Dominic's Reviews > Monster

Monster by A. Lee Martinez
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's review
Oct 18, 09

Recommended to Dominic by: Jason Lohry
Recommended for: Anyone looking for a fun read.
Read in July, 2009, read count: 1

Before I delve into the review, I just want to state that even though I only gave this book 3 stars, it deserves a 3.9, I just can't fully apply the "I really liked it" tag that comes with four stars. And so we begin,

A. Lee Martinez has written an incredibly fun, unique, funny, introspective, wishful, and decent novel with "Monster". He introduces a lot of ideas that even the sci-fi/fantasy scene never really thought of before, and he spins, as a whole, an enticing tale with these ideas. I can't really put my finger on what made this book "just not quite enough" for me. It has all the needed elements that are engaging and fun, but there is just something missing, and I think that it's the deepness and backstory of the characters.

The book focuses on Monster, a crypto-biological animal control agent, with some slightly sociopathic tendencies, a dead-end relationship with a succubus who doesn't enjoy being intimate, and Chester, a sixth-dimensional uncorporeal sidekick with morality issues who does neat tricks with his paper body "host" he uses for the third dimension.

Even though throughout the novel you learn about how miserable Monster is with his stagnant life and you get a lot of psychological insight into Monster, Chester, and their new loser/"chosen one" friend Judy, you can never really quite connect all the way with any of them.

I wasn't so sure about the trans-dimensional, all-powerful, parasitic Mrs. Lotus, and I really felt that she was underdeveloped. She had a lot of potential in the story and could have really made the ending more engaging. Because of her character, the universe-shattering ending of the novel really just remained a quiet moment at home in reality.

However, I digress. Overall Monster was a good read, and I definitely don't regret picking it up.

[Side Note:] The very short chapter about Rob and Evelyn is quite entertaining just as a stand-alone.

If there is one thing I have learned from this book, it's that angels are real... and they're easy. ;]

[Pg. 268, Mrs. Lotus to Judy:] "Do you know what separates humanity from the other beasts of this world? It's not the ability to make tools or complex language or any of that other nonsense you tell yourselves. No, humans are unique in all this world because they're the only creatures that can make themselves miserable. And do you know how you do that? You do it by expecting to be happy. You're so busy thinking about happiness, obsessing about finding it and why it isn't where you expect it to be that you completely miss the point. The other creatures of this universe don't go looking for happiness. They don't even expect to be happy. They just expect to be, and that's good enough."
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