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The Beast Within

(Villains #2)

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  20,605 ratings  ·  2,084 reviews
A cursed prince sits alone in a secluded castle.
Few have seen him, but those who claim they have say his hair is wild and nails are sharp--like a beast's! But how did this prince, once jovial and beloved by the people, come to be a reclusive and bitter monster? And is it possible that he can ever find true love and break the curse that has been placed upon him?
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Hardcover, 215 pages
Published July 22nd 2014 by Disney Press
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Ben Gaston has a lot of pages dedicated to him in the book. He is a big part of the story. He appears in almost every chapter if memory serves me well.
Ben Hmmm you might be confused by three characters in it and by the references to the first book about the Evil Queen from Snow White. So I would say no, …moreHmmm you might be confused by three characters in it and by the references to the first book about the Evil Queen from Snow White. So I would say no, but then again it wasn't intended to become a series when this book was released. So you may read it independently (less)

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Average rating 3.77  · 
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 ·  20,605 ratings  ·  2,084 reviews

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Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
The Beast Within was rough, y'all. Yikes.

There's not a lot here and what is, wasn't great. Please know, this hurts my heart to write this.

I have all the books in this series and love how they look on my shelves, but...

I have read the first book in the series, Fairest of All, and gave it 3-stars. It was good, not spectacular, but interesting.

I don't know if maybe the fact that Beauty and the Beast is my favorite fairy tale made me more critical of this, or if it is just strictly the content that
Apr 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I decided to spend my entire, rainy Sunday reading nothing but Beauty and the Beast. After finishing Lost in a Book, I was still hungry for more. This review may contain some spoilers so read at your own risk.

The Beast Within begins with the Prince who’s sickened with the fact that he's been transformed into a beast. He's tormented by the three evil sister witches who have cast a spell on him. At this point Beast understands that only true love, both given and received, can break the curse tha
So Disney is now writing their own fan fiction. This wouldn’t bother me if only the fan fiction in question were consistent with the films that they themselves release.

The Beast Within is an entry in a series by Serena Valentino examining how the iconic Disney villains turned bad. Given this information, the book already has a strike against it—the villain of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast isn’t the Beast, it’s Gaston.

But the Beast is the more interesting of the two characters, being the only D
Dannii Elle
This is the second instalment in the Villains series, which rework the original tales from the initial villain's perspective.

Of the series, this is the title I was both the most eager and hesitant to get to. Eager, as the Beauty and the Beast films are so beloved to me. Hesitant, as I had never viewed the Beast as the story-line's villain and had, instead, reserved that spot for Gaston. I feared Valentino would approach the Beast from a less sensitive viewpoint than he deserved.

My fears were qui
Just a Girl Fighting Censorship
Sep 06, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: i-give-up
What an utter disappointment.

Right off the bat they are changing the story that we know from the movie replacing the enchantress with three obnoxious villainous witches that frequent the castle to torture the Beast. Who thought that was a good idea?

This is a huge letdown, the Beast should start off unlikable and then change and grow through the love of Belle, instead they've made him immediately sympathetic.

You are ruining the original!

I only read the first two chapters and could not power thro
Aug 23, 2014 rated it it was ok
I was so disappointed with this. I had read Valentino's previous Disney villain novel "Fairest of All" and enjoyed it immensely. I'd also read previous works of Valentino's and enjoyed those as well. So when I saw this new story out, I did something unusual for me, and bought it without looking up reviews or reading through it a bit. Valentino had established herself a competent writer with a flair for darker themes, so I was confident in my purchase.
That'll teach me.
I'm not sure if she was tryi
Nov 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Despite the fact that this tale diverges from the original Disney movie, I loved it! This is from Beast's point of view. It follows his full transition from prince to beast and slowly maneuvers into the tale that we already know. I was rather intrigued with the characterization of Beast himself. This book gives a back story. As askew as it may seem to some it's still great!

