[Book Review] Vedra and Krimon: Twin Beasts of Avantia (Beast Quest Special Bumper Edition, #1) by Adam Blade

Two new Beasts have been created in Avantia–twin dragons Vedra and Krimon. The Wizard Malvel plans to capture them and control the Beasts with his dark magic. Tom must find the dragons and bring them to safety. But Malvel has some dangerous tricks of his own. Will Tom prevent the twins from falling under the wizard’s evil spell.

Spoilers ahead!

Vedra and Krimon: Twin Beasts of Avantia is the first Beast Quest Special Bumper Edition book; it takes place between Beast Quest and Beast Quest: The Golden Armor. It is also a clusterfuck of weird.

In the book (which I read after the Golden Armor series instead of before–my mistake), Blade introduces two new Beasts, hatchling twin dragons named Vedra and Krimon. If you don’t like them, don’t worry; as far as I know, they never show up again. Because reasons. And since we need some conflict, the oh-so-evil-and-yet-he-never-seems-to-accomplish-anything Malvel wants to corrupt these Beasts for himself, since that worked so well in the previous seven books.

So he sends Seth the Obvious Henchman to befriend and immediately betray Tom and Elenna… within the span of five pages. He is seriously the most transparent double agent I’ve ever seen. Then again, considering I spent most of the Golden Armor series wondering where the heck the little mook came from, I’m just glad to have finally found his introductory scene, regardless of how utterly ridiculous it was.

Seth then proceeds to “steal” one of the baby dragons. A dragon that is, in spite of being newborn, twice as large as Seth. So… he put it in his pocket, then? Yeah, that sounds about right.

And then for some reason that continues to evade me, the story ends with a “to be continued”. In spite of the fact that the sequel/second half/conclusion is on the very next page. In other words, Vedra and Krimon decided, halfway through its plot, that it wanted to be an anthology. Except that it was, as far as my Google Fu has lead me to believe, not originally published as two separate books. (The Italian edition came out in two parts, but that’s just an export translation, not the original edition. IDK.) So that’s some more WTF, because the plot itself apparently didn’t have enough.

At this point, Vedra is in Malvel’s clutches and being subjected to unknown tortures. When they find him again, he’s been corrupted; he’s now “evil”, which apparently is some kind of virus in the Avantia universe instead of, you know, a moral judgement. Quick! Someone vaccination Krimon!

No surprise, Tom and Elenna manage to save their wayward dragon friend, and Blade presents the reader with quite the touching little quote, “Vedra was cured of the evil–he would carry the mark of Good on his belly forever.”

I seriously cannot handle this series’ perspective on morality. It’s absolutely warped. Apparently good and evil are absolutes, and there are no shades of gray. So far, given that Malvel hasn’t really done much besides antagonize Tom, where characters are on the good/evil divide seems to be primarily down to whether they’re aligned with the protagonist or not.

And now Vedra and Krimon has taken it a step further. Born good/neutral? Ah, well you can be corrupted to evil by a few mere moments spent with someone who isn’t good. But worry not, you can also be cured with the “mark of Good”.

Except for Malvel. And Seth. And the evil Beasts in the Golden Armor series. Fuck those guys!

Ugh. I’m really starting to hate this series. I’m 99% positive I won’t be reading past The Dark Realm.

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