Thanks to Edelweiss and Katherine Regan Books for providing an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: October 17th, 2017
Synopsis: In the stunning follow-up to the globally best selling Gone series, Michael Grant continues the story of the teens who morph into superheroes—and supermonsters—when they ingest an alien virus.
Four years after the events of the FAYZ, New meteorites are hitting Earth, and the whole world is exposed to a strange alien virus that gives humans unique superpowers.
As some teens become heroes and others become dangerously out of control with their new powers, the world will become more terrifying than the FAYZ—and only a monstrous battle between good and evil can save them.
I’m a huge fan of Michael Grant’s Gone series and was disappointed when it came to an end. I’ve been anxiously anticipating Monster since I heard about it a few months ago. I was a little nervous that it would be an unnecessary extension of a hugely popular series that wouldn’t live up to the previous books. What was I thinking? This is Michael Grant. Of course it’s brilliant!
For anyone not familiar with these books, the Gone series introduced readers to a world where an enormous dome suddenly appeared over the town of Perdido Beach and everyone over the age of fifteen disappeared. And as a further complication, some of the kids left trapped in the FAYZ (Fallout Alley Youth Zone), developed these strange supernatural powers. Some use them for good, others, not so much. It’s sort of a combination of Under the Dome, by Stephen King and Lord of the Flies, with superpowers thrown in. Monster picks up four years after the dome has come down. It can definitely be read as a standalone, but you’re missing out if you don’t read the previous books.
Kudos to Michael Grant for making everything flow seamlessly together to create this brutal and gory apocalyptic world. The action begins on the very first page with the dome falling, only this time we see it from the perspective of the people outside of it. Then there’s a small time jump by a few years. Now the same sinister space body that created the FAYZ, is sending asteroids crashing down to earth that cause mutagenesis in anyone who comes in contact with them. And naturally, many of the wrong sort of people get a hold of them, including the government.
Let’s start with the characters. They are a large diverse cast of teens, adults, sexuality and races. There’s two familiar faces that play major roles in the action, but for the most part these are all new players. Which leads me to my one and only criticism. There are so many people here with different perspectives, I didn’t feel as though I got to know them as well as I would have liked. Everyone one of them is dealing with some sort of issue. One is coming to terms with being gender fluid, another has schizophrenia, another battles with Oppositional Defiant Disorder, etc. I did mention diverse right? I absolutely loved this, but because there were so many, there didn’t seem to be enough time spent with each of them. But, honestly, this is a very minor complaint.
The superpowers and transformations are so visual that they seem to pop off the pages. I also found fascinating how each character’s power tied into their genetics, personality, and even things like what they had recently eaten. And the fight scenes. Oh my God! Exciting and amazing doesn’t even begin to describe them! I swear my jaw was aching by the time I reached the ending because I had my mouth open almost the entire time I was reading. Needless to say the pace was insanely fast, and despite the book being almost 600 pages long, I finished this over the course of two nights.
In my opinion, Monster is an absolutely thrilling continuation of the Gone series that will please fans, and attract new readers. Please be warned. Like the previous books, Monster pulls no punches, and there were some scenes that even made me a bit squeamish, especially a couple involving children. Michael Grant has created a world full of brutality and breathtaking ruthlessness, yet there is also hope, because where there are villains and monsters, there are heroes who sacrifice everything to fight them. I highly, HIGHLY recommend this to older teens and adults who love superhero books and movies. I guarantee you won’t be disappointed!