Monster (The Monster Series) by Michael Grant
|Monster (The Monster Series) by Michael Grant|
|Reviewer: Nigethan Sathiyalingam|
|Summary: A thrilling return to the world of the GONE series, Monster is a strong start to a new and exciting trilogy.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 464||Date: October 2017|
|Publisher: Electric Monkey|
|External links: Author's website|
It's been four years since the FAYZ. The events that happened inside that dome are forever seared into the public consciousness. A constant reminder of the existence of the supernatural. Of humanity's capacity for both heroism and atrocity. There have been books about it, even a TV series inspired by what is officially called the 'Perdido Beach Anomaly'. Time has passed, and the survivors are simply trying to move on with their lives. However, the meteor which crashed into Perdido Beach nineteen years ago was the just the first of many. There are more coming. Governments will do their best to intercept them, prevent them from falling into the wrong hands. But inevitably, there will be some that slip through the cracks. The FAYZ was just a preview. Mutations and powers, heroes and villains, Dark Watchers with sinister intentions. It's all happening again. But this time, it'll be a battle for the fate of more than just a couple hundred kids. This time, the battleground will be the entire planet.
What a time to be alive! There's a new Alex Rider book. Derek Landy has resurrected Skulduggery Pleasant. And now Michael Grant takes us back to the world of the fabulous GONE series. Just as I found myself bemoaning a lack of reliable ongoing series, a handful of my favourites make an exciting return!
Nonetheless, with Light being such a superbly satisfying conclusion to the GONE series, I was somewhat apprehensive about spoiling that sense of resolution by re-entering the same world. However, Grant doesn't disappoint. Monster strikes a perfect balance, both taking advantage of the rich world-building that came before it, and further enriching its legacy. We get a whole host of new characters and a time jump which helps establish that this is very much a new story. But at the same time, there is still that connection to the FAYZ that lends the story that extra depth, with exciting returning characters and wonderfully judged references to the unforgettable events of the past.
The first chapter alone was enough to completely reel me in, as I found myself hooked by the stunning reminder of Grant's writing qualities. It was much like being reunited with a dear group of friends after a long absence. You have no doubt it's going to be fun, and the time away only makes you all the hungrier to re-immerse yourself. The writing is as compelling as ever, and I made my way through all 450 pages in under 2 days. Thrilling super-powered battles are brought to life with brutal vividness. The dialogue is sharp and realistic, and there's a real plethora of fun cultural references that show just how far the superhero genre has come since Gone was first published over 8 years ago.
With a large cast of new characters, backstory and development is spread a little thin among the newcomers. Nonetheless, I loved the diversity of the characters, and they're all interesting enough for me to look forward to seeing more of them in the sequels. Plus, with the returning cast (I won't spoil who), we get to see characters whom we're intimately familiar with, characters that we passionately love and hate, characters that bring with them rich, complex and emotional histories. Monster definitely steps up a level in the presence of these returning characters, which is both a testament to the quality of the characterisation from the GONE series, and a benchmark that this new trilogy will need to aim for.
It doesn't quite have the tension and intensity that the closed off environment of the FAYZ provided, but Grant embraces the increased scale, and there's a definite sense that he's looking to explore bigger themes, with the addition of more adults to a cast of already older teens. Fans will not be disappointed, and I'm very excited to see where the next book takes us!
My thanks to the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag!
If you haven't read the GONE series yet, and find yourself intrigued, there's no better place to go than the book that started it all: Gone. Also recommended for older teens and adults looking for a top notch contemporary superhero tale, Bitter Sixteen by Stefan Mohamed is the first in another trilogy that pays wonderful homage to the genre.
You can read more book reviews or buy Monster (The Monster Series) by Michael Grant at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Monster (The Monster Series) by Michael Grant at Amazon.com.
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