGalley copy of Beasts Made Of Night in exchange for an honest review.
Hello Bookworms! Beasts Made of Night hits shelves tomorrow! 🎉 will you be picking up your copy? has it made its way onto your TBR? Sound off in the comments down below 💜
FOLLOW LAIR OF BOOKS ON…