Beastlands: Race to Frostfall Mountain [Book Review]

An ipad showing the cover of a book titled Beastlands, being held next to a pot with a leafy green plant

Hi there,

One of my favourite times of the day, is reading a chapter or two from a book to my 10-year old, Cloud (they/them), at bedtime.

We both agree that the book we just finished reading is our favourite novel that we've read together so far. It was called Beastlands: Race to Frostfall Mountain by Jess French. 

We borrowed the book on BorrowBox via our local library - but loved it so much that I plan to order a paperback copy shortly.

Beastlands follows the story of Kayla, Rustus and Alethea as their quests unites them on an adventure through the forbidden Beastlands and over the dangerous Frostfall Mountain. Along the way, they search for a missing animal companion and a cure to a mysterious disease as they learn more about themselves, each other, the infamous beasts, a rumoured prophecy, and the world around them.

We always enjoy reading a book that involves action, adventure, friendship, humour, nature, and animals or mythical creatures. This book ticked all of those criteria! Cloud especially enjoyed the adventures across the different landscapes, particularly the parts of the story that took place in the snow. They also commented on how much they loved the vibrant, fun cover - doesn't it totally look like it should be turned into a Netflix series or something?!

We easily connected with each of the characters and the friendship they formed over their journey together. Alethea's calm and determined, Rustus' brave and loyal, and Kayla's fiery and impulsive personalities had us rooting for them from the beginning. We were also captivated by the magnificent beasts and their special characteristics. Cloud was especially drawn to the pangrons who they compared to pets like cats and dogs, only they could fly too!

One of our favourite parts in the story was when we were both pleasantly surprised to be introduced to a character named Aquamarine who we noticed had they/them pronouns. This was the first time in our reading a chapter book together where we had stumbled across a potentially gender-diverse character in a book for kids of this age. We hope to get to know Aquamarine more in the next editions to the story!

We were excited that the end of the book set up the story for the characters to return and continue on their adventures. We can't wait to read the next book! 

If you have kids in your life, we would absolutely recommend getting your hands on a copy of Beastlands to share with them. Oh what a fun adventure you will all go on together!


xo, Nai