Thomas's Reviews > The Monsters of Otherness

The Monsters of Otherness by Kaza Kingsley
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's review
Mar 20, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: fantasy, young-adult
Read in March, 2012

In The Monsters of Otherness, Kaza reaches her writing maturity in this novel, with no flaws of any kind. Erec now must start on his quests and faces some interesting challenges. Unlike the first novel Erec Rex: The Dragon's Eye, there was no predictable element. You know at the very beginning that young Erec is destined to become a King in this wonderful world of magic. I won't provide any spoilers and will only say that the book left me wanting the next one to be published and available - Kaza tells me it will released in October (2008).

Like the first book in the series, I read this in about seven hours and couldn't put it down. I need to stress that despite what some reviewers have said, Erec Rex is not Harry Potter in any way. Harry is constantly assailed with doubts and while Erec has his weaknesses, they are not the same as Harry's by any stretch of the imagination.

This story covers the first two (sacrifice and justice) of twelve quests (a reference to Hercules) and Erec gains some wonderful gifts along the way to proving he is worthy of his destiny. I have a feeling that his friend Bethany is more than just a friend, but we will have to wait to find out.

Yes, there are unanswered questions, but that's okay. These stories are part of a larger whole and like any good story; these novels are intertwined with each other. The first introduced us to Erec and this second now provides us with more of his history and his ultimate goal. The influence of unlimited power and its corruption is a very strong theme and Erec's Achilles' heel. His youth also makes him vulnerable to the lies of man (or beast) and his courage in facing these threats to his mortality is a worthy example to young readers.

Update: I originally read this in 2008 (also the date of my original review, above) and actually liked it better than the first novel. Since then, Simon and Shuster picked up Kaza's novels and are in the process of reissuing them. I picked up this book in its Kindle format and while I enjoyed it, it felt a bit on the "stilted" side. It read okay, but it felt artificial in nature, something that usually doesn't strike me while reading it.

Regardless, the reread held up very well and I was happy to see that the story stayed fresh, despite its slightly stilted feel. Erec's challenges are more apparent as he faces enemies and starts to become aware of his own potential and heritage
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