Book Review: “Questing Beast” by Ilona Andrews

Posted January 4, 2021 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Book Review: “Questing Beast” by Ilona Andrews

I received this book for free from my own shelves in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

"Questing Beast" by Ilona Andrews
Genres: Science Fiction
Published by PD Publishers on September 26, 2012
Pages: 21
Format: eBook
Source: my own shelves

Also by this author: Burn For Me, Magic Shifts, Burn for Me, Magic Binds, White Hot, Wildfire, Iron and Magic, Magic Triumphs, Magic Bites , Magic Burns, Magic Strikes , Magic Bleeds, Magic Slays , Gunmetal Magic, "Gerard Demille and Helen Meet", "Diamond Fire", Magic Rises , Magic Breaks, Magic Shifts , Magic Binds , Magic Triumphs, "Sweep with Me", Clean Sweep, Sweep in Peace, "A Mere Formality", Blood Heir, "The King of Fire", Blood Heir , Sapphire Flames, "A Misunderstanding", Emerald Blaze, "The Cool Aunt", One Fell Sweep

First in the Koslov Universe science fiction series revolving around Sean Koslov and set in Nemuria.

My Take

This starts out so weird. In a blend of computers, scientific study, myth, ecology, and career dread, it’s all computerese until it descends into a crazed wonderland of computer creation + Arthurian myth.

Andrews uses a third person protagonist point-of-view from Sean’s perspective, as he tries to figure out how to save everyone’s careers.

I think it’s the Nannybot astride the dwarf-cow that’s been fitted with a bridle and reins that sends me into orbit. Yep, there is humor in this. Some of it is subtle, some of it hits you over the head.

I have a number of niggles in this, chief is the lack of character development. Andrews throws in enough to make me curious about Sean’s background, what Verne’s deal is with the stick and the idol, who are the other children, what Emily’s qualifications are, why the children are there at all, who are the other members of the Committee, what’s with the interest in Sir Pellinore, what was the deal with Captain Chef, etc.

Andrews does do a nice job of providing some back story on the Joint Committee and clues about what the Survey team is doing — that real world touch of their careers being at risk was a nice bit of tension.

This story makes me think of Andrews’ characters in The Innkeeper Chronicles as well as Jasper Fforde’s The Chronicles of Kazam.

I did like that cliffhanger of an ending, and it does make me want to know more…

The Story

Fifteen people have given over two years of their lives to assess Nemuria. Two years without their own computers, phones, tablets, or anything else electronic.

Now the planet and the teams’ futures are all threatened unless Sean can persuade Jennifer to perform an illegal act.

The Characters

Sean Kozlov is one of the leaders of the Survey team.

His Survey team includes…
Santos, who is the chief of security. Julia. Timur is one of the scientists? Ratibor Verne is the chief programmer and protocol guide. He likes sticks. Jennifer is the only programmer who can create the outrageous and Sean’s joint team leader. Ickman had left. Val‘s reports are generally stained with food. Pen. The fourteen-year-old Emily is the oldest of the children.

The Questing Beast is a created chimera that cannot procreate. A trogomet is a two-foot wide ball of rust fur, equipped with four hands-feet and a shrew muzzle who LOVES cookies and anything metal.

Snow White is a Fourth Order Workstation; the Dwarf is a small remote unit. The only computers on the entire planet. Nannybot, a.k.a. Sir Pellinore, is a tertiary backup that was classified as an Independent Biological Reasoning Unit (IBRU), none of which was true.

The Joint Committee will…
…evaluate the Survey team’s Final Evaluation Report (FER). There are seven members, including: Education/Science, Business/Industry, Environmental/Health, and Social/Cultural.

Captain Chef and his team were all eaten.

The Cover and Title

The cover begins with a white background which is quickly filled by an almost transparent partial circle of the planet Nemuria, its land masses a faded pink. On top of that is a stylized dragon head in orange, mouth open and spouting a yellow flame. Its wings, curving up and arcing to the right gradate from a dark to a light blue, almost encapsulated in a thin scrolling circle. At the very top on the left is a rectangular icon with a red-haired dwarf cow in a lab coat with a word above and below it — the publisher? To its right, in orange, is an info blurb. The title, also in orange, wraps around the top of the graphic. Below it is another info blurb in blue with the author’s name immediately below it in orange.

The title is all about the construct, the “Questing Beast”, which has the power to save them all.

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