Remember last year’s immensely magnificent, where-did-this-book-come-from Uprooted? I knew from the synopsis alone that it was going to be an fantasy of epic proportions but still I was blown away with how goooood it was. This year’s breakout fantasy comes in a more subtle albeit still epic tale called The Beast Is An Animal.
The Beast is an animal
You’d better lock the Gate
Or when it’s dark
It comes for you
Then it will be too late
The story starts off with a very creepy, myth-like origin story of the soul eaters – who are in the form of orphaned twin girls. And our protagonist, little 7-year old Alys encounters them for the first time while she was awake and her whole village was asleep. Long story short, the soul eaters come for the adults and spare the children. And there’s another supernatural being – the Beast, which they believe is the ruler of their world.
As the story progresses, Alys grows from a child to a teenager and discovers her secret talent that she can tell no one – for fear of being tried as a witch. She also feels connected to the soul eaters and the Beast. What in the world is Alys?
Right off the bat, The Beast Is An Animal earns major points for me for taking the YA Supernatural/Witch genre and twisting it into this original and refreshing tale. I’m quite picky when it comes to anything supernatural/fantasy so kudos to the author for delivering all the goods!
Another thing I loved about this book is the simple yet effective storytelling. You know how in most fantasies the author tries to use glittery words to describe places and objects just give it that good ‘ole magical vibe? Well, I’m not a fan of that lol. And this book is no purple prose. It was like reading a children’s fairytale – only way creepier.
And the characters! Man, do I love the cast of characters in this book. Of course, my favourite would have to be Alys. She was absolutely fantastic and I also really geeked out on the part where she uses her secret gift (*wink*). I also quite surprisingly liked the soul eaters. They were creepy antagonists but at the same time they’re only humans who were shunned by the world. There’s a sense of realism and identification with the characters even though it’s set in a fantasy world.
You should totally read this book before the year ends. It’s a must, it’s a hit, and it’s freaking good.