This is one of those books that seemed like it might be a good idea until the author started writing it.The title derives from the way the king, his knights and even the mythical figures Sophia interacts with views the lower classes of the world as beasts If you thought that was too subtle, don t worry you ll be hit over the head with it enough times for it to sink in.Princess Sophia is the MarySue the kind, gentle, entitled, clueless waif who eschews needlepoint and harp lessons for swordplay and strategy how else can she be the heroine if she can t kill the bad guys Yet she wrangles a promise on her birthday from her warrior king father to stop expanding the realm, which makes everyone else see him as weak and losing his edge Even a mythical figure named Ares now thinks the king s a punk and it s time to march on his lands On her weekly errand of mercy to the local village, Sophia s confronted by a tall, handsome, dark haired youth named Raphael She also learns there s an outbreak of plague which in all her other trips she d somehow never heard of it and the scene where she contracts it is both unintentionally funny and sets up the ridiculousness of the rest of the story I don t want to ruin it you really gotta read this for yourselves.Just before the disease sets in, an assassin magically literally infiltrates the castle and eviscerates the king, who manages to hold on just long enough for a tearful goodbye On her first day as Queen, Sophia sickens and dies as Ares army marches closer.Suddenly she s being transported via an ogre driven coach across the netherrealm to wherever spirits go, I guess But first, there s a tender reunion with her long dead mother who makes the coach stop by ordering them to yet can t stop the ogres ten minutes later from snatching her back How s this even possible you ask Why s it even happening in the first place What the heck s wrong with you people Their destination turns out to be none other than Ares stronghold, populated by mythical creatures Sophia s read about all her life loves books, remember and several former residents of the village, including one particular tall, handsome, dark haired youth.For some contrived reason Ares brought Sophia here to be a bride for one of his mythical buddies Naturally, any plucky princess would refuse and a few of these entities manage to get themselves killed in the wooing process by one of the competition named Reiper Sophia slides down to the village to seek out Raphael and learns that the residents have been conscripted to fight for Ares in his next battle take one guess So like any plucky princess, Sophia starts teaching the locals how to fight while whispering to them about REBELLION Ares starts losing his patience and tells her to choose someone or else Reiper, as it turns out, is the magical assassin who killed the king, and has determined Sophia should be his, but Sophia thinks she should be Raphael s.While Sophia gets chased through the castle by another of the would be suitors, the castle gets attacked by the locals, who ve decided REBELLION is a good idea Two suitors get killed, Ares retreats and Reiper seemingly kills Raphael You read that right a peasant mob storms the stronghold of a god and his retinue and runs them all off You also read right the part about Raphael appearing to get whacked Oddly enough, the ogre driven coach shows up again, and Sophia demands they take her to see her mom After some mystical mumbo jumbo Sophia returns to the land of the living, none the worse for wear and just in time for the arrival of Ares army You know the rest.This book is completely all over the place It s a bunch of barely strung together set pieces that the Main Character wanders through until they reach the signpost at the end It s a complete insult to your intelligence and an utter waste of time James Patterson oughta be ashamed to lend his name to something like this. First, this book is classified as adult fiction, but it could be classified as YA But that s not even a significant problem with the book The characters, the world, and the plot are so underdeveloped This is the first book where there s not even one thing that I could appreciate about it The main character is supposed to be smart, strong, and accomplished, but she s really none of those things She gets lucky countless times and is praised for it The only characteristic the main character possesses is beauty, which is described time and time again throughout the book. 2.5 Stars for me, bumped to 3 Stars for competent writingThis is the first novel I ve read that was co authored by James Patterson and Emily Raymond Although not stated in the promotional material it appears to possibly be targeting the Young Adult market based on subject matter and writing style Princess Sophia So fye uh on the audio edition is a headstrong, if goodhearted, young woman who seems to have cost her father his life and kingdom In a story that seems part cautionary fairy tale, part Goblin Market, Sophia appears to move through separate realms of life and death, trying to work her way back to a kingdom of which she should be Queen She learns lessons of love and bravery during her travails.This novel has some interesting elements but the plot just lacked clarity for me The explanations, such as there are, for Sophia s ability to penetrate the world of the dead, and for the fact that some of the denizens who follow her are beasts or monster or goblin like in their appearance are largely lacking Sophia and her dearest servants are startled about revelations about her long dead mother, but again, no real explanation I felt some aspects of the book displayed stunning levels of cruelty, especially to animals but also to people, with the real monsters of the story reveling in their own cruelty It was not an engaging read for me, as a result As a result of some of the content, I can t really recommend it as a YA novel unless it s for a reader who likes horror dark fantasy Though the ending is positive, there s a lot of darkness in the book to wade through.CW animal cruelty, attempted rape, murder, threatened and real eviscerations etc I received a paper copy and an audio copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Very interesting story A quick read Definitely seems Young Adult the POV is a 17 year old girl except for one scene in the book, so I m unsure