The Beast Awakens by Joseph Delaney

The Beast Awakens

Written by Joseph Delaney
Part of the Aberrations Series

13+ readers   11+ readers   
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In a Nutshell: Fresh folkloric frights from a master of spine-tingling storytelling

This first timelessly terrifying tale in a new series from the creator of The Spook’s Apprentice confirms the author’s status as a veritable master of crafting elementally powerful worlds from fascinating pockets of English folklore.

Crafty is a Fey. As such he can hear the whisperings of his dead brothers, and he’s immune to the powers of the Shole, a horrifying mist that’s enveloping the Lancashire region. It was the Shole that claimed his non-Fey mother, while his brothers died working for the Chief Mancer, which is what Crafty does now too. After a miserable period shut-up in a cellar with only the occasional companionship of a deceased Bog Queen warrior to brighten his days, he’s passed the test to work as a gate grub, the lowliest of those employed by the Castle Corpus, and a highly dangerous role to boot. Alongside the creeping unfolding of an un-put-down-able story, I adored Crafty’s boundless candor and curiosity, and his friendship with fellow gate grubs Donna and Lucky suffuses his bleak situation with welcome warmth. But, ultimately, with his court courier father missing in action, Crafty is pretty much alone in an increasingly perilous situation…

This exquisitely compelling tale tingles with as much raw, pure storytelling prowess and intrigue as it does with the slither and menace of multiple monstrous beasts, and I cannot wait for the second instalment. ~ Joanne Owen

Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Lovereading Review Panel members were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can read their full reviews by clicking here.

  • Sam Harper, 13 - 'Packed full of scary creatures and chilling characters, I only wish this had been much, much longer. This is a must for all fantasy and adventure fans.'
  • Fiona Sutherland, 14 - 'The Beast Awakens’ is a fantastic book which you will find hard to put down once you have started to read it.'
  • Brodie Greenslade, 12 - Aberrations: The Beast Awakens is a thrilling fantasy novel full of monsters, action and intriguing characters – I highly recommend it!'
  • Rebekah Marsh, 15 - 'This book was utterly unputdownable - I loved each and every second of time I spent reading it! I was torn between wanting to find out what happened and not wanting the book to end!'
  • Nick Kaleniuk, 12 - 'I think that the Beast Awakens is a fabulous read because it lulls the reader into a never ending journey through the magical kingdom, the Shole, and the people involved.'
  • Natalie Hunter - 'This is a book I would recommend to reader's aged around 13 years old, even those who don't particularly enjoy reading. The plot is intriguing and the idea of the aberrations is very well- rounded.'
  • Daisy Pritchard - Williams, nearly 14 - ' Overall, I thought that this was an alright book, and would be good for children that like fantasy adventure stories that are about 11 or 12.' 
  • Matilda Greenacre, 11 - 'A page turning story that kept you hanging on edge.'
  • Felicity Kerswell, 15 - 'I would recommend this book to anyone who likes mystery and magic. I hope there is a sequel to this book as it was brilliant!'
  • Grace Spear, 15 - 'The beast awakens was an amazing book to read as it really held you in another world making you feel immersed in the story.'
  • Dylan Sweet, 14 - 'I would give this a full five star and will be sure to read it again!'

Win the Skulduggery Pleasant series, SIGNED by the author!

The 11 instalment in the best-selling Skulduggery Pleasant series, Midnight, is out in hardback on 31 May. To celebrate this we are giving away THREE prizes of all 11 books in the series, SIGNED by the author Derek Landy and delivered in a special Skulduggery Pleasant tote bag!

To have a chance of winning one of these great prizes, click the button below. Please note that this draw is open only for UK residents and is free to enter, multiple entries from the same email address will only be counted once. Draw closes on 28 June 2018. The winners will be notified by 12 July 2018.

Good luck!

Enter prize draw Draw closes: 28/06/2018


The Beast Awakens by Joseph Delaney

They heard shouting, and cries of fear. Crafty looked down the slope and realised what had happened to cause so much panic. Without warning, the dark wall of the Shole had advanced. Crafty can't remember a time before the Shole - the terrifying mist that has engulfed most of Britain, leaving those trapped in it to either die or be transformed into terrifying monsters: the aberrations. Crafty has been stuck in his family's cellar for nearly a year, his only companions his restless, whispering dead brothers, and an unusually friendly aberration he names the Bog Queen. But then Crafty's life abruptly changes. He is ordered to report to the Castle, where he will train as a gate grub - operators of magical portals that allow the mysterious guild of Gatemancers to explore within the Shole. It is a dangerous job, with a very short life expectancy... To survive, Crafty will have to use every inch of his cunning - whatever the cost.


Praise for The Spook's Apprentice series: Be warned - these books are seriously scary The Times

About the Author

Joseph Delaney

Joseph Delaney is a retired English teacher living in Lancashire. He has three children and seven grandchildren and is a wonderful public speaker available for conference, library and bookshop events. His home is in the middle of Boggart territory and his village has a boggart called the Hall Knocker, which was laid to rest under the step of a house near the church.

Most of the places in the Spook's books are based on real places in Lancashire. And the inspiration behind the stories often comes from local ghost stories and legends.

The Spook's Apprentice, The Spook's Curse and The Spook's Secret have all been shortlisted for the Lancashire children's Book for the Year Award. The Spook's Apprentice is the winner of both the Sefton Book Award and the Hampshire Book Award.

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Book Info


320 pages
Interest Age: From 9 to 16 years


Joseph Delaney
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Puffin an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd

Publication date

3rd May 2018




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