The Beast is an Animal – Peternelle van Arsdale

81t3qz-1fcl The Beast is an Animal – Peternelle van Arsdale, Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, 9781481488419, 2017

Format: Paperback ARC

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

Genre:  YA Fantasy

What did you like about the book? This story is a slow-burn mystery that would be great to give you the chills late at night.  In all of Byd there is a fear of the Soul Eaters and the Beast who live in the fforest.  Little Alys first saw the Soul Eaters when she was 7; and they destroyed all the adults over age 16 in her town.  In this primitive style world that reads a lot like old Witch Fever era Salem, MA; Alys is taken in by the strict people of the nearby village of Defaid; as are all the remaining newly orphaned children of her hometown.  But very soon, the Defaiders fear this girl who was awake when all others slept and her parents were sucked of their souls…and accusations of witchcraft are quick to follow. Alys begins to fear herself as well; wondering if she too, is a Soul Eater…

Anything you didn’t like about it? There was an annoying number of words which began with a double “f”.  Like: “fforest” and even a few character names like “Fford” and “Ffagan”.  There was no reason given for this choice and it was really annoying and distracted me from the otherwise good story. The character arcs aren’t huge or sweeping but Alys’s journey is interesting enough to follow and really enjoy.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Good for a quick thriller read with a dash of romance.  It’s like a YA witch trail book for a few chapters and then a journey of self discover mixed with questing adventure in there for a bit as well so historical fiction readers willing to dabble in fantasy could enjoy this as well.

Who should buy this book? Public Libraries

Where would you shelve it? YA (Fantasy) Fiction

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: April Duclos, Hudson Public Library, Hudson MA

Date of review: 1/15/17

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