Published by Severed Press in 2019, The Beast boasts a solid 4.2 (out of 5) with 65 ratings on Amazon. Overall, top Amazon reviewers praised the depth of the characters and the action but wished the author fleshed out the story more.
The Beast follows a pair of teenage twins, Jeremy and Jack Schaffer, who are polar opposites. Jeremy is a geek who plays Dungeons and Dragons with friends Kathleen and Randy, while Jack is a promising athlete who thinks a bit too highly of himself. It’s classic nerd versus jock.
However, the family dynamics are complicated by the twin’s unfaithful father and desperate mother. Bigfoot doesn’t care about human drama, though. The beast pounds an old man and his dog to slush by the end of Chapter 1 and sends another man to meet his maker in Chapter 9 before reality hits the fan for residents of the sleepy New Jersey town. In between, hints of the Bigfoot threat are sprinkled among the tense moments in the Schaffer family drama.
Of course, the initial suspect is a bear on the loose, and soon police officers, park rangers, and news crews are on the crime scene. One police officer, Sara Caine, seems to be the only one with the right combination of common sense and courage to solve the case. But with 250 acres of woods to scour, Sara knows the “bear” hunters will soon be the hunted the moment they enter Bigfoot’s home territory.
When the locals start hunting the “bear,” all hell breaks loose. The author Rosamilia ramps up the action and suspense in a thrilling climax, placing the twins, their friends, and their family in the path of the relentless Bigfoot.
The Beast finishes with a furious clash and a curious twist. Thankfully, both provide what readers of cryptid horror fiction often crave. After all the dust is settled and the blood is dried, The Beast is pure B movie fun in book form with a definite Jaws with claws vibe.
NEXT UP: Chapter Forty-Five: One Step Too Far. I review the 2022 novel by Lisa Gardner.