May 27, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: ya, 2016
I think this may be where I jump off of this series. I don't think it works for me.
Here's my unsolicited advice to the author: If you are enamored of these three bird-like witches, then by all means, write their story. Write a whole bunch of them. Original stories. Write their history and all the terrible things they've done. Enjoy doing that as it appears you thoroughly enjoy writing about them, but don't shoehorn them into stories where they don't belong. This is twice now that they've overtak
Jun 06, 2015 rated it did not like it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
It's pretty common knowledge, for people that know me, that I'm a rather big fan of Beauty and the Beast. I love the film, the songs are wonderful, and it just doesn't get old. Plus, that AMAZING library scene, I could just put on replay. When I spotted this book in the bookstore, I was unaware that this is in fact the second book in the series. Well, I went ahead and read it anyway.
This book was unique, and there was a different perspective shown on the Beast. I thought the story was interestin
The Beast, an uppity, noble prince. But how did the handsome prince become such a terrible beast? That is the story this book tells. The curse that condemns him to a terrible loneliness and bitter sorrow. It is interesting to read the beast's point of view and the witch's curse becomes understandable. ...more
Karen Whittard
Feb 28, 2017 rated it liked it
The beast within tells the story of how Prince Adam becomes cursed, how the curse takes place and what he is like before he meets Belle. It continues on to the bit where Belle and Beast fall in love, beast transforms back to prince Adam and they live happily ever after.

It has some scenes which we have come to know and love from Beauty and the beast. But adds dimensions to the story that we didn't know about before. Prince Adam being best friends with Gaston, Prince Adams past loves and the fact
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
I loved this book. It showed a different story than the film and it got me out of my reading slump. It was a quick read and I'm excited to read the others by Serena Valentino! ...more
Aug 15, 2014 rated it did not like it
I bought this book while at Disney World and was really excited to read it, because Beauty and the Beast is my favorite Disney movie and I've always been curious about the prince's life before he met Belle. Unfortunately, this was's just not very good. This is written like really bad fanfiction; certain choices the writer has made don't make sense time- or plot-wise in relation to the film (why would the Beast have been friends with Gaston? Why is he romancing women when the film makes ...more
Nov 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
4 stars! I think that The Beast was just a little bit too harsh for me.
Dec 31, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult, 2018, own
My final book of the year!

I've had this one on my physical shelf for a while, so always happy to get those off my list. This is a retelling of Beauty of the Beast from the Beast's viewpoint. This is one of my favorite Disney stories, so I was excited to finally dig into this one. It started out a little slow, telling us things this reader already knew. I appreciated the witch sisters that were introduced and all the secrets happening behind the scenes of a story as old as time. The middle went a
3 Stars
This was an ok book – not great but ok.

I LOVE Beauty and the Beast and I was so excited to get started on this and it wasn’t too bad but I was expecting more.

The book is kind of the same I felt and there wasn’t a lot of build-up on the original other than that it explained what happened before the beast was a beast and how he grew to be a monster. The idea that Gaston on the prince’s friend was something new but still not enough to get me too excited!

The back story of how the beast wa
Mar 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What an amazing retelling. This is a retelling that doesn't stray away from the original story.

Some of the scenes look rushed. I won't recommend this book to readers who haven't seen or read Beauty and The Beast.


There is something hypnotizing about Miss Valentino's writing. Her prose knows when to grab you at the right moment. My only problem is sometimes it feels like there are parts that are just there for the sake of sounding poetic and musical.
Jul 09, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: stand-alone
Definitely better than Fairest of All!
Kerri Selby
Jan 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Beauty & the Beast is one of my favourite Disney films so I was really excited to read this book.

Cursed to turn into the Beast for being shallow & self-centred, the reader follows how the Prince tries to outwit the curse and the rapscallion Odd Sisters, so he doesn't remain a Beast forever.