of what the target audience is A mature older teen or young 20s would enjoy this book a lot. A princess who has lost her mother and father finds herself in a terrifying world that urgently needs a queen.Sophia is smart, beautiful, and accomplished, a beloved princess devoted to the people and to reading books The kingdom is hers, until she is plunged into a nightmarish realm populated by the awful beasts she read about as a child.The beasts are real And so is the great army marching on her castle The people look to Sophia for protection They will all perish unless she can unlock an ancient secret as profound as life and death itself Sophia, Princess Among Beasts is a fabulous adventure, and a stunning mystery Here again is proof of why James Patterson is the world s most trusted storyteller. This book absolutely reads as YA unfortunately not very good YA I was disappointed by the lack of character development The plot implies that the character s growth is what allows certain things to happen, but that growth seems limited to her spending time in the village because she has a crush on a boy, not because she wants to learn how the world works The ending view spoiler is also tied too neatly in bow where miraculous things happen to get happy endings with no explanation given and goes against the previous world building hide spoiler So I m 6% in and X we ll see the prologue is kinda eye rolling Like a bad Disney intro Pretty heavy handed and just lots of And then her I don t even know Expository whatever of the castle not only is that heavy handed but what bothered me is how utterly dumb the maidservants are It annoys me when we have broad brush I mean idiocy first of all, but just they re servants so they re dumb or they re women so they re dumb or they re not important so they re dumb The instant wailing, the oh but she said it s ok so it s ok Then the wink wink oh oops ha ha I m naked bit It just hit me in the not so much quirky as trying too hard And then her brute of a father also I don t like her wish for her dad to never go to war again what about defense I mean it s just everything seems to be hit with a broad brush without necessary nuance And I know I m in early but gosh those are some red flags.Huh I thought I d tweeted about this book but nope Or at least I didn t thread it, and I m too busy tired lazy to go digging for it, esp considering this is a DNF It was just too much the extremely one note characters the omg because OF COURSE she writes bad poetry so I got to about 10% and of course the exceedingly heavy handed foreshadowing is her dad is going to die and she ll be the only one left when she goes to town which the blurb would corroborate and maybe things get much better THEN but I m out.Unless someone in the fiery reader circle of trust tells me to read this book with a high recommendation. Classified as fantasy, adult, YA, and fiction this one has it all but only if readers are open to the idea as it s not the normal thriller you may have come to enjoy.While it does have thrilling moments it s about the meaning behind the scenes or so it was with me as I read this new work by James Patterson.It s not everyday you read fantasy from this author yet I was transported to a magical land in which surely things don t go as planned.While Sophia is battling for independence as the two main villains Ares and Reiper are set to end this magical experience for all.For those who are sensitive to darkness and horror there is animal cruelty, attempted rape, and murder in this novel.In addition there is the connection between the living and the dead with monsters, evil villains, and the like as she battles a plague, attention from Raphael, and the ill equipped Ares to become Queen.Ahhh fantasy life is short lived as she succumbs to it all as Ares marches closer to the castle.Afterwards she s transported to the other world where spirits go while the plot continues to thicken while reuniting with her dead mother.Forced marriage to one of Ares s friends is not in her cards as her heart belongs to Raphael so she fights teaching others about rebellion.Reiper wants non of it and kills the King only to have the castle overcome by peasant mobs who decided to rebell.While this may bounce around it s for me the classic Patterson marker of why he is a storyteller not just a writer.Follow alongfollow alongNot everything is made to make sense folks that s why it s labeled FANTASY Sit back and enjoy and don t think too much into it all. Wow what a crappy book.This book reads like it s a first draft the chapters have no meat to them and a lot of scenes really aren t fully fleshed out Now I ve only read one other book by James Patterson and I really have no idea how much of a part he played in writing this book but it seems to me his trademark is short cliff hanger style chapters I personally hate this style of novel I find it cheapens the story because every other page the author has to needlessly inject a dramatic statement to end a chapter Also, despite many very adult themes, this book genuinely seemed like a children s novel There is so little world building, political explanation or character development that it seems very underdeveloped and shallow There is also the absolute most deus ex machina in that ending Just utterly ridiculous and, again, it made me question the audience We adults don t need a perfectly happy tied with a bow ending Adults know happily ever after is a lie It was utterly stupid.I m begging you not to waste your time reading this I m begging you to at least read it from the library if you do need to read it Let the publishers know that just slapping James Patterson on a book won t lead to mammoth sales if the book is garbage You still need quality, not just celebrity, to sell books. In all my years, I have never been interested in reading anything by James Patterson As a librarian, I know he seems to have a new book appear about every other month However, as I was shelving on Friday, I saw this title, read the synopsis, and couldn t believe it had Patterson s name attached Of course, I m thinking that his co writer, Emily Raymond real name or pseudonym had much to do with the tale Nothing unusual, but it was a very satisfying fantasy, a fairy tale where the young woman saves the day oops, spoiler Not everything is explained which I liked and didn t need to understand.