The Beast Is an Animal by Peternelle van Arsdale ~ Review

The Beast Is an Animal

Hardcover352 pages
Published February 28th 2017 
by Margaret K. McElderry Books
Source: ARC Provided by the Publisher
Rating: 3 Out of 5 Stars


Alys was seven the first time she saw the soul eaters. Twin sisters, they radiated an energy that excited Alys. Through them she felt the wildness of the forest, and The Beast within it. Too late, she learned of their power to destroy.

By the time she is fifteen, Alys knows too much about both the lure and the danger of the soul eaters. She lives in a world of adults who are terrified of their power, and who cower behind high walls and grim rules. Fear of the soul eaters—and of The Beast—rules their lives. Even more, they fear the ways in which The Beast may lurk among them—and within a girl like Alys.

For Alys has a connection to the soul eaters, and The Beast. And she hides a truth about herself that she can reveal to no one, for fear she will be called a witch. As the threat posed by the soul eaters grows, Alys must undertake a journey through the wild danger of the fforest. But the greatest danger is not outside her. Alys’s secret about who—and what—she is terrifies her most of all. And in order to save her world, she must also risk losing herself.


Thank you Simon and Schuster for sending me an arc of The Beast Is an Animal for review. This in no way affected my opinion.

I love Brothers Grimm Tales and had recently taken a children's Lit class where we discussed the stories in depth for a couple weeks. The Beast Is an Animal was listed to have that eerie feel and it did. The only thing it was lacking in the Grimm style was a moral to the story.

I definitely loved the first half of the story and was glued to the tale being woven. I did love that we seemed to get a detailed time range of growth with the twins and with Alys. The end is where it got a little lost for me and did not go in a direction I thought it would. I guess I was hoping for that moral or something a little different. 

This story felt very Hansel and Gretal to me and I do recommend this for fans of old folk tales. Also to fans of darker fantasy tales. 

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About the Author: 

Peternelle van Arsdale is a book editor who never thought she'd write a book. She lives in New York City, where she is at work on her second novel. Visit her at


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