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3.5 

I Feed Her to the Beast and the Beast Is Me

By Jamison Shea
I Feed Her to the Beast and the Beast Is Me by Jamison Shea digital book - Fable

Publisher Description

There will be blood.

Ace of Spades
meets House of Hollow in this villain origin story.

Laure Mesny is a perfectionist with an axe to grind. Despite being constantly overlooked in the elite and cutthroat world of the Parisian ballet, she will do anything to prove that a Black girl can take center stage. To level the playing field, Laure ventures deep into the depths of the Catacombs and strikes a deal with a pulsating river of blood.

The primordial power Laure gains promises influence and adoration, everything she’s dreamed of and worked toward. With retribution on her mind, she surpasses her bitter and privileged peers, leaving broken bodies behind her on her climb to stardom.

But even as undeniable as she is, Laure is not the only monster around. And her vicious desires make her a perfect target for slaughter. As she descends into madness and the mystifying underworld beneath her, she is faced with the ultimate choice: continue to break herself for scraps of validation or succumb to the darkness that wants her exactly as she is—monstrous heart and all. That is, if the god-killer doesn’t catch her first.

From debut author Jamison Shea comes I Feed Her to the Beast and the Beast Is Me, a twisted dark fantasy that lifts a veil on the institutions that profit on exclusion and the toll of giving everything to a world that will never love you back.

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228 Reviews

3.5
“This was so disappointing. I was so excited to pick this up as the premise sounded absolutely incredible but this did not live up to my expectations at all. The world-building was pretty poor, as was the character development. The relationships between characters felt very shallow; considering a lot of the plot hinges on the relationships and ties between certain characters, as a reader, I did not have faith in the strength or intensity of these relationships. I often questioned why I was supposed to believe there was such a deep connection between these characters when it hadn't been shown at all. When it came to Laurence as a protagonist, she was incredibly underdeveloped. Despite spending over 300 pages in her head, I still have little sense of her personality, outside of being obsessed with ballet (which was mainly told to us through the narrative rather than expressed through Laurence's character). The author briefly touched upon her queer identity, and I mean brief. Considering the direction the story went into (without giving any spoilers), exploring her queerness would have been very relevant to the plot and interesting regarding her dynamic with a specific character. Instead, we got to see another het relationship in a YA novel. Groundbreaking. Granted, I like the relationship between our protagonist and her love interest. Still, considering how many threads were shoved into this story without exploring many of them in any considerable depth I thought perhaps that was a...choice. The writing was also not to my taste. Granted, this is a YA book (I believe?) so this isn't an inherent negative, but the writing felt very juvenile at times. It often felt overwritten, cliched, and meandering where I felt a touch of subtlety would have sufficed. I enjoyed the scenes describing ballet the best. From these scenes, I got a sense of the author's expertise and passion for dance, and I think that the best writing was written during these scenes. It felt atmospheric, producing vivid imagery; as a dance-lover myself, it was enjoyable to read. That being said, these scenes were just nice and pretty to read, not adding much to the story itself. I also appreciated the rage and frustration that was drawn out of me when Laurence encountered institutional and individual-level racism and classism. I will say, those themes were represented pretty well within the book, and I empathised with Laurence massively. I came into this thinking that it was primarily horror, with some fantastical elements. Having read this, I would say it's the exact opposite. I'm not sure if this was a case of the book being mismarketed or what but it wasn't something I was expecting. I am not a fantasy enjoyer for the most part, so I wish it leaned more into its horror, perhaps employing some more body horror. The scenes where horror thematics shined brighter were some of the parts I enjoyed best, and the more fantastical elements were just poorly written, poorly developed, and quite boring to read (considering all the plot holes!!!). There were so often glimpses of this book's potential, but it ultimately missed the mark.”

About Jamison Shea

Jamison Shea was once a flautist, violist, anthropologist, linguist, choreographer, dancer, professional fire alarm puller, digital producer, and account executive—but they've always been a writer. Born in Buffalo, NY and now surrounded by darkness and gloom in Finland, when Jamison isn't writing horror, they're drinking milk tea and searching for long-forgotten gods in eerie places.

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