Review: The Beast Is An Animal by Peternelle Van Arsdale

Posted March 7, 2017 by Wendy in Reviews / 1 Comment

Review: The Beast Is An Animal by Peternelle Van ArsdaleThe Beast Is an Animal by Peternelle van Arsdale
Published by Simon and Schuster on February 28th 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Fairy Tales & Folklore, General, Horror, Other
Pages: 352
Format: ARC
Source: Borrowed
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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 received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Why Did I Read?

I was drawn in from the beautiful cover and soul eaters — it just sounded creepy and totally intriguing.

My Thoughts:

I’m just fairly disappointed after finishing the book. It started off really well — it had a thrilling/creepy atmosphere and I was drawn into the premise. It reminded me of a mix between the movie the Village and historical Salem witch trials and I was really enjoying the feel of the story! We meet Alys as a child and see her grow up. All this time she knows she’s a bit different than the other children, especially having seen the soul eaters before they killed the adults in her entire village. I was really curious to see how she was different and to learn more about the soul eaters and this Beast.

But I didn’t get much. The plot was soo thin in this book. We read about the soul eaters back story in the prologue and yet they become really one dimensional beings for the rest of the book which is such a shame. The Beast was also a big letdown for me — there just wasn’t much… explanation? And while I was interested in Alys and the other kids the plot really didn’t have enough substance to drive the story forward. After I initially enjoyed the beginning, my enjoyment took a nosedive when not much else happened for the rest of the book.

I think the thrilling feel of the storytelling kept me reading (and also the desire to see what was going to happen at the end) because I didn’t have much else invested in the book. I didn’t form a strong attachment to anyone in the book so add on that the lack of plot and… there just wasn’t much to root for. I wish there was more history of soul eaters in general and more background about the forest and the Beast! There was so much interesting material to work with and I’m disappointed that this one ended up being quite lackluster.

In Short…

I liked the writing style and the premise and set up of the story! Unfortunately there just wasn’t enough plot to keep things interesting and push the story forward. The plot was thin and I felt distanced from the characters so I honestly had nothing to get invested in.

My Rating: 

Have you read this one? What did you think?

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One response to “Review: The Beast Is An Animal by Peternelle Van Arsdale

  1. Nooooo, so disappointing! I hate when a book starts off great and doesn’t keep that momentum going. The combo you described sounds SO awesome! At least you enjoyed the writing and the mystery aspect. Have you read The Glass Casket? I think you’d like it! It’s also creepy and Village-y.