Also known as: Weishi-attempts-reading-horror-and-fails-at-not-being-a-massive-wimp.
People hunt monsters. And it’s freaking gory as all hell.
Here’s a fact about me: I avoid horror movies like the plague.
I am bad with scary things. I am bad with gore and blood and monsters and even kids books with really grotesque imagery can freak me out.
However, I am also bad at knowing my limits. Because this book was damn good, but me being me, I could not read it past midnight. That was a complete no. Reading in stark daylight was not scary in the slightest. Reading when it’s pitch black and you can hear every weird creak in the room and you’re convinced headless monsters are going to devour you is a no-no.
Another con that is mainly my fault. I tried to rush through this book, thinking it was fast paced and easy and quick so I would be able to sprint through it.
I missed a lot of crucial stuff because I was trying to read as quickly as possible. The language is pretty complicated and the vocabulary is a lot more advanced than I’m used to in your standard YA Fiction book.
A lot of the time, I had to glance back because I missed some damn important stuff. But the language was definitely suited to both the time period and the narrator, so it’s my fault, not the author’s. Though I will say that sometimes the narration slowed down the action, but all the description was pretty important, and I don’t know if any of it could have been cut.
The Normal Stuff
Plot was great, setting was great, characters were great. It was intriguing and lots of stuff was happening and there’s not much to say about it apart from that, so let’s get on to the awesome stuff.
I’ve heard some people don’t like Will Henry.
I freaking love this kid.
If Will Henry had been your stock standard protagonist, I wouldn’t have loved this book nearly as much, but he is so much more than that.
For starters, he acts his age. He is a child – a really mature one, but a child all the same. He’s brave and loyal and all that stuff, but he’s not unrealistically so. He gets scared, he runs when things get tough, he cries and shouts and gets into trouble. He mopes about when he’s upset, he doesn’t always think before he acts, and he’s brilliant.
Before you ask, yes, I did have to look up how to spell his name.
Both of our main characters have had to take over the positions left to them by their dead fathers. It’s a nice parallel between two very different characters, and as the novel progresses, we see more of their similarities, and their interactions are pretty heart-warming.
It’s nice to see the most prominent relationship not be romance, but instead, this strange father-son relationship that’s really endearing.
It was a very interesting take on monsters, as they are seen as just natural animals, who happen to have one prey, being humans. There’s also a questionable morality in everything that the people do. Warthrop constantly questions ethics and his science and tries to find who the blame rests on. John Kearns (or whatever else you’d like to refer to him as) is called a monster, and the methods he uses to hunt them are pretty questionable, to say the least.
This series has massive potential to be awesome, though it could just as easily fail.
If Rick Yancey managed to make each book better than the last, this series will almost definitely be going in my favourites. But I’ve seen series with massive potential go downhill very quickly. So we’ll see.
- “There are times when fear is not our enemy. There are times when fear is our truest, sometimes only, friend.”
- “Memories can bring comfort to the old and infirm, but memories can also be implacable foes, a malicious army of temporal ghosts forever pillaging the long-sought-after peace of our twilight years.”
- “Perhaps that is our doom, our human curse, to never really know one another. We erect edifices in our minds about the flimsy framework of word and deed, mere totems of the true person, who, like the gods to whom the temples were built, remains hidden. We understand our own construct; we know our own theory; we love our own fabrication. Still . . . does the artifice of our affection make our love any less real?”
- “Could there be irony crueller than this? How, upon his rescue, the truth had brought him here, to a house for the mad, for only a madman believes what every child knows to be true: There are monsters that lie in wait under our beds.”
- “That’s a stupid question,’ said Malachi. ‘Because he didn’t warn him. He didn’t warn anyone.’
‘No, it’s a philosophical question,’ Kearns corrected him. ‘Which makes it useless, not stupid.”
I loved this book, however I’m still hesitant to give it 5 shuriken stars. It was great, but it was missing that special something that I need to bring it up to absolute favourite. So, 4 3/4 shuriken stars. If you can take the gore, and won’t be an idiot like me and try to skim through all the fancy language, you’ll be certain to love it.