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Monstrous (Monstrous #1)

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  1,132 Ratings  ·  293 Reviews
The city of Bryre suffers under the magic of an evil wizard. Because of his curse, girls sicken and disappear without a trace, and Bryre’s inhabitants live in fear. No one is allowed outside after dark.

Yet night is the only time that Kymera can enter this dangerous city, for she must not be seen by humans. Her father says they would not understand her wings, the bolts in h
Kindle Edition, 432 pages
Published February 10th 2015 by HarperCollins Children's Books (first published February 1st 2015)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Lola  Reviewer
I surmise, after having reached a percentage of twenty-two in the story, that some 12 year olds might find this to be of their taste. The problem is… I spotted the ‘‘twist’’ from miles away. Really. It couldn’t be more obvious. I’m pretty sure I know how the book ends and everything that happens before the ‘‘grand revelation’’; therefore, I lost the interest I first had in it. Well, there’s always the chance that I might be wrong and that the plot will take unexpected turns,

but I seriously doubt
Melissa ♥ Dog Lover ♥ Martin
MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List

I think this book cover is just beautiful and when I read the blurb I knew I had to have it and the second one too :-)

I love Kymera's character! Her father has made her into a sort of Frankenstein. She is part girl and she has some other interesting things that she is mixed with, I don't really want to give all of that out though :-)

She can fly, her fingernails come out into sharp claws that make me think of wolverine, but not quite, and her tail can sting
Aug 21, 2014 Mackenzi rated it it was amazing
This book was pitched as Frankenstein meets the Brothers Grimm, and that's *exactly* what it is. It's a new story that feels like an old fairytale, and as I was reading, I kept thinking of it as a love letter to the sort of dark, magical fantasy novels I gobbled up as a kid. MarcyKate Connolly does an amazing job of creating a protagonist who is both hauntingly animalistic and achingly human, and the book itself somehow manages to be dark and hopeful simultaneously.

As a bookseller, this is the
Moraes the Bookworm
"Dragons and humans once lived together in harmony. The dragons each shared an affinity with different elements. [...] Eventually, those who lived with the dragons began to absorb some of their magic. Those dragon riders became the first wizards."

I heard about this book a few weeks ago. Despite it being a middle-grade book, I decided to give it a go, because it's not in my DNA to just ignore a story about castles, wizards and mythological creatures. This was the first book by Connolly that I eve
Feb 15, 2015 BookLoversLife rated it it was amazing
The first time I saw the cover and read the blurb I knew I was going to read this. I had such high hopes for it and I'm glad to say that it did not disappoint. This is truly a magnificent read.

Kymera was such an amazing character. She may be "Monstrous" but she had a true heart of gold. She is strong, brave yet so naive and innocent as well. She was told by her father that he created her using science to help save the girls from the evil Wizard. The girls are being held in a prison by the Wizar
Apr 06, 2015 Celine rated it it was ok
DNF at 120 pages.

Monstrous isn't a bad book, but it's not one I enjoy. The writing is strangely complex even though the target audience is middle grade. I don't believe in dumbing down writing for kids, but when even adults don't recognise the word, it's simply not the right word. It doesn't help that I just know what's going to happen, and it's taking the story too long to get there. There was too much romance, the writing was too awkward, and the story was lacking.

Some quotes from my ARC (whi
Patrice Caldwell
Jul 03, 2013 Patrice Caldwell marked it as to-read
I'm so freaking excited for this book, like already madly in love!!!
See this review and others like it at Badass Book Reviews!

Monstrous is a children's/middle grade novel that really is perfect for younger readers. While I enjoyed this as an adult, I can see younger readers being swept away by Kymera, the city of Byre, and all the magical elements in this story. There is a message woven in as well; not all monsters are monstrous on the outside and just because someone looks different, it doesn't mean they are monstrous on the inside.

This book started out a littl
Aug 10, 2015 Burn rated it liked it
It’s been a long time since I read a children’s book that I needed some adjustments.

