Title: Creature: A Bureau Story
Series: The Bureau: Book Three
Author: Kim Fielding
Length: 132 Pages
At a Glance: Creature reminds us all that while we may be far from perfect, we still have the capacity to give and receive love.
Reviewed By: Sammy
Blurb: Alone in a cell and lacking memories of his past, John has no idea who—or what—he is.
Alone on the streets of 1950s Los Angeles, Harry has far too many memories of his painful past and feels simply resignation in facing his empty future.
When Harry is given a chance to achieve his only dream—to become an agent with the Bureau of Trans-Species Affairs—all he has to do is prove his worth. Yet nothing has ever come easy for him. Now he must offer himself and John as bait, enticing a man who wants to conquer death. But first he and John must learn what distinguishes a monster from a man—and what a monster truly wants.
Review: There is the hint of a monster in all of us; that is one of the takeaways from Kim Fielding’s latest Bureau series release, Creature. I have to agree with the author on that point. Who among us has not done something, to either stranger or kin, that we didn’t regret later, some harsh or uncaring response that could most definitely qualify us as monsters of a sort? However, this novel not only deals with the metaphorical monster inside but a real life man who is the equivalent of a modern day Frankenstein’s creation.
John, as the creature has chosen to call himself, doesn’t remember becoming—his heart doesn’t beat in the traditional sense, he has no need for food, and when one views him there is a skeletal appearance about him. And scars. So many scars that indicate more than his parts being fused together; they also tell the story of countless abuses and exploratory surgeries to figure out just what he is and how he exists at all.
It is the 1950s and there’s an agency called the Bureau of Trans-Species Affairs that has buried John deep in a cell after multiple failed attempts at seeing what makes him tick. He is left alone, dirty, and naked in a small cell where his only joy is the scant hour or so that sunlight permeates the darkness from the small window in his prison, and John can recall what it was like to be outdoors once upon a time. But his memories are scant, and he’s unsure as to whether they are even his own and so the sunlight becomes his one escape from the hell he lives. Until Harry walks into his life.
Harry is living his own fresh hell, barely making it in the city after escaping an abusive father, an ultra-religious mother, and siblings who all were disgusted when they discovered he was gay at the age of sixteen. Having failed at the one goal he had of becoming an agent, Harry is wary and shocked when he is contacted by the bureau to do a job for them and perhaps earn a place in the field after all. The job entails finding a madman who wants to improve on what John is, and stopping him before he does so. The only catch is that Harry must use John as bait and himself as a lure, and both ideas become increasingly anathema to Harry as the time he has to complete the job runs thin.
We all have a little bit of a monster inside; these are true words that may be hard for many a reader to hear and yet they form the basis of this incredibly poignant story. To say that I fell in love with John the moment I entered his cell might be an understatement. This delicate creature who had only known the harshest of lives until Harry shows him something more—something to hold onto when he must return to the darkness, for return he surely will.
There is no way these two men can escape the crushing pain both have endured. Harry’s was at the hands of a family that made sure he always knew how intellectually inferior he was and how perverse his proclivities were as well. Poor John was hideous to see, initially, until someone looked beyond the scarred and twisted surface and saw the depth of beauty that hid within his soul. For though he was a monster, he was not soulless. But the author allows for these two men to glimpse a future that is far from lonely—still difficult but promising and hopeful nonetheless—and it is beautiful to read.
Creature by Kim Fielding reminds us all that while we may be far from perfect, we still have the capacity to give and receive love. That makes us creatures of light and vanquishes the monsters within all of us.
You can buy Creature here:
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