My dear bookish friends!
Today is such an exciting day for me – I finally get to share my review for the second masterpiece in the The Beast and the Bethany series by Jack Meggitt-Phillips! Yay!! I have been in love with Jack’s writing ever since the first part and Revenge of the Beast has been my most awaited sequel in ages – probably ever! Please read on to find out more about the book, and then for my review!
Lemony Snicket meets Roald Dahl in this riotously funny, deliciously macabre, and highly illustrated sequel to The Beast and the Bethany in which Bethany and Ebenezer try to turn over a new leaf, only to have someone—or something—thwart them at every turn.
Once upon a very badly behaved time, 511-year-old Ebenezer kept a beast in his attic. He would feed the beast all manner of objects and creatures and in return the beast would vomit him up expensive presents. But then the Bethany arrived.
Now notorious prankster Bethany, along with her new feathery friend Claudette, is determined that she and Ebenezer are going to de-beast their lives and Do Good. But Bethany finds that being a former prankster makes it hard to get taken on for voluntary work. And Ebenezer secretly misses the beast’s vomity gifts. And neither of them are all that sure what “good people” do anyway.
Then there’s Claudette, who’s not been feeling herself recently. Has she eaten something that has disagreed with her?
Eeeek! I am SO excited to finally share my thoughts with you!! From the very first page on I was hooked again; it was as if I had just read the first book in the series – even though it’s been a while (time for a reread, I think!!). I was finding myself back in this hilarious, sarcastic, dangerous, beastly world without any difficulties.
Jack has a very special and unique way of writing. While the intended audience might be middle grade children, the depth with which he writes is one of a kind, and adults would miss out on his excellent writing if they passed on the book to children only. Every page is dripping with dry humour and sarcasm, and I couldn’t help but chuckle along as the story progressed. Until, of course, the beast was back to its beastly behaviour – from then on I was biting my nails and trying to calm my pounding heart.
“When Ebeneezer Tweezer was eleven years old, the world was much younger. […] Electricity was nothing more than a silly word back then, which meant that you could only read books past bedtime if you had an extensive collection of candles. In short, it was a pretty rotten time to be alive.”
The first page had me chuckling already, and it only gets better and better! I love that we find out so much about Ebeneezer’s past, and how he met the beast. There is so much depth to Ebeneezer’s childhood story which I absolutely loved, and we finally understand why he is the way he is – scared of ageing and without many (or any) friends (other than Bethany). I loved the transformation he has gone through since the first book. There could be the most amazing story in the world in a book, but if the characters aren’t deep and multi-faceted and to root for I probably won’t like it very much. There was no such worry here.
Bethany still is an amazing character. I loved the way she wants to become a better person, and while she offers volunteering work in several places she still tells people to ‘Bog off!’ (amongst other, a little less than kind things). The fact that Bethany wants to change while still staying true to herself was hilarious and special – I really like her!
While I’m still so sad that Patrick is gone (he was one of my favourite characters in book 1), I love how his cousin Claudette took his place. She is a great singer (that talent seems to run in the family) and otherwise very lovely, supportive, and kind. And what then happened to her… Well, let me just say I got VERY scared for her wellbeing… and even her LIFE!!!
While I guessed some of the things would turn out the way they did, Jack managed to add twists and turns to the book no one could see coming. I loved to see the tables turned in this story (in so many ways!) and couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. At the same time, I wanted it to last for ever!
On top of Jack’s incredible writing skills, I have to give a shoutout to the amazingly talented illustrator Isabelle Follath, who once again brought Ebenezeer, Bethany, Claudette & co to life.
If you have read the first instalment of The Beast and the Bethany, you HAVE to read this one too – it is absolutely mandatory! If you haven’t read any book by Jack yet, what are you waiting for? The beast would never forgive you if you skipped this series (and that might very well end deadly!!!) – and I might not either! It’s just too good to pass.
I recommend Revenge of the Beast to EVERYONE. Seriously, you can only win picking this book up! 5 (million) stars from me, and I cannot wait to find out what other shenanigans Bethany will be up to in the future.
If you have read it already, do let me know what you thought!
Thank you all so much for reading!
P.S. Big thank you to Dave @TheWriteReads, Jack, and Farshore Books for my spot on this tour, and an EXTRA special thank you to Jack for my review copy! (None of this influenced my review in any way.)
Also, while I am so honoured to be allowed to design and create the TheWriteReads blog tour banners in general, this was probably my most favourite to do ever! Absolutely loved playing with the cover!