I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The Beast Is an Animal by Peternelle van Arsdale
Release date: February 28th, 2017
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Genre: Young adult, fantasy
A girl with a secret talent must save her village from the encroaching darkness in this haunting and deeply satisfying tale.
Alys was seven when the soul eaters came to her village.
These soul eaters, twin sisters who were abandoned by their father and slowly morphed into something not quite human, devour human souls. Alys, and all the other children, were spared—and they were sent to live in a neighboring village. There the devout people created a strict world where good and evil are as fundamental as the nursery rhymes children sing. Fear of the soul eaters—and of the Beast they believe guides them—rule village life. But the Beast is not what they think it is. And neither is Alys.
Inside, Alys feels connected to the soul eaters, and maybe even to the Beast itself. As she grows from a child to a teenager, she longs for the freedom of the forest. And she has a gift she can tell no one, for fear they will call her a witch. When disaster strikes, Alys finds herself on a journey to heal herself and her world. A journey that will take her through the darkest parts of the forest, where danger threatens her from the outside—and from within her own heart and soul.
I really, really loved this book! It was one of my most anticipated releases of 2017 and it didn’t disappoint AT ALL. Last year was full of meh books that I was hoping would be amazing. So you can understand when I opened the first page, read it and squealed with joy. IT WAS JUST SO GOOD!
The Beast is an Animal is so much more than its description. It’s a fairytale with creepy soul sucking monsters. It’s a good old good versus evil tale. A slow builder that will have you reading on and on. But it’s also a tale of fear, what happens when a society turns against each other and when intolerance leads to violence. A very important theme for this day and time.
Reasons Why I Loved It:
- It has a very dark and eerie atmosphere. It kind of reminded me of the movie The Village, but better, much better. Everything about it is creepy: the cover design, the synopsis, the nursery rhymes repeated throughout. Just the nursery rhymes. There’s really nothing more chilling than small childern singing (I imagined with an English accent) a song about death. *shudders* BUT I LOVED EVERY SECOND OF IT!
- It’s about soul eaters but they aren’t just life sucking monsters. There’s so much more to them and being able to see their evolution was really fascinating. Oh, and the soul eaters are twin girls who can glide across the ground and communicate telepathically. They are supposed to be evil but I really, really liked them. I would have loved to have more of their point of view. Now that would have been fascinating!
- The story is written in a simplistic but beautiful way. It is a bit slow but the build up is more than worth it. There’s tons and tons of suspense and I found my brain jumping all over the place try to make connections and guess where the story would go next.
- Alys was an amazing main character! She was such a complex character battling against herself. Is she good? Is she bad? Things in the story were really never what they seemed. I can’t really say anything more without spoiling the book, so just believe me when I say that she’s wonderful.
- It reads like a fairytale, especially with the opening. It starts with a tale about how the story’s soul eaters are born and eventually become less than human. The introduction captured my attention right away. It was the perfect way to open the story. Seriously…read it!
You just really need to read this book! I know I’m going to be pushing it on all of my friends (and let’s be real, people I don’t even know) because it’s one of the creepiest, dark and haunting books I’ve read in a really long time. So, go pick it up. Buy it. Rent it. Borrow it from a friend. JUST TURN THE LIGHTS DOWN LOW AND READ IT.
Also, I highly suggest watching the book trailer for some extra creepy goodness! 🙂
Peternelle van Arsdale is a book editor who never thought she’d write a book, until one day she had a glimmer of an idea that became The Beast Is an Animal. She lives in New York City, where she is at work on her second novel.