Questing Beast

Rated 4.64/5 based on 33 reviews
On a world far far away, where cute things eat computers and the sky is emerald green, a small team of scientists struggles to save the planet and their own careers by mixing genetic engineering and Arthurian legend. Too bad they had forgotten the first rule of planet exploration: Nature always has the last laugh.
Download: epub mobi (Kindle) pdf more Online Reader

Also by This Author

Readers of This Book Also Read


Review by: James Shipway on Oct. 04, 2016 :
A fun short story that doesn't try too hard to be funny. Well paced and reminded me of the Stargate Atlantis tv series.
(review of free book)

Review by: KG1001 on July 04, 2016 :
Hi-Tech and kinda kooky fun in this futuristic and far out sci-fi story. Bonus points that it's by a very popular author and it's free on Smashwords. More pop authors should put some of their work on here for free bc now I'm going to the book store to by some paperbacks by Ilona Andrews. cool!
(review of free book)

Review by: Mike White on May 08, 2016 :
The author did a great job with world-building. This is a science fiction story that's full of details, and yet the author also avoided bogging the story down with too much exposition. It's also always interesting to see science fiction animals, which tend to appear less often in the genre than many other sci-fi tropes.

Characters who find unorthodox solutions to problems are always fun, particularly in settings like this. While these characters live in a society very different from ours, their dilemmas in this story still managed to be weirdly easy to understand emotionally. I particularly loved the ambiguous and suggestive ending.
(review of free book)

Review by: MargoFilling on Feb. 15, 2016 :
I really liked this story because it was full of quirky creatures and splashy images all set on a planet far far away. There were many high tech features included but not in a way that distracted from the characters or the plot. I especially like that it was free which made it a great introduction to this author.
(review of free book)

Review by: JohnGuida49 on Jan. 13, 2016 :
So far I'm having great luck with 'most downloaded' highly reviewed short stories on Smashwords. I was not expecting anything as good as this story and I'm very pleasantly surprised. If you like classic literature and science fiction, you'll enjoy this quirky tale set on a far off planet teeming with weird creatures. I suspect the author was doing some 'world building' here to create a place for a longer novel but the tight plot and genuine characters pulled me through. Also, the writing is bright with creative surprises. Lots of pop and spark and gooey sentences that really grabbed my imagination. Thanks.
(review of free book)

Review by: Morgan Smith on Jan. 08, 2016 :
That was oddly adorable. It's what I always love about Ilona Andrews: there's the weird, and weirder, and the entirely lovable. Not to mention happy endings.
(review of free book)

Review by: Haggie on Nov. 22, 2015 :
Such a good story. I've read it a couple of times now and it hasn't gotten old.
(review of free book)

Review by: James Jenkins on Nov. 13, 2015 :
Cute, but not overly engaging.
(review of free book)

Review by: Eileen Troemel on Aug. 06, 2015 :
Entertaining, imaginative, and an interesting take on crossing science fiction with fantasy / Arthurian mythology.
(review of free book)

Review by: Hobbe Noxious on June 16, 2015 :

"Life finds a way", eh?
(review of free book)

Review by: Catherine G. on July 28, 2014 :
I "bought" this on Smashwords. It was free. I mainly chose it because of the beautiful cover.

I sort of liked this story. It had an interesting premise and some interesting portions within it. My main problem is that I didn't find it interesting enough to follow it completely. I found my attention dwindling a little at times.

The overall story was quite well written, but I think it's the type of story that definitely needs more explanation than a short story can provide. Maybe if it were longer, it would be able to give the interest that it couldn't provide me in some places.
(review of free book)

Review by: Burns Well on March 12, 2014 :
This short story was cryptic at times due to a lack of introduction to the story, but it was a good read and very creative. Quite a trip.
(review of free book)

Review by: C.M. Brown on May 13, 2013 :
This short sci-fi story, by Ilona Andrews, is a fun read. The Questing Beast, is set on a distant planet, where Sean Kozlov; head of a team of scientists, is awaiting the arrival of the Committee, which will be visiting, to view his team's final data, collected from two years of research.

