I recently won this book in a Goodreads giveaway and I was so excited as I had been dying to read it! Before I jump into my review, check out the blurb:-
Alys was the only one to see the soul eaters when they came to her village. The others were sleeping. They never woke up…
Now, an orphan, Alys knows the full danger of the soul eaters. She’s heard the nursery rhymes the children sing about the twin sisters who feed on souls. She’s seen people disappear into the fforest and never come back. So why, then, does she find herself mysteriously drawn to the fforest? Is she what everyone around her says she is? A witch?
Alys soon finds herself on a journey that will take her to the very heart of the fforest. There she must decide where true evil lies. And face the thing they call …
The Beast is an Animal was a creepy and very enjoyable read! The style makes it feel like an old fairytale, which I absolutely loved; it was like one of the classic Grimm stories where there is real danger and darkness, and happy endings aren’t always guaranteed. There was a great sinister atmosphere for a large portion of the book; it did make me sad that some of this tension was lost in the last 100 pages due to a bad case of insta-love but, for the most part, it was dark and eerie, and I was hooked.
I loved all the Welsh influences that were included. This is not something we get to see very often; I love that YA authors are being more adventurous with their settings lately! I always enjoy books set in forests and Peternelle van Arsdale successfully created a really claustrophobic feel in this book, with monsters lurking just outside the safety of the village gate.
I really liked the growing relationship between Alys and Mother in the book; it felt natural and believable, with Alys feeling isolated in a new village but gradually finding her place. The presentation of the sisters was also fantastic and I loved the snippets of their story that we got to see.
Things did get a little repetitive at points and, as I previously mentioned, there was a bit of annoying insta-love but, overall, I really liked this one and it was a great start to my month of spooky October reads!
The Beast is an Animal came out at the end of September and it’s a perfect read now that the nights are getting longer! Has anyone else read this one??