Danyelle Leafty's Reviews > Monarch

Monarch by Michelle D. Argyle
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Oct 01, 11


I don't generally read thrillers or adult novels, so I'm definitely not in the target audience, but the cover intrigued me. The butterfly wings behind the body seem to hint that life is a beautiful, albeit fragile thing. A theme running throughout the book.

One of my favorite things about MONARCH was the use of butterflies. They're woven in to the story and are an integral symbol for the whole. Butterflies can mean a lot of different things, but some common symbols they represent are change, metamorphosis, new beginnings, and the soul. I love how the author tied in the migratory patterns and life process of Monarch butterflies to the main characters Nick and Lilian. Both in their internal relationships with themselves, and their external relationships. The Monarch butterflies were a beautiful symbol and well-used throughout.

Another thing that really added to the charm of the story was the setting and Lilian's vocation. Instead of being set in a large city full of movement, color, and sound coming at you from all corners, much of the present day action takes place in a small town in West Virginia. Lilian runs a bed and breakfast, and used to work as a cake decorator. The bed and breakfast is located a little ways away from the town, where it's even more quiet and peaceful--well, at least until the mob shows up. I liked how the nice, idyllic setting of the today was juxtaposed with the rich, exotic jungles of Brazil in the passages where Nick is reliving his past.

Which brings me to the third point. Michelle has a masterful way of dealing with flashbacks. While I'm not fond of this particular literary device (I think it's a little overused in general), she does an excellent job of seamlessly weaving the past and the present into one continuous story. Because that's what it is--the past story (Nick's mission with the CIA) and the present story are so entwined with each other, that they really are a single story.

Readers that enjoy suspenseful, soft thrillers would likely enjoy MONARCH.

*review copy from publisher
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