Unfortunately, for Sean and his team a virus has attacked their computer system and the data could be permanently lost.

This is a wacky story, filled with very strange happenings and imaginative creatures. I wouldn't be surprised if Ilona was experiencing a drug induced high; when she wrote this story, but this being said, it really is a quick, fun read!
(review of free book)

Review by: T.K. Toppin on Dec. 28, 2012 :
What a delightful little read this was. A compact little tale, complete with a detailed world and characters with personalities that come out in their dialogue and actions. Their humour had me grinning, as well as the dry wit done just right. The story, unusual but believable with enough tech stuff to keep a sci-fi fan's interest.
(review of free book)

Review by: Mark Crownstill on Dec. 24, 2012 :
A very fun and easy read. Its wacky storyline and characters that i shared an exciting sense of despair with made my day. The humor makes it all even more fun and worth reading.
(review of free book)

Review by: Martha Bechtel on Dec. 14, 2012 :
Wonderful little story with just the right mixture of science fiction, humor, Arthurian legends, and proof that sometimes tilting at windmills /is/ the right answer. :)
(review of free book)

Review by: e.i.b. on Nov. 06, 2012 :
You did a great job!!! :)
(review of free book)

Review by: Jonathan Antony Strickland on Oct. 09, 2012 :
Ha ha…..Good little story this one. Actually took me a while to work out what was going on but once it all clicked together I enjoyed it thoroughly as the poor crew on Nemuria have to come up with an ingenius method of dealing with data loss through the creation of Sir Pellinore’s Questing beast.

Very interesting stuff and a good little read.
(review of free book)

Review by: frances on Aug. 10, 2012 :
This is a cute and funny short story with furry animals who eat computers and a purring chimera!
I liked it!
(review of free book)

Review by: Melinda Le Baron on May 29, 2012 :
This short story was like a mix of high future tech and old Literature. A strange combination that worked quite nicely. It is the story of scientists on an alien planet, doing their final report before colonization. Just as the final pages are being input into the computer, a millepede virus hits and wipes out everything except one peripheral that is fighting the attack. The peripheral's name is Nannybot and it keeps quoting L'Morte d'Arthur by Mallory about killing the Questing Beast. This is when the story kicks into gear. Unlike Don Quixote tilting at windmills, Nannybot wants a real Questing Beast to conquer. By conquering the Beast, Nannybot will get her mind back - and she has the whole report on her. The only group who never turned in a report previously, had been eaten.

1. They will have to create a Questing Beast through gene manipulation
2. They will have to send Nannybot after it and keep their fingers crossed.
3. They will have to hope that this crazy plan works, and Nannybot comes to her senses.
4. They will hopefully be employable sometime in their lifetime if this blows up.

The end of the story is priceless, so much like Mallory - a knight built of shining armor who rides a mechanical brown cow in the future,on a distant planet. What could be better. The juxtaposition of the old and the new was the perfect combination to make this story work. The only thing missing was the Holy Grail. The characterization went into the planet as a character, as well as Nannybot and the Questing Beast. All the humans were secondary or tertiary characters, which makes this story quite unique. You have a peripheral that thinks it's a knight out of literature, riding a mechanical brown cow, wanting to slay the Questing Beast. You have an entire planet, it's flora, it's fauna, it's topology, it's weather, and everything else about it. Then there's the Questing Beast - pulled from memory, she's beautiful and quite deadly, with aspects of multiple animals, and gorgeous rosettes on it's fur. It's supposed to be sterile, but... These three characters are what come to life in this story. There isn't a lot of dialogue except when they find the virus, and when they're deciding about the Questing Beast. What dialogue there is, is great quality. Each person's voice is unique and they handle stress differently. The pace of the story is quick, at page one you're hooked, and then it's over too soon - leaving you wanting more of that brave little Nannybot who thinks it's a knight.

