Mar 3rd

The Beast is an Animal Presented by Irish Banana Tours!

Posted in Reviews
beast-is-an-animal

Title: The Beast is an Animal
Author: Peternelle van Arsdale
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Date Published: February 28, 2017
Where I got the book: ARC received from publisher
Available for Purchase From: AMAZON | Quail Ridge Books (indie) | Flyleaf Books (indie)
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.

The Beast is an animal
It has a pointy chin
It eats you while you sleep at night
Leaves nothing but your skin”


What an incredible debut!! The Beast is an Animal is a fascinating mix of thriller and fantasy. It is written similar to a fairytale but with much better character development and connection. I don’t believe I’ve ever read anything quite like it and I’m so glad I was able to read it. The cover is SO GORGEOUS!! I love the beautiful image and the mystery invoking colors!

The story begins with a legend; a fairytale used to scare people into compliance. Or the real story behind that legend. Then we meet Alys and follow her through the trials and tribulations of her younger years. We meet friends and enemies as Alys learns to survive and encounters supernatural forces that teach her more about who she is. I love the plot. It creeps along slow and scary at times and then fills with action and new information. It has the perfect timing for the atmosphere it creates. The ending was supremely satisfying, which is something I’m very happy about as I’ve been disappointed with a lot of endings lately.

I absolutely love the setting and world-building. Defaid is a supremely creepy, terrible place. Think of it as a cult like village filled with mean, judgmental religious people. The fforest(I LOVE THIS SPELLING!) is equally creepy and beautiful. The descriptions are so well done I had a detailed mental picture as I read. The lake community was also beautiful and well described. It was just as I imagine a Roma or Traveler camp would look like. It was filled with loud, friendly people and set next to the water. I think the setting/world-building went a long way towards making the thriller/fantasy feel of this book successful. If she hadn’t done such a wonderful job describing it and making everything fit well, the plot may not have been so epic and perfect. The magical elements are also really cool. They are raw and, pun intended, animalistic. They definitely fit the plot and the world very well. I’d actually really be interested in seeing another book featuring the same Beast.

The characters were very interesting. I really liked Alys. She was a strong female main character with believable faults. When you have a book encompass both younger years and adolescent, it can be hard to show realistic changes while still keeping the things that make that character who they are. This was very well done with Alys. She never lost her need to roam but as she grew older, she learned when she could roam and where she could go. I liked her conflict within herself as well as how she interacted with all the people she meets. It felt very real and always true to character. The soul eaters, while we saw less of them, were really fascinating and vital to the book. I loved the Beast! As I already mentioned, I’d like to see more of him! Alys’ parents were also very well written characters. Most of the secondary characters in this book get less page time and less interaction, but are somehow still really well developed. It was such a joy to read a book like this. Pawl and Beti might be my 2nd favorites. They were so important to Alys’ story and their character arcs took such an interesting twist! We don’t meet Cian till over halfway through the book, but I still liked him. He is a very simple character. He doesn’t have much artifice about him and has simple lines. Somehow I still really loved him! I hope it doesn’t sound silly, but I really have never seen so little into the hearts of so many secondary characters and still enjoyed them so much. It gave me such a connection to Alice and let my mind focus more on the plot and the atmosphere without making those secondary characters seem flat, or less than. This really is a testament to the talent of the author. I think the only thing I really wished for was more of the Beast. He had a much smaller part than I expected, it didn’t change how great this book is, but I still really wanted more of him.

I can’t recommend this book highly enough! It was an incredibly impressive debut. It was so very unique and fascinating. If you love fantasy, then I don’t think you can go on without reading The Beast is an Animal, it is just too good!

beast-is-an-animal

Title: The Beast is an Animal
Author: Peternelle van Arsdale
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Date Published: February 28, 2017
Where I got the book: ARC received from publisher
Available for Purchase From: AMAZON | Quail Ridge Books (indie) | Flyleaf Books (indie)
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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.

The Beast is an animal
It has a pointy chin
It eats you while you sleep at night
Leaves nothing but your skin”


What an incredible debut!! The Beast is an Animal is a fascinating mix of thriller and fantasy. It is written similar to a fairytale but with much better character development and connection. I don’t believe I’ve ever read anything quite like it and I’m so glad I was able to read it. The cover is SO GORGEOUS!! I love the beautiful image and the mystery invoking colors!

The story begins with a legend; a fairytale used to scare people into compliance. Or the real story behind that legend. Then we meet Alys and follow her through the trials and tribulations of her younger years. We meet friends and enemies as Alys learns to survive and encounters supernatural forces that teach her more about who she is. I love the plot. It creeps along slow and scary at times and then fills with action and new information. It has the perfect timing for the atmosphere it creates. The ending was supremely satisfying, which is something I’m very happy about as I’ve been disappointed with a lot of endings lately.

I absolutely love the setting and world-building. Defaid is a supremely creepy, terrible place. Think of it as a cult like village filled with mean, judgmental religious people. The fforest(I LOVE THIS SPELLING!) is equally creepy and beautiful. The descriptions are so well done I had a detailed mental picture as I read. The lake community was also beautiful and well described. It was just as I imagine a Roma or Traveler camp would look like. It was filled with loud, friendly people and set next to the water. I think the setting/world-building went a long way towards making the thriller/fantasy feel of this book successful. If she hadn’t done such a wonderful job describing it and making everything fit well, the plot may not have been so epic and perfect. The magical elements are also really cool. They are raw and, pun intended, animalistic. They definitely fit the plot and the world very well. I’d actually really be interested in seeing another book featuring the same Beast.

The characters were very interesting. I really liked Alys. She was a strong female main character with believable faults. When you have a book encompass both younger years and adolescent, it can be hard to show realistic changes while still keeping the things that make that character who they are. This was very well done with Alys. She never lost her need to roam but as she grew older, she learned when she could roam and where she could go. I liked her conflict within herself as well as how she interacted with all the people she meets. It felt very real and always true to character. The soul eaters, while we saw less of them, were really fascinating and vital to the book. I loved the Beast! As I already mentioned, I’d like to see more of him! Alys’ parents were also very well written characters. Most of the secondary characters in this book get less page time and less interaction, but are somehow still really well developed. It was such a joy to read a book like this. Pawl and Beti might be my 2nd favorites. They were so important to Alys’ story and their character arcs took such an interesting twist! We don’t meet Cian till over halfway through the book, but I still liked him. He is a very simple character. He doesn’t have much artifice about him and has simple lines. Somehow I still really loved him! I hope it doesn’t sound silly, but I really have never seen so little into the hearts of so many secondary characters and still enjoyed them so much. It gave me such a connection to Alice and let my mind focus more on the plot and the atmosphere without making those secondary characters seem flat, or less than. This really is a testament to the talent of the author. I think the only thing I really wished for was more of the Beast. He had a much smaller part than I expected, it didn’t change how great this book is, but I still really wanted more of him.

I can’t recommend this book highly enough! It was an incredibly impressive debut. It was so very unique and fascinating. If you love fantasy, then I don’t think you can go on without reading The Beast is an Animal, it is just too good!

By Kate Woods

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