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Monsters All the Way Down

4.19  ·  Rating details ·  52 ratings  ·  16 reviews
After a routine DNA background check, Brennan Wade is on the run for murders he does not remember committing. Pursued by a shadow agency, he fights to clear his name and catch the true killer. Brennan forges an uneasy alliance with Joan Runciter, the only woman to survive an attack, and together they delve into a world of secret history and ancient horror. As the body coun ...more
Paperback, 314 pages
Published September 5th 2014 by Pithos Publishing
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Average rating 4.19  · 
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Jun 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Every so often a particularly adventurous mood strikes and I read one of the randomly selected kindle books. This one happened to have an irresistible title. It also turned out to be a terrific find. The author was obviously inspired by cosmic horror and classic scifi, but there is so much to this story, it twists and turns and surprises, often, which is incredible in and of itself, and consistently and thoroughly entertains. And of course, one can't talk about all of the aforementioned twists a ...more
Kurt Schuett
Nov 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: must-read
A Ginger Nuts of Horror Book Review (completed by reviewer Kurt Schuett)

A house of severed heads on hooks…alliteration and imagery packed into one line, so what’s not to like?

Initially, the reader is introduced to Brennan Wade, an Adonis of a man seemingly caught in a web of mysterious confusion—reality is a bonafide illusion, and Brennan is being held captive and tested like a homicidal lab rat on steroids.

The conflict presented in the exposition of this story is deeper than originally expected
Are you squeamish about gore and blood? Not interested in various ways to kill people and the resulting bloodshed? Or, are you willing to skulk through the dark side of mind-bending horror, sci-fi, evil, hoping to come out the other side intact? If so, take a look at Monsters All the Way Down by Ryan McSwain.

A routine pre-employment DNA test is just the beginning of a horrific nightmare that puts Brennan Wade in the cross-hairs of both the authorities for crimes he never committed and a twisted
David Sharp
Jun 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: indie-books
I read another of McSwain's books, Four Color Bleed, and really enjoyed it. So, I thought I would give this one a shot.

It did not disappoint! Twisty-turny from the first page, fast-paced, and no mid-story lag. Not overtly Lovecraftian, but there is a similar supernatural paranoia.

It's dark enough that I wouldn't recommend it to faint-hearted readers. The villains are genuinely disturbing, and aptly monstrous. Enough so that if you don't get creepy-crawlies from this book, I hope I don't ever mee
Reading Bifrost

Have you ever seen a surrealism painting by Salvador Dali? They’re creepy. But, for some reason, you can’t tear your eyes away from it. Monsters All the Way Down is kind of like a Salvador Dali painting. A quick glance just won’t do, because there’re dozens of angles and “reality” is optional.

The story starts with Brennan being accused of murders he doesn’t remember committing. The mysteries quickly start piling up from the very beginning. The reader just met Brennan, and
Rabid Readers Reviews
Nov 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
There’s a delicious darkness in McSwain’s writing. McSwain’s uniquely surreal style leaves readers wondering about the fine line between what is real and what is imagined.

Brennan is an intentionally difficult character to read. He swings freely through time throughout the story to give a fuller picture of the man who might or might not have embarked on a killing spree. At the start he seems a fairly normal person and then secrets start to unfold. In a very real sense Brennan isn’t sure what he’
Richard Bunning
Nov 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I lost my way in the middle, so I was relieved to find I was meant to have done so.
There are only three main characters, Brennan, Thomas and Joan. The fourth character, the Old Man, never really distils until the end. McSwain deliberately fogs the mind of the reader as much as those of the two characters we are meant to have some empathy towards. So don't feel the need to backup in the middle looking for a missed direction; just enjoy the easy dialogue as it skips you effortlessly through the d
Pat Bevins
Sep 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
Overall I very much enjoyed "Monsters All the Way Down" and gave it 4 Stars. I was drawn to the book due to my enjoyment of H.P. Lovecraft's work and in part because of a new-found obsession with the "surreal noir". This book seemed like it would hit both, and it certainly did. I would describe the first quarter or so as one of the best openings to a novel I can ever remember. The mystery grows quickly, the questions pile up, but with it was a constant sense of tension and anxiety from the actio ...more
Oh My Bookness
Nov 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Monsters All the Way Down’ written by Ryan McSwain is a combination of a thrilling story, a bit of horror mixed with a psychological thriller for a twist.

Brennan Wade goes for a routine DNA test for a job and the next thing he knows he is being tracked down for crimes he does not remember committing. On a quest for answers he teams up with a woman named Joan Runciter, haunted by nightmares from her past.

With brutal murders taking place and Brennan can't figure out why or even sure What is real,
Oct 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Monsters All the Way Down by Ryan McSwain

Brennan Wade goes for a routine DNA test for a job.He is prepared for a new job but he is not prepared for what is about to happen. Next thing he knows he is being tracked down for crimes he does not remember committing. he teams up with a woman named Joan Runciter, who is struggling with haunting nightmares from her past.

People are being brutally murdered and Brennan can't figure out why. What is real, what is not? Is Brennan losing his mind and becomin
Jan 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Not my usual genre, but I as an author myself I had been exposed to bits and pieces of Mr. McSwain's writing and found his voice and style captivating. So after a long stint in my TBR pile I finally pulled out this Monster and wow. I was completely engrossed from the get go and despite my jaded eye from creating fiction I could not see the nuts and bolts and inner workings, but only the story and the characters. I find it hard to turn off my inner editor and read for pleasure alone these days so ...more
Gabby (What's Beyond Forks?)
May 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Full Review at: What's Beyond Forks?

Monsters All the Way Down by Ryan McSwain was a very different type of book from what I usually read. The characters were ridiculously well fleshed out. I found myself sympathizing with almost all of them. .almost. There were twists and turns. Some I saw coming, but there was a completely unexpected aspect that I didn't see. This story was surprising, mysterious, and morbid. Each scene was written in a way you could clearly see what was going on no matter how
Nov 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
I rarely pick up a book that bears any indication that either "fantasy" or "horror" is involved. I'm quite glad I made an exception for this one. The book has plenty of horror and a mysterious fantasy that left me with many, many questions (ranging from: what the hell was that thing in the Artic? to: does what we generally conceive of as "reality" matter on any level anyway?). I hope these questions are addressed and maybe even resolved in future volumes involving this same sortid but generally ...more
Jun 11, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been following the author, Ryan McSwain, on Twitter for quite a while before deciding to buy and read his book. For a first book, this is quite well written. There are a couple of timely twists.

Joan Runciter is the protagonist and is consistently brave, a "Ripley"-style character, pulled out of her "normal" life and confronted with the "monsters" in the title.

He has a second book that is available or just about to be published.
S.K. Gregory
Nov 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Brennan has been accused of murder that he doesn't believe he has committed. On the run, he tries to unravel the mystery before he is caught. An exciting story that moves at break neck speed with plenty of twists to keep you guessing until the very end. ...more
May 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
well well, that was mysterious and thrilling
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Tricia McSwain
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Aug 16, 2020
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George Billions
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Jun 09, 2016
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Ryan McSwain lives in Amarillo, Texas, with his wife and their two children. Ryan spends his days playing with his kids, writing, and wallowing in nostalgia. If you’d like to change reality, please check with him first—he’s currently living his best possible timeline.

You can reach Ryan using the red telephone in Commissioner Gordon’s office or by visiting Subscribe to his news

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