I have yet another exciting blog tour for you today! It’s my stop on the tour put on by The Write Reads for a middle grade sequel I have been dying to read.
Not literally, mind you. No matter what the Beast may prefer.
This is the tour for Revenge of the Beast by Jack Meggitt-Phillips! I had just as much fun with this book as I did with the first one. It was funny, touching, and, yes, ghastly, and I loved every moment of it.
But, before I get to post, I have to say my thanks! First, thank you to Dave @ The Write Reads and all the incredible people working behind the scenes for allowing me to be a part of this tour. Second, thank you to the publisher, Farshore, and Netgalley for providing me with a free e-ARC in exchange for my participation in this tour and an honest review. It is always appreciated!
So, let’s get into it, shall we?
- Title: Revenge of the Beast
- Author: Jack Meggitt-Phillips
- Illustrations: Isabelle Follath
- Publication date: September 30th, 2021
- Genre: Fantasy
- Age group: Middle Grade
- Content/Trigger Warnings: For a list of potential content and trigger warnings, check out this book’s page on BookTriggerWarnings.com
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?
About the Author
Jack Meggitt-Phillips is an author, scriptwriter, and playwright whose work has been performed at The Roundhouse and featured on Radio 4. He is scriptwriter and presenter of The History of Advertising podcast. In his mind, Jack is an enormously talented ballroom dancer, however his enthusiasm far surpasses his actual talent. Jack lives in north London where he spends most of his time drinking peculiar teas and reading P.G. Wodehouse novels. You can also find him on Twitter.
Isabelle Follath is a freelance illustrator living in Zurich, Switzerland, with her lovely husband, her sweet daughter, and her fabulous dog. She has worked for advertising agencies, magazines, and publishers for over fifteen years, but Isabelle’s true passion lies in illustrating children’s books. When not drawing, Isabelle can be found making lots of coffee, trying new crafts, or going on a hunt for new art supplies and the perfect greenish-gold watercolor. Visit her online at IsabelleFollath.ch.
When I picked up this sequel to The Beast and the Bethany (read my review here!), I was anticipating some laughs and gruesomeness. And, thankfully, I was not disappointed! This book was just as funny and strange as the first!
The story picks up right where we left off after book one. Which means, if you haven’t read book one, you might want to skip this review. Here thar (may) be spoilers! Ebenezer and Bethany are adjusting to life beast-free and have decided that the best way to move on is to become do-gooders. Change is hard, however, especially when it seems some force is trying to thwart them at every turn. Thankfully, they have their new friend, Claudette the parrot, to help them on their journey. But Claudette has been acting strange ever since she had an unconventional snack…
This book packed all the same irreverent humor, beastly hijinks, and beautiful moments of friendship that the first novel had and more! The aspect I will always love the most about these books is the humor. I genuinely laughed out loud quite a few times while reading. I will say it took me a little longer to settle into this book, though I’m unsure why that was the case. Perhaps because it had been so long since I read The Beast and the Bethany and you’re kind of thrown in like the events of that story happened just yesterday. But, once I settled in for the ride, I had a great time!
Bethany and Ebenezer continue to be compelling characters and I loved watching how their friendship is tested and grows throughout the novel. It was especially interesting to see how Ebenezer, who was with the beast for so long, adjusts to the de-beasting of his life. This story has a lot to say about friendship and change and I think it does a great job of saying it through the lives of our main characters.
I do want to bring something up that I’ve noticed in a couple of reviews. This is in regards to a new character named Gloria, the new orphanage bully. Gloria has been left at the local orphanage by her parents, who are still very much alive, simply because they don’t like her. A fact which is reiterated several times throughout the book and which is never really addressed at the end. When I was reading, I have to be honest and say that those parts didn’t phase me. After reading some reviews, however, I can see how potentially damaging this could be to someone who has dealt with or is currently dealing with the rejection of a parent or parental figure. So, though it didn’t affect me personally, I did want to mention it because I can see how potentially triggering that could be, especially for readers in the target age group.
Final thoughts: Overall, I had just as much fun with this book as I did with the first one in the series! The humor was on point, the beastly bits were perfectly grim, and I loved watching Ebenezer and Bethany’s friendship grow. I felt a little lost at the beginning, but swiftly found myself settling back into this world of evil gifts and do-gooding. I thought this was an enjoyable tale that had some important insights on friendship. I’m certainly eager to pick up the next book in the series!