The Beast Is an Animal
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About the Author
Peternelle van Arsdale is a book editor who never thought she would write a book, until one day she had a glimmer of an idea that became The Beast Is an Animal. She lives in Brooklyn, where she is at work on her next novel.
"A swift and compelling read that will be popular with fantasy and retold-fairy tale readers."--Booklist
Rock-solid setting and a Salem witch trial-like culture ground readers in this slow-moving but psychologically intense
fantasy.... Van Arsdale sets up her dominoes so that when the first is finally knocked over, subsequent events cascade the story forward in a rush of energy through to the final showdown.--Horn Book
The opening chapter, detailing the origin of the sister soul eaters, sets the disturbingly eerie tone of the book, and the atmosphere becomes oppressive in its darkness as the years move on and Alys' inevitable meeting with the soul eaters come closer.... The detached narration and prolonged timeline makes this a slow burn story with a slightly folklike feel, and the few pages from the sisters' perspective ratchet up the suspense to an almost unbearable level. The unsettling actions of the Puritan-like Defaiders and the chilling legend around the Beast combine to create a truly horrifying tale of revenge, murder, and evil.--BCCB
Atmospheric and immersive, van Arsdale's eerie fantasy keeps its focus on Alys's struggle to reconcile who she is with what she wants to be as it builds toward a poignant and satisfying conclusion.--Publishers Weekly
"The book reads like a historical fairy tale set in Puritan America. The mix of magic, folklore, and human struggle will appeal to a variety of readers. It explores the nuance of humanity, while also being about the things that go bump in the night."
--School Library Connection