I liked how the previous 'villian', Snow White's stepmum was mentioned, and a follow on Villian is spoken about.
Mariah Roze
Dec 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
"A cursed prince sits alone in a secluded castle. Few have seen him, but those who claim they have say his hair is wild and nails are sharp--like a beast's! But how did this prince, once jovial and beloved by the people, come to be a reclusive and bitter monster? And is it possible that he can ever find true love and break the curse that has been placed upon him?" ...more
Oct 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
The story of Beauty and the Beast has always been one of my favourites and I absolutely loved this book and thought it did perfect justice to the Beasts story. It was great to find out more about his back story and his transition to the beast, as well as his early life and his friendship with Gaston. I loved everything about this book and it is a must read for any Disney fan or lover of Belle and her Beast!
Alejandro Camacho
Aug 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Once upon a time there was a Beauty and there was a Beast too.

Everybody knows their story, the curse, the enchanted rose and the love which was born over all the obstacles and dangers giving a happy ending to the tale. But before anything of this happened…there was a Prince.

Have you ever wondered how was the life of the Prince before he turned into the Beast? This amazing retelling give us the chance to see the story under the Beast’s skin, his deepest fears and pain as he struggles his own batt
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was about how the beast in beauty and the beast, the story is about how he became the beast and how Bell saved his life.
I'm sorry it didn't capture my attention as much as I hoped!
I was really surprised to learn that most of the events that take place in this story happen before The Beast meets Belle. And while it was a nice backstory, I found it kind of boring, and flat. There weren't hardly any mentions of the beloved secondary characters in the movie/book that make this such an amazing story, and to me that made it seem almost boring. The Beast mainly interacted with characters that were new to the story, and himself, and while the new characters did add dimension and ...more
Medusa  Bren De wit
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I truly love this story, ❤❤❤ review will follow soon on my blog.
Honestly, I'm really enjoying my reread of this series so far. Yeah, I get it - I'm only done with book 2 but I'm happy. Plus, they are really easy to fly through because of how enjoyable they are (to me). All I'm going to say about this one is that it was so weird seeing Gaston and the Prince being friends. Trust me, it was. My mind was completely baffled and couldn't comprehend it one bit.

Then again, they could both be self absorbed from time to time and were annoying douche bags during others
Mar 31, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2020-reads
Similar to how I felt with Fairest Of All.
This did have a better explanation and story of the beasts change in character and his motives for why he was the way he is, however I still feel like these stories are not that great and don't add to my enjoyment of these stories.
Dec 29, 2014 rated it did not like it
I think because this is a story that I grew up with, and happens to be my favorite Disney movie, it holds a very sacred place in my heart. I didn't particularly care for this book at all. First, many times it changes/conflicts with the original story that we know and love. Second, it made me REALLY dislike the prince..... like a lot. I know in the movie it is explained that he wasn't a great guy and that's why he was cursed in the first place, but we don't see a whole lot of that. We don't hate ...more
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Serena Valentino is best known for weaving tales that combine mythos and guile with her work on the comic book series GloomCookie and Nightmares & Fairy Tales, and her best selling Disney Villain Novels which have earned her critical acclaim for her unique style of storytelling, bringing her readers into exquisitely frightening worlds filled with terror, beauty and extraordinary female protagonist ...more

Other books in the series

Villains (8 books)
  • Fairest of All (Villains, #1)
  • Poor Unfortunate Soul (Villains, #3)
  • Mistress of All Evil (Villains, #4)
  • Mother Knows Best (Villains, #5)
  • The Odd Sisters (Villains, #6)
  • Evil Thing (Villains, #7)
  • Cold Hearted (Villains, #8)

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“To die, one must first have been alive. And the Beast could finally say that by finding love, he had lived.” 16 likes
“Only one thing comforted him: he had finally learned what it was to love. And the feeling was deeper and more meaningful than anything he’d felt before. He felt like he was dying. To die, one must have first been alive. And the Beast could finally say that by finding love, he had lived.” 3 likes
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