Nevertheless, this book (FOR ME) was engrossing and I enjoyed most of it, or rather MY HEART SWELLED FOR THIS.
I strongly think that children are a great fragility when it comes to innocence and beginnings. Sometimes, children cannot be blamed on what they insist to be right. The main character, Kymera, and as her name implies, she’s a combination of human and animal parts, was misled by the enemy, used and manip
Jen Malone
Aug 11, 2014 Jen Malone rated it it was amazing
I've been following this book since getting to know Marcy when we were both in the query trenches together and I've sat beside her in a coffee shop while she revised (and somehow never peeked). So I was VERY excited to get my hands on this and the story completely held up to the unique premise. Kymera was so likable even when her actions were (obliviously) monstrous and I loved seeing her veil lifted and the actions she takes to earn redemption. Lots of good discussion points in this one! But ...more
Dec 24, 2014 Maija rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014-kids, 2014
I was very excited to be able to get a copy of this book. I began to read it and kept having to put it down to do things like eat and go to work. As I neared the end, it became harder and harder to put down. Our protagonist, Kym struggled with her identity and her calling and I just wanted to find out what would happen next. I felt like I was reading a classic fairy tale as the book unraveled before me.
Gail Nall
Jan 21, 2015 Gail Nall rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade, arc, 15ers
Oh, wow. This book! I loved it from the very beginning. Although an homage to Frankenstein, it's still such an original story. Kymera is such a sympathetic and likable character, and I rooted for her throughout the book. This is a definitely an older MG, which I appreciate! An engaging, exciting, fast-paced story, with the perfect ending. Highly recommended!
Tabitha (Pabkins)
I have rather torn feelings about Monstrous. At first I started out loving it. Kym and her just being born back into life and having to adjust to her body which is made up of the various different parts of different girls and animals. She has both human and cat eyes she can interchange, claws she can retract, wings in which to fly and a long tail with a stinger end that can put people to sleep with its venom. She cannot remember anything from her former life and knows only that which her Father ...more
Mel (Daily Prophecy)

What a surprising ending! That was absolutely the best part about this book, because I never saw it coming and I thought it was a brave decision for a Middle Grade book. I was bothered by Kymera’s ignorance, but at the same time I think this will work great for children. Most of them are innocent too, so I bet they will devour this fairytale-like story.

Kymera got an extreme make-over. Her father brought her back from the death and he enhanced her body with
Bee {Quite the Novel Idea}

Istyria book blog ~ B's world of enchanted books

4.5 stars

When I saw this book on Edelweiss, I had a good feeling about it. Something told me this would be great. And I'm so glad I followed my guts with this one. Monstrous is amazing!

Monstrous is MarcyKate Connolly's debut and it's about Kymera. Kymera is created to save the girls of Bryre from the evil wizards, or so she thinks. Kymera is not a normal girl. She has wings, a spiky tail, bolts in her neck and the claws and eyes of a big cat. If pe
Jessica Taylor
Aug 21, 2014 Jessica Taylor rated it it was amazing
I’ve been dying to get my hands on MONSTROUS since I read the first pages in a contest back when the author was querying. That’s a lot of time to wait on a book, but MONSTROUS lived up to my incredibly high expectations in every way. MONSTROUS is the perfect blend of plot and character, making this book compulsively readable to a high degree. Kymera, the main character, is brave, strong, and still vulnerable—basically everything I hoped she would be. There’s no doubt MarcyKate Connolly has a ...more
Jen Brooks
Nov 17, 2014 Jen Brooks rated it it was amazing
A true dark fairytale with a fascinating heroine and dangerous magic. I wanted so badly to make everything okay for Kymera! There is much in here for kids to think about, from the question of how one knows when to believe something is true to what makes an action right or wrong. There are lots of characters doing good and bad things, and intentions are not always clear to all parties. Kids of all ages will find much in these pages to love.
Nov 02, 2014 Bookworm007 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Sounds insanely interesting!!!

A protagonist

...with the wings of a raven, the tail of serpent, and the razor-sharp vision of a cat?

...who rescues captive girls from an evil wizard and avoids human interaction? love with a page boy but has yet to reveal her appearance to him?

...forced to question who the real monster is: the wizard, her father, or.....herself?

Lordy, sign me up for this adventurous ride!!!
Grade rating: 98% A
"How many times must I tell you, Kymera. No human will ever trust you. Accept you. Or love you. Not like I do. I am the only one because I made you."
Kymera is a monster. Manufactured and brought to life by her Father, she has the tail of a snake, wings of a raven, and claws and eyes of a cat. She has lived with her Father, her creator, for her entire life. When Father reveals his purpose of making her (saving the girls of Bryre from the evil wizard), Kymera is determined to
Kim (Book Swoon)
Feb 16, 2015 Kim (Book Swoon) rated it really liked it


Monstrous is a simply delightful book, one that can be equally enjoyed by both the young reader and their older counterparts. Partly re-imagined Frankenstein and partly inspired fairy tale as those famous Brothers Grimm would spin, Monstrous is both lyrical and simple. A tale that speaks to the heart, one that can be appreciated without elaborate workings but enjoyed for the simple lessons it imparts. Bravery, friendship, g
✿ℎazℯℓ - thℯ ℛock Cℎick ℱairy✿
This book came as a surprise. I did not expect its ending.

