Review: The Beast Is an Animal by Peternelle van Arsdale

29522966

Overall Score: 7/10

Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Horror

Series: No

Publisher: Margaret K. Elderberry Books

Release Date: February 28, 2017

Source: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Book Summary (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.

Review

Every once in a while, I read a book and I can’t figure out if I liked it or not. The Beast Is an Animal was one of those books. It was dark, atmospheric, and somehow utterly enchanting.

I waited a few days after reading it to write this review in order to let it sink in. The story has a very definite fairytale feeling to it, where fantastic things happen but have little to no explanation as to how they happen. I tend to prefer very strong world-building and this book had very little. The reader is never given answers to some important questions (such as what is the Beast, how does soul-eating work, what sort of magic is there in the world). The answers that are given are vague. However, while reading, I still found myself able to immerse myself in the world.

Besides Alys, her second mother was the only character who truly stood out to me. After she originally displayed her healing magic, she fades from view until a certain point and the idea of magic is mostly lost. While the distance was perhaps meant to convey the growing distance between the two different peoples, I wished I could have gotten to know her better. As for Alys herself, I liked her as a protagonist. There was one interaction she had with Cian toward the end of the book that I absolutely loved (and which helped me understand the book better).

If you read this story, don’t expect an action-filled, fully fleshed-out world. Rather, approach it as you would a fairytale and revel in the beautifully created atmosphere. The Beast Is an Animal is a very unique book and I think, if they approach it with the proper expectations, that many readers will enjoy it.

Advertisements
This entry was posted in Book Reviews, Fantasy, Youg Adult and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Review: The Beast Is an Animal by Peternelle van Arsdale

  1. Lori says:

    I love atmospheric stories. This sounds right up my alley, but I have been hearing mixed things. If I do read it I’ll make sure to have the right expectations. Great review!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s