Local author Watt Key combines vivid descriptions of being out in the woods along with the grit and self-reliance we expect and appreciate from his books, though this time he twists the story by sending readers on a wild chase after the elusive cryptid, Bigfoot.

His thirteen-year-old protagonist, Adam Parks, is reeling after the unexpected death of his parents and the knowledge that the creature that caused the deadly car crash isn’t supposed to exist. He has to find a way to live in a world that suddenly feels foreign. Once he meets Stanley, another broken Bigfoot eyewitness, he decides to go off in search of the swamp-ape for desperate answers and to rediscover himself.

I thoroughly enjoyed this middle grade, even more so when I read in the author’s note about the unsettling event that inspired Mr. Key to write this story. The idea of infrasound is new to me but fascinating. Why wouldn’t a species so similar to us develop a different way of using their brain? Maybe early humans had this telepathic ability too and we lost it. It definitely makes you think.

Fabulous descriptions of North Florida forests and springs added an eerie familiarity to the story. I got a kick out of recognizing one of his vignettes from BAY BOY woven into the backstory. I highly recommend this for anyone who likes outdoor adventure stories, cryptid/Bigfoot legends, and survival stories.

BEAST releases today! Pick up your copy at our no-contact curb or have it delivered, either porch-side in select neighborhoods or shipped.

Need more books to go on adventures while being socially responsible and staying home?

I also recommend Watt Key’s other middle grade books including ALABAMA MOON and TERROR AT BOTTLE CREEK.

For adults, be sure to read his short story collections, AMONG THE SWAMP PEOPLE and BAY BOY.

And for other local author cryptid stories, check out MeLeesa Swann’s Legendary Lex series.