Let me begin by saying that I read – a lot. Although I have recently narrowed down what I read to horror and thrillers, I have read plenty of books in other genres. Some of the books I’ve read left a lasting impression and one series even had me in tears for days when a beloved character died an unexpected death. However, Monster is one book I know I will never forget.
I can’t recall a book ever having the same effect on me as Monster. I read it in one sitting, (I couldn’t stop reading!) and by the end, I was speechless. I wrestled with a number of different emotions as I read and they ranged from anger, to disgust, to extreme sadness. I’ve read almost everything Michael Bray has released and I’ve read so many Matt Shaw books, I’ve lost count. I thought I knew what to expect from these guys. I was wrong.
At the beginning of the book, both authors took the time to write a little something, warning readers of what was to come. Matt Shaw says, “I’m sorry for what you’re about to read” and Michael Bray states, “Sometimes the hardest things to touch on for a fiction author are the things a little too close to real life to cause real discomfort.” This book is the epitome of dark and disturbing fiction, and will be all too realistic for some. If you’re one of those who tend to ignore the warnings posted on books, I strongly suggest you pay attention to these warnings.
The ‘monster’ in the book is a seven-foot tall creature who wears a mask made of human skin. To me, this was reminiscent of Ed Gein or ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ but that’s where the similarities ended. This monster can barely speak and is child-like in its actions. As creepy as this may sound to some, it is not the worst part of the book – not by a long shot. The worst part is when you find out how the monster was created and witness how its behavior changes throughout the course of the story.
Matt Shaw and Michael Bray each wrote different parts of this story and it was done incredibly well. The book flows seamlessly and is so immersive; you will forget it’s the combined effort of two authors, not just one. I can only hope that with the success of Monster and their first collaboration Art, they will team up again in the near future.
Monster is a great story that the authors execute flawlessly and it turns out to be so much more than you think. This story shows you just how horrible people can be. You’ll get angry and you may even cry a bit. (I did) Monster is definitely one of the best horror novels I’ve read this year.
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