The Beast Will Feast
Title: The Beast and the Bethany
Author: Jack Meggitt-Philips
Illustrator: Isabelle Follath
Release Date: 1st October 2020
E.S.C.A.P.E Score: 54
I received an Advanced copy from Egmont , via The Write Reads in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Ebenezer Tweezer is a youthful 511-year-old. He keeps a beast in the attic of his mansion, who he feeds all manner of things (including performing monkeys, his pet cat and the occasional cactus) and in return the beast vomits out presents for Ebenezer, as well as potions which keep him young and beautiful. But the beast grows ever greedier, and soon only a nice, juicy child will do. So when Ebenezer encounters orphan Bethany, it seems like (everlasting) life will go on as normal. But Bethany is not your average orphan …
I devoured this book (pun very much intended). It was an extremely fun read, very Dahl-esq in its unashamedly gruesome tale. It really doesn’t shy away for the details about The Beast, who happily fills himself with all manner of things, from the beginning it takes on a very eerie and dark tone. All the characters are firmly on the morally grey scale, with no one being entirely good, or sweet. This allows them to grow through out the book as they learn from their wrong actions and selfish ways. Bethany herself is sassy, stubborn and a bully, Ebenezer Tweezer is selfish, inconsiderate yet very naive. Both make a great team as they try and tackle The Beast that lives in Ebenezer’s attic. The Beast itself is cruel and cunning and terrifyingly powerful.
Throughout all this, the book touches on various aspects from dealing with grief, greed, looking at yourself from another perspective, all of which our characters (with exception of The Beast) learn and grow from. It is so well written taking you through a roller coaster of emotions, it is dark, and sad, surprising and joyous, fun and silly. Its one of those unique books that spans any age range as it both perfectly captures this wonderful whimsical world but bring reality of the outside world crashing in with some very apt and humorous wording. A great example that captured this for me was the following:
The feeling is not unlike the one you experience when you look in the mirror and find out that the leopard-print onesie you’ve been wearing all day doesn’t suit you at all.
While the plot is predictable for those with more experience, it is still fun and is very devilish at the end, teasing the reader as to the final outcome. I have to admit it is one of the most unique Author biographies I have every read. I really enjoyed the writing style. I am sure it will have all ages giggling or gasping out loud at all the write moments. It perfectly balanced these humorous moments with the darker more gruesome moments, and those that were more serious that the story just flowed beautifully. The illustrations, perfectly brought this detailed world to life, adding to the magic.
It is just such a fantastically fun read, worth all the attention it has been getting and more.