When I started reading this book, I admit.. I had my doubts. I already predicted the said "twist", so I lost interest quickly. However, I picked it up again about a year later and I was truly surprised in a good way.

Monstrous starts off on a light note. Two characters are introduced... A "dad" taking care of her unlikely "daughter". Then things started happening in a wondrous fashion. It began with little missions that ended up to be a n
The city of Bryre suffers under the magic of an evil wizard. Because of his curse, girls sicken and disappear without a trace, and Bryre's inhabitants live in fear. No one is allowed outside after dark. Yet night is the only time that Kymera can enter this dangerous city, for she must not be seen by humans. Her father says they would not understand her wings, the bolts in her neck, or her spiky tail—they would kill her. They would not understand that she was created for a purpose: to rescue the ...more
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
For more reviews, gifs, Cover Snark and more, visit A Reader of Fictions.

3.5 stars

Continuing a streak of good middle grade novels, I picked up Monstrous, because I’d heard good things from Dahlia (author of Behind the Scenes/Last Will and Testament/Under the Lights). In a lot of ways, it’s a strange book. It’s surprisingly dark for a middle grade novel, which okay yes I do see that about most of the ones that I read, but those are the ones I like. Monstrous will appeal to those who love fairy ta
Review originally posted on my blog Dee's Reads

My Rating: 2.5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Monstrous was an interesting fantasy with many elements seen in other fantasies, and even felt a bit like a retelling because it was so familiar. I do have to say it didn't read much like a middle grade book, it felt very YA and I did like that aspect a lot. The voice and narrative of the main character was incredibly strong and the pacing was e
Elizabeth Stiert
Mar 11, 2016 Elizabeth Stiert rated it it was amazing
Shelves: own-physical, mg
Monstrous is a magical and enticing tale that completely sucked me in. I was swept away by the Frankenstein-esque dark themes and Connolly’s enchanting writing. She perfectly crafted a story and fantastic world that I could not get enough of.

The story is INCREDIBLE. It’s imaginative, clever, and so well developed. The story reminded me of Hermione’s Undetectable Extension Charm* (Capacious extremis)- at first the plot seems simple and repetitious on the surface but as you read on you find the pl
Dec 06, 2015 Kaitlin rated it really liked it
*I received an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Monstrous had a pretty good story to it. It was magical with a touch of darkness to it. My favorite part was the main character. Her journey made reading the book worthwhile.

Kymera was a good heroine. She was monstrous looking at first glace, but had such a big heart. She loved her father and was so loyal to him. She always did what was right to the best of her ability, though. She was a passionate girl, feeling emotions deeply.
ally  ¯\(ツ)/¯
Jun 16, 2015 ally ¯\(ツ)/¯ rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2015, fantasy
"A yapping brown dog with sparrow wings skids to a landing by Father's plush armchair. Pippa. He calls her a sperrier.

I call her delicious".

This book has so many great elements. The characters are fantastic! Kymera, Ren, Batu <3... even Barnabus. The story for the most part is well developed, even though parts are too predictable. I just can't get over the ending. So much build up and so anticlimactic.

I keep reminding myself this is middle grade and I am 30 years old young. But I cannot get o
Mar 09, 2015 Kara added it
Shelves: dnf
No rating as this is a DNF. I only read a few pages but I can already tell this is going to be SO not for me. The premise is just silly to me. And I am supposed to root for a protagonist that wants to eat a dog on page three? Yeah, I am just not gonna be able to do that.

Writing is fine. It's just not my thing.
Kari (BookandCoffeeLover)
I've looked forward to reading this for quite a while and it was worth the wait! Monstrous was an epic adventure that was filled with dynamic characters you both loved and hated. I absolutely adored Kym and was deeply invested in everything she went through. I did find the pace near the end a tad rushed but overall this was a fantastic and emotional read that kept you guessing.
Feb 25, 2015 Katy marked it as on-hold-bored-lost-interest
I just can't.... I haven't read enough of this book to give it a rating, or to certainly say if it is the book or me that is the problem. I am bored and just not in the mood to read another fantasy right now. I may come back to it later. Maybe. Maybe not.
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I’m an author and nonprofit administrator living in New England with my husband and pugs. I’m also a coffee addict, voracious reader, and recurring commuter. Represented by Suzie Townsend of New Leaf Literary.

(photo credit: Cheryl Colombo 2012)
More about MarcyKate Connolly...

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“In my books, there is always a prince, and he always happens upon the damsel in the most unexpected places.” 3 likes
“Perhaps dragons are just misunderstood.” 2 likes
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