Thursday, 22 April 2010

Mr Monster by Dan Wells

March 2010, Headline
278 pages, Paperback
Review copy

Horror/suspense (see note)

Cushions: 4.5
Daggers: 5 (see note)
Paperclips: 3
Nayuleska's recommended rating: ♥♥♥♥.5

Summary from Headline

John Wayne Cleaver has always known he has a dark side but he’s fought hard to oppress it and live a normal life – separating John from Mr Monster to survive. But after confronting and destroying the vicious killer that was terrorizing his town, his inner monster is getting stronger and harder to contain. And now more bodies are being discovered... With the police failing to catch Clayton County’s second serial killer John is going to have to use his secret knowledge of the first demon-killer to trap the second...but will he be able to avoid suspicion falling on him, and, in the face of extreme horrors, will he be able to restrain Mr Monster?

Genre note: Headline file it under sci-fi, fantasy and horror. I'd say this is horror/suspense.
Content note: not for those who prefer mild peril. The peril here is far from mild. Scenes of abuse and torture.

Hopefully I haven't put off too many of you! All the content is relevant to the story. Yes I felt queasy at some of the book. It's definitely not a fluffy bunny story. It's a hand-to-mouth read, partly for the shocking plot twists, partly to quell the nausea caused by reading about the sick psycho who John had to deal with.

Written in first person, John wasn't necessarily a character I could relate to for the life he leads. There are no demons in my neighbourhood that I had to vanquish (John's story in I am Not A Serial Killer, which I haven't read). I'm not a sociopath. John is a sociopath - well, an underage one. The first few pages are rather shocking. He does have kindness (of sorts) within himself, so please don't be put off by the thoughts he first has. Yes, there is that side of his personality. But it's not there all the time. It's a side which will ultimately save him, (after it lands him in Dire Peril) and one which will prove invaluable in the future.

I liked how inventive John was. Yes, some of these inventive thoughts weren't what I would call normal (unless you are a sociopath, or a writer who has to think these thoughts for a story). But his mind worked fast. He looked solutions to problems. The solutions didn't always work - other factors interfered with them, but they had me eagerly turning over the page.

I think books like Mr Monster are fascinating to read. I feel that in order to understand the world a little better, it's important to be aware of the less pleasant side to humanity. People like John aren't monsters. It isn't their fault. With the right guidance from friends, family and the medical profession, they can keep their inner monster at bay.

Be sure to check out book one in the series, I am Not A Serial Killer. The way the book ends is a strong suggestion that there could be more books with John in them. Yay! (Extra note: seen a tweet saying there will be more books - double yay!)


GMR said...

Wow...interesting review. Definitely sounds like one to read during daylight hours only...sometimes the "scariest" books are those that could possibly be true and unfortunately in today's at times crazy world, there are people that scary. Thanks for sharing!

Nayuleska said...

I'm not generally a horror person, but I liked this :) Definitely make sure it is daylight when you read this though! Or at least have other people in the house.