Review: Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang

Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance


Orphaned, raised by wolves, and the proud owner of a horned pig named Merlin, Weylyn Grey knew he wasn’t like other people. But when he single-handedly stopped that tornado on a stormy Christmas day in Oklahoma, he realized just how different he actually was.

That tornado was the first of many strange events that seem to follow Weylyn from town to town, although he doesn’t like to take credit. As amazing as these powers may appear, they tend to manifest themselves at inopportune times and places. From freak storms to trees that appear to grow over night, Weylyn’s unique abilities are a curiosity at best and at worst, a danger to himself and the woman he loves. But Mary doesn’t care. Since Weylyn saved her from an angry wolf on her eleventh birthday, she’s known that a relationship with him isn’t without its risks, but as anyone who’s met Weylyn will tell you, once he wanders into your life, you’ll wish he’d never leave.

Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance tells the story of Weylyn Grey’s life from the perspectives of the people who knew him, loved him, and even a few who thought he was just plain weird. Although he doesn’t stay in any of their lives for long, he leaves each of them with a story to tell. Stories about a boy who lives with wolves, great storms that evaporate into thin air, fireflies that make phosphorescent honey, and a house filled with spider webs and the strange man who inhabits it.

There is one story, however, that Weylyn wishes he could change: his own. But first he has to muster enough courage to knock on Mary’s front door.


I originally wrote this review over a week ago, but then accidentally refreshed the page and lost it all, so here goes take two. This book was really whimsical and fun. I loved the way the story was told. It’s about Weylyn and his life, but it’s told by the people he’s encountered throughout his life. From a childhood friend to foster families to co-workers, you learn about Weylyn and his fantastical life. While many areas of his life are mundane and typical, there’s a hint of magic running through all of it. It’s not too over the top, almost magical realism, but it ties in quite nicely to the story. It kind of reminded me of the movie Simon Birch, where it was Simon’s life narrated by his best friend.

Not only did I enjoy reading about Weylyn’s life, I really liked the multiple perspectives. All of the characters were themselves well developed, and some even popped up at multiple points in their own lives, which also added some depth. All of their voices were a bit similar in ways, and all perspectives told the story in simple, straightforward prose. The perspective changes also cohesively contributed to the story as a whole. It was almost like little tapestries of Weylyn’s life, but the story they tell overall is heartwarming and mostly happy. I laughed, and I cried, and I highly enjoyed myself.

I know this review is pretty short, but don’t think that means I didn’t like the book. I really adored it. It was a super sweet story, with lots of animals and magic and weather. It really brought me a sense of whimsy to my life and it was a nice, quick read. If you need some joy in your day, you won’t be disappointed by this book.

Note: I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

More Information: Goodreads, Amazon, Author Website

What other whimsically magical or fun stories have you enjoyed?? Let me know in the comments!



3 thoughts on “Review: Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang

  1. I can definitely relate to short review posts about books I’ve loved. It can be challenging to document your thoughts– particularly on something so unique! Does this book read more like short stories? Are the different perspective interconnected in a meaningful and obvious way? I am definitely intrigued… I do love me some magical realism!


    1. It definitely has an overarching narrative. Generally, for each period of his life, there were 2 narrators, and their stories together told the story of his life at that time (if that makes sense). So while they sometimes felt like vignettes, there was a clear interconnection among all of the narratives. It’s just a really sweet book, and it’s definitely a good quick read.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s