The Beast and the Bethany: Revenge of the Beast – Ultimate Blog Tour*
The Beast and the Bethany was one of my favourite books of 2020 and I am very grateful to be on the blog tour for it’s sequel! The Beast and the Bethany: Revenge of the Beast continues the story of Bethany, adopted by Ebenezer Tweezer, and of course the terrible Beast. It is everything that I expected it to be. Thank you @WriteReadsTours and @FarshoreBooks for the opportunity to be part of this tour.
If you haven’t read book one, you can find my review of The Beast and the Bethany here.
*Please note that I was gifted a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review (although I have personally also bought subsequent copies!)*
Title: The Beast and the Bethany: Revenge of the Beast
Author: Jack Meggitt-Phillips
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Goodreads: Add me here
Trigger Warnings: Adoption, orphanages, unwanted children.
“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?”
The Beast and the Bethany: Revenge of the Beast is as fun and entertaining as the original story. Bethany and Ebenezer’s old antics come back to bite them when they try their best at ‘do-gooding’. The Beast may no longer be in the attic but it’s presence remains in the house through the many magical objects it has vomited up over the years. Bethany tries her best to de-beast their lives but it isn’t quite as straightforward as she had hoped….
It is wonderful to see how Ebenezer and Bethany, through their friendship, have changed since book one. Bethany in particular wants to be seen to be a good person rather than the notoriously naughty prankster whose reputation is well-known throughout the local community. Ebenezer, although not quite as sold on the ‘do-gooding’ as Bethany, is willing to make changes for her sake. We get a deeper insight into Ebenezer’s character with flashbacks to his childhood, which help to explain how he became the way he is. It is interesting to explore his attachment to the Beast. He might not simply be an inherently selfish and greedy person after all.
There are many other small, fun characters who make an appearance. Claudette, the Wintlorian parrot is fabulous although I do still miss poor Patrick. Gloria, the latest child at the orphanage (although not actually an orphan herself), is a great addition. Someone who can go toe-to-toe with Bethany is a frightful prospect! Gloria has her own reasons for her difficult behaviour and as the book progresses you can’t help feeling sorry for her, which reminds me a lot of Bethany’s own journey.
The main themes throughout the book are friendship and attachments. Bethany and Ebenezer have both experienced a lot of loneliness in their lives. Until Bethany came along Ebenezer only had the Beast and Bethany had never had a friend before. I really enjoy their non-conventional friendship, particularly the imaginative insults that Bethany readily comes up with!
Jack Meggitt-Phillips is an extremely talented author. The story is superbly written. It has a tight plot, a great pace, is very engaging and has a wonderfully macabre humour. I am one of those people who roll my eyes when I see blurbs with comparisons to extremely famous works/authors but Jack genuinely deserves the accolade “Lemony Snicket meets Roald Dahl”. His books have the same flavour but with their own modern take.
Final Thoughts – TLDR
I was really excited to read The Beast and the Bethany: Revenge of the Beast and it didn’t disappoint. I highly recommend it for middle grade readers, although please note the trigger warnings above. It is a brilliant, funny book and the illustrations are fantastic too!
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.