It has been a little over a year since Oz Chamber’s father bequeathed to him a seemingly useless obsidian pebble, just a day before he was killed in a mysterious car crash. Oz soon discovers that the pebble is so much more than a simple rock. Out of the stone comes Soph, a holographic supercomputer with a sixteen-year-old female avatar. Soph’s computer analyzes the world around her with superhuman speed and accuracy, perfect for helping Oz with school science projects, adventurous escapades, and, most of all, the location of the remaining artefacts, powerful ancient objects in relation to the pebble that could potentially change the world. His two best friends—Ruff Adams, a curly-haired urchin without a filter, and Ellie Messenger, a tough tomboy, are more than up to the challenge. But Oz and his friends are not the only ones who want to find the missing artefacts. The ultra-powerful leader of JG Industries, Mr. Gerber, will stop at nothing to get his hands on the items before the trio. Gerber has all the tools—auramurals, goons, and ultra-modernized weapons—but Oz has Soph, friends, and a never-give-up attitude. So when a mysterious attacker starts to terrorize the students at Oz’s school, he and his friends know that Gerber almost has to be behind it. Soon, Oz, Ruff, and Ellie uncover a secret involving the artefacts and the lore behind them that might turn out to be a lot more than they bargained for.
“Oz’s blood transformed to icy mud in his veins. With a gut-churning certainty, he knew they were about to come face to face with whatever it was that Bernice Halpin had called the Beast of Seabourne.”
To be frank, the beginning of this novel was a twisted mess, too many characters were introduced in a short amount of time, and the story seemed to have no direction at all. Then, around Chapter 15, everything seemed to change. The plot straightened out instead of going in circles, the characters didn’t seem so undeveloped, and some real progress toward the end result occurred. I finally felt like the book had a goal. I was a little confused as to what was going on in the beginning—not reading the first book really stunted my understanding of the story’s focus. I also found the dialect and slang that the characters used perplexing. It was like an English/American/Alien vernacular that I found a little tiring and hard to follow until I got used to the characters and their respective personalities. In conclusion, I felt like the idea and the subject matter of the story was good. The author just spent too much time on the exposition, laying out needlessly intricate groundwork before the rising action, making reading tedious. If that problem is fixed, I would have no qualms about giving the upcoming books in this series a try.
“People called Oz many things—adventurous…rebellious…stubborn…buzzard—but the more people told him to stay away from something, the more determined Oz was to do the exact opposite.”
I would recommend this book for ages eleven and up. There are some violent themes (a given if the title is The Beast of Seabourne), and one or two mild curses are used. I guess chasing a slippery beast can sometimes be frustrating.
Will Oz and his friends be able to find the remaining artefacts and uncover the identity of The Beast of Seabourne before anyone else is hurt? Or will one of them be its next victim? Reading Rhys A. Jones’s new novel, The Beast of Seabourne, is the only way to find out!
Note: If you are interested in delving into the Artefacts Series and want to learn more about the origin of Soph and the start of Oz’s perilous adventure, be sure to check out the first book in the quintet, The Obsidian Pebble, by Rhys A. Jones!