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The Beast Is an Animal

Review

The Beast Is an Animal

Imagine waking up to find that all of the adults in your village are dead and that all of the children are asleep --- and will continue sleeping --- unless you force them to wake up. As a child, Alys never wanted to go to sleep at night, so the night before this eerie mystery occurred, she was out in the meadow near the forest. There, she met two strange women made of mud and leaves, before returning to find her village permanently changed.

In THE BEAST IS AN ANIMAL, we travel along with Alys as she finds out more about the twin Soul Eaters who destroyed her village and how to stop them from haunting the village that she, along with the sleeping children from the destroyed village, are currently living in. As she learns more about her own fate through The Beast, readers are dragged into a book full of suspense that still leaves them wanting more details at the end of it all.

"Packed with action and mysteries, this book has been one of the most exciting books I’ve read so far in this year....I would recommend this book to readers who are interested in fantasy stories with a bit of mystery and romance within their pages."

As Peternelle van Arsdale’s debut novel, THE BEAST IS AN ANIMAL was highly anticipated by many people and it’s obvious to see why. Packed with action and mysteries, this book has been one of the most exciting books I’ve read so far in this year; however, it did not live up to the expectations I had set for it. Perhaps it is because there were too many events planned for this story, but I felt as though everything was watered down and the pacing was a little off. Although I never found myself bored with reading the story, I feel like there were parts which needed more details in order for the reader to better understand what was going on or even just to enjoy the moment more thoroughly.

I also felt like character development for the minor characters and Alys’s relationship with them could be improved. Near the end of the story, I appreciated the new relationship Alys had formed with another character because it made the ending all the more sweet; however, the relationship felt awkwardly forced and it didn’t feel like a relationship that had been naturally built up so it wasn’t too enjoyable for me to read about.

Even though Arsdale skipped details for certain events, she did describe the origins of the Soul Eaters and her description was wonderfully written. By doing this, Arsdale really sets the story up perfectly and gives the readers a bit of background information that is not shared with the main character. I think this decision explains a few things in the story; however, I wish the author had somehow connected this information to the ending. I feel like it was split up into different sections and the transitions weren’t all too smooth but overall this extra information is much appreciated.

Overall, THE BEAST IS AN ANIMAL was certainly a different kind of tale that caught my attention and the general plot idea sounded very nice; however, the execution of the actual story could be worked on to make it a more pleasurable read. That said, I would still recommend this book to readers who are interested in fantasy stories with a bit of mystery and romance within their pages.

Reviewed by Alyssa L., Teen Board Member on February 21, 2017

The Beast Is an Animal
by Peternelle van Arsdale