The Beast is an Animal by Peternelle van Arsdale

The Beast is an Animal

Written by Peternelle van Arsdale

13+ readers   YA readers   

The Lovereading4Kids comment

In a Nutshell: Spine-tinglingly timeless fairy tale

A deliciously dark tale of soul eating sisters, and a girl who dares venture into the eerie unknown. Best devoured by the light of the moon (if you dare…)

In the beginning, there were two sisters, born minutes apart. Two more female mouths to feed in hard times, when it might have been better to have the strong hands of sons. But not only that; different from others their age, the sisters were abandoned by their parents, and turned out to be soul eaters… Alys was only a child when the soul eaters came to her village and claimed all the adults. In their new home, the surviving children are ruled by a superstitious fear of the soul eaters, and they adhere to the counsel of their creepy nursery rhymes. But Alys is preoccupied by something more. She senses that she’s not like the other survivors, and wonders why she feels connected to the creatures that killed their parents, and to The Beast. As in all the best fairy tales, a creeping sense of fear and curiosity is evoked as Alys is drawn into the fforest to discover the truth for herself, where she wrestles the very concepts of good and evil.

From the atmospheric opening, to Alys’s ordeals in the depths of the fforest as she journeys from childhood to womanhood, this is an exquisitely eerie reading experience. If you enjoyed the timeless tale-ness of Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book, or The Sleeper and the Spindle, or the otherworldly edge of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, this is well worth venturing into. ~ Joanne Owen


The Beast is an Animal by Peternelle van Arsdale

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 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 chidren 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.A fairy tale with a difference: shivery, dark, and deeply satisfying.


'Read it if you loved The Handmaid's Tale' - Entertainment Weekly

About the Author

Peternelle van Arsdale was an executive editor for HarperCollins, Anchor/Doubleday, Hyperion, and Putnam. Over the course of her career she edited multiple New York Times bestsellers and award-winners, including The Tender Bar by J.R. Moehringer and Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni's novel Sister of My Heart. She also conceived, compiled, and edited Kurt Vonnegut's posthumously published collection, Armageddon in Retrospect. Peternelle is now a freelance editor and ghostwriter of both fiction and non-fiction. The Beast is an Animal is her first book under her own name. Visit her at

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Book Info


352 pages


Peternelle van Arsdale
More books by Peternelle van Arsdale


Simon & Schuster Childrens Books an imprint of Simon & Schuster Ltd

Publication date

21st September 2017




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