An out of practice reader discussing the books I get around to reading.
Speed Read accomplished! Finished it just in time for it's due date tomorrow.
The Beast is an Animal takes place in a mystical, medieval land where an entire village has their souls stolen in the night. Well, almost the entire village. Every child under the age of 16 lives and travel to the village of Defaid where the children of the cursed village must serve as guards against the soul eaters. Only, the soul eaters aren't the only threat. The twin sisters may be the most imminent danger but Alys knows there's something else, something worse coming to destroy them all. Assuming she doesn't become a soul eater herself first.
I really loved this story. I saw it advertised as a new fairy tale, specifically a Grimm fairy tale, and I feel that's exactly what I received. It had so many hallmarks of the fair tale stories I love. Curses, villages, love, monsters, and happily ever after. All without being cheesy! I'm really impressed on how, while reading this book, I never once felt like rolling my eyes, like "Oh how Disney of them" (note: Not knocking Disney, I sing Tangled when I get bored). The book also covered a lot of really big themes, like the nature of humanity and good and evil and prejudice but it all made was handled delicately. Like, nothing felt very heavy handed or out of place. I'm really impressed by how well this story was woven.
The plot was good and not quite what I was expected.My blood boiled at multiple points, such as Alys' "trial". Any sort of Salem-like situation always raises my hackles. But I was glad the story was able to get such a reaction from me. I liked Alys' progression and her self discovery. I was worried where her story was headed might end with something unsatisfying but really it worked out perfectly. On that note, Alys was a wonderful character. All the characters were, even the nasty ones. My favorite character was the Beast, even though It had a small role. Van Arsdale did such a good job of packing a ton of personality into such a unique character that's only in less than a third of the novel.
I really don't have any complaints about this one. The beginning kind of threw me off a little just in the way it was written but I caught on fast so I won't hold that against it.
Final rating: 5/5. Really awesome story for those who love fairy tales and fuzzy beasts.