I would recommend this story to anybody who has ever owned a computer, or used one at work. That's just about everybody! This story gives you a new perspective on technology - it's not all cool, or a pain in the a$$, if it could be like Nannybot and fight like the knights of old, that would be outrageous, then it would be cool. I'd buy a peripheral like that any day of the week, and twice on Sundays. Just go to Smashwords and get it for free. If you don't have an e-reader, you can use your computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone.
(review of free book)

Review by: Nicole Thornton on May 28, 2012 :
Loved this short story. Really enjoy their writing and stories (it's a husband and wife team). I want my own Questing Beast!
(review of free book)

Review by: Sarah Spelbring on April 27, 2012 :
Very well written, it covers many genres, humor, sci-fi, even a bit of romance. Great fun, loved the ending.
(review of free book)

Review by: Danyelle Read on Feb. 19, 2012 : (no rating)
My first read on Smashwords, and my first review, which I am compelled to write out of gratitude for a story well-written, one that also made me laugh aloud, several times. Oh, you've set a high bar here.
(review of free book)

Review by: Georgina Anne Taylor on Feb. 17, 2012 :
Just wonderful!
(review of free book)

Review by: Fiona Tanzer on Nov. 26, 2011 :
As a molecular geneticist I can relate to this story at a number of levels...the looming report deadline, failing equipment - and experiments and organisms that behave other than one would like.

As a reader I enjoyed the colourful story, the gentle puns, the wry humour and - yes - I gained a sense of ultimate Panglossian "best of all possible worlds" optimism in the story. I particularly liked nannybot, who epitomises for me the spirit of science!

I will be reading more from the Ilona Andrews team!
(review of free book)

Review by: Gerhi Feuren on Oct. 05, 2011 :
This is a delightful story, tightly plotted with vivid characters and a richly described setting. There is enough here to build out to a full length novel but the short story told here is presented as a good read.

I hope Ilona Andrews writes more stories of this planet with the merlot atmosphere.
(review of free book)

Review by: Gerhi Feuren on Oct. 05, 2011 : (no rating)
This is a delightful story. The characters are vivid and the setting is rich with detail and atmosphere. The idea is worthy to be extended to a full length novel but the story is tightly plotted. I hope Ilona Andrews writes more stories for this planet.
(review of free book)

Review by: R. McCullough on Aug. 31, 2011 :
An excellent story line………..
Let me know should you, or other authors, want free pictures for your free or possibly other stories.
Email me at
Noël Baba’s Fotos
(review of free book)

Review by: Bumblefish on Feb. 24, 2011 :
very nice! and fun
(review of free book)

Review by: J.A. Clement on Sep. 30, 2010 :
Excellent! Well-written, well-paced, funny and a joy to read. And if you have any spare trogomets or for that matter, Questing Beasts, I'd like to adopt them please!
(review of free book)

Review by: bea k. on July 22, 2010 :
probably my favourite freebie story, ever. Mook!
(review of free book)

Review by: Marva Dasef on July 21, 2010 :
Excellent story. I'm definitely interested in the further works of Ilona Andrews (both of you!).
(review of free book)

Review by: Alex Draven on June 20, 2010 :
I've read two of Andrews' print novels, and enjoyed one far more than the other, so this was something of a tie break.

Point to Andrews - this is a delightful read - fun and playful, while both the universe and the characters are solidly rooted.

An excellent taster.
(review of free book)

Review by: Robert Penner on June 08, 2010 :
Questing Beast was a well written and fun little story to read. I found it to sweep me away in imagination due to the descriptive colors of the planet and strange creatures that lived there. Although the story ended too soon for me it still kept me entertained all the way through. Well done.
(review of free book)

Review by: Francis W. Porretto on May 20, 2010 :
Hah! Thou varlet! Thou clabber-clawed cream-faced loon! Avaunt thee!

But seriously, this is delightful. Especially given the generally low level of imagination and workmanship displayed by Smashwords writers, it's a joy to have stumbled on it. Malory would be proud. Spenser would swoon! (Berkeley, of course, would deny its existence.)

But, as the incumbent Curmudgeon Emeritus to the World Wide Web, it is compulsory for me to say something critical about whatever I read. And so, I have consulted my Nemurian dictionary and must regretfully inform you that the possessive plural of "trogomet" is "trogomets'," with no additional "s." Be more careful in the future!
(review of free book)

Report this book