It’s time for another book Review and I can’t believe I haven’t already reviewed this book. I was first introduced to this author when we interviewed her on Speaking LITerally podcast a while ago. I was intrigued by her book, especially as part of it is set in England. So back in March I finally got a chance to read it.
After the death of her anthropologist father, Neysa puts her currency trading career on hold to move from Los Angeles to coastal England. The friends she makes in town give her a new sense of self, but quickly entrench her life in a plot to stabilize the Veil which divides both the human world of science and the Fae realm of magic. What Neysa never expected was that this may have been her father’s plan all along, and that perhaps Neysa was designed for more than the human world alone. In this fantastical world, we find Neysa’s anxiety of soldiering through the world, unaware of who she truly is, and the boundaries she surpasses once her true self is realized. Love, death, blood, and friendship all combine in Another Beast’s Skin, taking us from the rugged English coast, throughout Eastern Europe, Peru, Los Angeles, and into Aoifsing, the realm that will suffer along with our world if the Veil cannot be stabilized.
Centuries ago, four crystals of varying strengths and properties were placed in epicenters around the globe. The stones were localized to keep both the human world safe from chemical destabilization, and the Fae realm from the scourge of magic altering physics. In the past century, several stones have been misplaced, causing trans-realm repercussions. Three Fae have been stationed to find the crystals and balance the energies of the Veil. Once Neysa becomes a part of this group, it seems her association with Aoifsing may be mapped in her stars. Strong female friendships, sibling camaraderie, steamy romance, physics, and battle strategy all come together to weave a new tale of intelligent fantasy.
This was an absolute treat for so many reasons. Apart from titles like ACOTAR we don’t really see many fantasy novels provide a good split between human and fantasy world and even in Sarah J Maas’s books the human world wasn’t included as much. In Another Beast’s Skin we see a good split of coverage between the two worlds which enables us to see them in both and how they interact and adapt.
It was really nice to see a fantasy partly based in England and the scene setting really brought the country to life with the rolling countryside and beautiful forests. This is something which Jessika excels at as a whole. The world creation for both worlds is superb. The description of both are so vivid that it brings it to life in brilliant colour.
Another aspect of this story which I feel makes it stand out is that the main female character Neysa is not your usual damsel in distress who becomes a badass, because she pretty much starts off as tough due to her father’s training in swords and other weapons.
I especially liked Neysa from the start as she may be tough and brilliant with a sword but we also see her anxieties, her grief, her concerns as well as her happy times. We see every side of her and this creates a wonderful, complex character whom you can’t help but empathise with. We see that heroines do have weaknesses as well which is important.
And then you have the boys, who are charming, funny, a little cheeky at times but are a delight to read about (ok, and maybe fall in love with a little bit….OK maybe a bit more than a little but seriously, Cade 🥰)
Each character has clearly defined personalities and traits which helps them to stand out and their mannerisms, their dialogue and behaviour draws you further into the story and into their own adventures and obstacles they must face.
The story itself is a rollercoaster ride of emotions, and I loved every minute of it. Yes a few tears were shed, but also a lot of laughs as well. If you are looking for a good fantasy with a fantastic world, great characters and a superb plot I would highly recommend this. The twists throughout the story are fantastically executed and you will be sure to be on the edge of your seat to see what happens next.
I cannot wait to dive into the sequel, A Braiding of Darkness.
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – a brilliant fantasy novel, One to rival the likes of Sarah J Maas and Jennifer Armentrout. If you are looking for superb world creation and a great cast of characters you should definitely pick this up.