Fiction - Fantasy - Epic
416 Pages
Reviewed on 11/02/2015
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

I work at Swansea University Research Department in the UK, where I am lucky enough to be part of so many exciting projects. Seeing all the good work in fields such as medicine is very inspiring, and motivates me every day. Creativity is very important and I try to surround myself with as much as possible. I live in Swansea with my beautiful fiancée Helen; we are busy planning our September Wedding. We both enjoy exercising, and walks along the coast.
I love a good read, and have spent countless, hours, days, weeks...ok probably years of my life absorbing as much as possible. By taking everything I love from cherished authors such as Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Tad Williams, George RR Martin, Piers Anthony, amongst a multitude of others, my writing tastes of all. Though the gravy may be a concoction of many, the meat and potato are my own. Fantasy is my greatest love, and the genre I enjoy most to write. With all great books, characters come first; I enjoy putting mine through hell, thinking of ways to make them grow, and for the reader to relate to them.

I love to hear from new people, and to share ideas. You can find me on Twitter (Karlbeer2) or contact me through this website:

    Book Review

Reviewed by Tracy Slowiak for Readers' Favorite

I just finished reading Crik by author Karl Beer, and all I can say is "Wow!" How's that for a review? I must admit, I read a lot, and a lot of what I read is in the genre of fantasy. I can honestly stay that Crik is one of the very best that I have read in a long, long time. Follow the story of Crik Village and the inhabitants there, all of whom have their own unique "Talent." Jack, our protagonist, who is also known as Yin, has a talent that none has really encountered before. He has a shadow, but not just any shadow. Jack's shadow can act independently from Jack and does his own very often naughty things that get Jack into quite a bit of trouble. Jack starts to wonder where his and all of the Talents have come from and that's when the real adventure begins.

I loved this book. Loved. It. Author Karl Beer has done an absolutely fantastic job in creating characters that his readers will relate to and connect with, even in a highly fantastic setting; not an easy feat. His world creation abilities are simply second to none, and this story line was so creative and unique that I was left in awe. Any reader who loves a great work of fantasy will love Crik. I highly recommend this book. I will be anxiously waiting for the next offering by author Karl Beer. With his obvious and immense talent, I am quite certain that he will not remain undiscovered for long!

K.C. Finn

Crik is a work of epic fantasy by author Karl Beer, set in a fantasy village of the same name. The people of Crik Wood are all quite extraordinary, possessing supernatural talents in a variety of different forms. Some can talk to different animals, others encourage plants to grow, but our central character, Jack, has a shadow with a life of its own. The perilous Yang, from whom Jack cannot escape, gets him into all kinds of trouble. When Jack discovers the brutal truth about how the Talents of Crik Wood are distributed, he makes a final decision to be rid of Yang for good. So begins an epic adventure of angst, magic, and heart-breaking sacrifice.

Karl Beer writes with a dark and almost political seriousness, but this is mixed with whimsical and fantastic fantasy elements which give it, for me at least, a Phillip Pullman style quality. Suitable for adults and younger readers, Crik is a hefty and involved read, but one that is absolutely packed with interesting turns of plot, vivid description, and harrowing choices for Jack to make. The inner theme of identity and the idea of being judged by your talents smacks home with startling emotional realism, and I found the relationship between Jack and Bill well founded and authentically written. Overall, I would highly recommend Crik to fantasy fans looking for a deep and engrossing read, as well as magical ‘creatures’ and abilities that are truly unique and fresh for the genre.

Michelle Stanley

Crik is a fantasy epic for teens by Karl Beer. In the village of Crik each person has a special skill called a “Talent.” The Mayor speaks to insects, Jack has a misbehaving shadow called Yang, and his mother grows plants overnight. After seeing a giant bury an object in Grandma Poulis' garden, Jack digs it up and realizes it is an egg, which hatches into a lizard-like creature. The creature possesses Bill’s body, giving him the “talent” to talk to animals. He and Jack venture into the woods and are captured by the evil Marsh Man who wants to control their talents. They escape with another prisoner, Inara, and venture deeper into the wilderness where they are hunted by the Myrm monsters. As they encounter numerous dangers along the way, Jack realizes that his village of Crik has hidden secrets for many years that now affect their lives, and he suspects his shadow is a traitor to him.

Crik is an exciting, action-packed epic adventure that teens will like. In some ways, it reminded me of the novel Eldest, since a few characters and scenes are similarly repulsive. Karl Beer is an excellent fantasy storyteller who is not afraid to stretch his imagination to create unique plots. His writing style is fluid, and the dialogue is unforced with spine-chilling descriptive drama. Jack and Bill bravely learn how to deal with the new discoveries that affect and mature them along the way. Crik is a novel I highly recommend reading.