Blog Tour: Beasts of the Earth

BEASTS OF THE EARTH

BY
JAMES WADE
Categories: Literary Fiction / Crime Fiction
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Date of Publication: October 11, 2022
Number of Pages: 350 pages
 
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James Wade, whose first two novels were praised as “rhapsodic” and “haunting,” delivers his most powerful work to date—a chilling parable about the impossible demands of hate and love, trauma and goodness, vividly set in the landscapes of Texas and Louisiana.

Beasts of the Earth tells the story of Harlen LeBlanc, a dependable if quiet employee of the Carter Hills High School’s grounds department, whose carefully maintained routine is overthrown by an act of violence. As the town searches for answers, LeBlanc strikes out on his own to exonerate a friend, while drawing the eyes of the law to himself and fending off unwelcome voices that call for a sterner form of justice.

Twenty years earlier, young Michael Fischer dreads the return of his father from prison. He spends his days stealing from trap lines in the Louisiana bayou to feed his fanatically religious mother and his cherished younger sister, Doreen. When his father eventually returns, an evil arrives in Michael’s life that sends him running from everything he has ever known. He is rescued by a dying poet and his lover, who extract from him a promise: to be a good man, whatever that may require.

Beasts of the Earth deftly intertwines these stories, exploring themes of time, fate, and free will, to produce a revelatory conclusion that is both beautiful and heartbreaking.

PRAISE FOR BEASTS OF THE EARTH

“Wade’s pitch-perfect, personality-driven dialogue sings in the voice of life, and his ability to meld existential thought, situational metaphor, and cinematic setting is a full-bodied experience…A soul-deep exploration of a wounded man in crisis, James Wade’s Beasts of the Earth…secures his position as an author of extraordinary merit.” —New York Journal of Books

“James Wade writes a terrific story, but that isn’t what makes him so good. Wade is a craftsman. His books should be read slowly, to luxuriate in his word choices, his sentence structure, his character revelation. That is why he is a joy to read.” —James L. Haley, Spur Award–winning author of the Bliven Putnam Naval Adventures

“I found myself rooting for the characters throughout their near-Biblical tribulations, and the storyline kept me turning the pages, desperate to find out what would happen next. Here we have a novel that blends realism with existentialist philosophy to redefine contemporary Southern fiction. Don’t miss this tour de force of modern literature.” —David Heska Wanbli Weiden, Spur and Anthony Award–winning author of Winter Counts

PURCHASE LINKS:
Beasts of the Earth is a beautiful gut-punch of a novel.” —Stacey Swann, author of Olympus, Texas

James Wade lives and writes in the Texas Hill Country with his wife and daughter. He is also the author of River, Sing Out and All Things Left Wild, a winner of the prestigious MPIBA Reading the West Award for Debut Fiction, and a recipient of the Spur Award for Best Historical Novel from the Western Writers of America.

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TWO WINNERS
Two winners each receive an autographed copy of Beasts of the Earth.
(US only. Ends midnight, CDT, October 21, 2022)

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—————————————
Review
Rating 5 out of 5 Stars
*Disclaimer: A digital copy of this book was provided to me in exchange for my honest review. Please note the opinions in this review are solely my own and do not reflect the views of others.*

Beasts of the Earth takes the reader on two different journeys through the lives of 12-year-old Michael Fischer and High School groundskeeper, Harlen LeBlanc. Harlan is portrayed as a man invested in his trade with a troubled past looking for redemption. Harlan befriends a young worker at his job and steps in to help the new guy who still hasn’t come to terms with a recent breakup. After an accident occurs and his new friend is considered the prime suspect, Harlen steps in to do his own investigation. Michael Fischer is a young boy attempting to navigate life below the poverty line. Michael is developed as a character longing for more and for the protection of his family from his Father. Both men tied to a past they have tried to escape must face the truth. The question is, what will it cost them?

The author does an amazing job developing the complexity of each character. His writing style transported me into the lives of the characters forcing me to feel the same emotions the characters were feeling. I enjoyed the alternating chapters highlighting each character. The book is filled with edge-of-your-seat moments where you have no idea what will happen next. Throughout the story, I felt the emotions of each character and the sadness emanating from each page. I could not put down this book once I started. I related to Michael as he struggled with his relationship with his Father and Mother and wanted to be a protector of his sister. I related to Harlen purely due to his desire to want to be a savior to those who were lost. In a world where generational curses, crime, and pressure run rampant, it is hard to attempt to set your own path and do the right thing. This book does a wonderful job of highlighting some of the hauntings associated with your past and the struggle between past you and present you.

This is the first book I’ve read by this author but from the impact, this story had on me, it won’t be the last. I would highly recommend this book to adults interested in thrilling read. The book contains various twists and turns that leave your mouth gaped open at the end.

All I have to say is, well done James Wade, well done!

FOR DIRECT LINKS TO EACH POST, UPDATED DAILY,
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