The Monstrous Child
Meet Hel, teenager and Queen of the Dead. Daughter of a giantess and a god. Sister to Fenrir the wolf and Jormungand the snake.
This is her testament.
Hel never wanted to be queen, but being a normal teenager wasn’t an option either. Now she’s stuck ruling the underworld. For eternity. She do ...more
Let's prepare yourself ...more
The Monstrous Child is set in the world of Norse mythology, and centres around Loki's daughter, Hel, and her journey to becoming and her experiences as Queen of the Underworld. From the very first line, Simon draws us into an incredible world where journeys can spread across lifetimes, animals can be thrown out of the sky, and an immortal god can be born with rotten legs.
I was admittedly concerned about the colloquial ...more
Bit of a disappointment tbh...
Became interested in this due to the Norse Mythology aspect and I sort of expected a short but interesting story. I didn’t really enjoy this too much. I liked the narration on this one - I think they did a pretty good job...it was mainly a lack of story that made me rate this so low. I liked Hel’s character but I just felt she became way too obsessed over Baldr...I understand that his death leads to Ragnarok in the mythology so it made sense she would want to keep h ...more
I think the younger me would've enjoyed this much more, though I did enjoy it as it is. I think it is a fun story to pass time. It got only three stars because I, personally do not think it's one of those stories that stay with you after you finish it. I liked the writing style, but I just was detached. I rooted for Hel, trust me. But ...more
What I find most frustrating about this book is the climax. (view spoiler)[That Hel gives Freya Idunn back because Freya says she's pretty? Come on. The text suggests it's because Freya does not see her as a ...more
Francesca Simon has always been a firm favorite of mine, her Horrid Henry series is beloved by children and adults alike.
The Monstrous Child tells the story of Hel, queen of the underworld and the daughter of Loki - the evil trickster in Norse mythology. All of Loki's children are cursed, Fenrir was the eldest of three children between Loki and the giantess Angrboda. Fenrir took the form of a wolf while his younger brother Jormungand took the form of a serpent and his younger sister Hel was half ...more
More than anything, there was just a lack of story to tell. It was mostly a bunch of whining, combined with a series of facts, that just weren't particularly interest ...more
A stunning, operatic, epic drama, like no other. Meet Hel, an ordinary teenager - and goddess of the Underworld. Why is life so unfair? Hel tries to make the best of it, creating gleaming halls in her dark kingdom and welcoming the dead who she is forced to host for eternity. Until eternity itself is threatened.
Francesca Simon is best known for her Horrid Henry series of books. I never read them, but I know they are hugely popular with children in every library in Ireland, and the UK, and pr...more
I personally didn't enjoy this book so much, mostly because I did not like Hel as a character. i found her selfish and she got on my nerves a bit but, later on, she under went a small character arc and became a slightly more likeable character. The book was peppered with funny moments and other, more likeable characters *cough* Modgud *cough*.
Warning: My fellow Marvel fans, do not, repeat do not picture the character Loki in this book as Tom Hidd ...more
"You're expecting me to host you in my hall," I said. 'And not just for a winter, but forever. It is customary to bring gifts to your lord, in thanks for hospitality."
"What hall?" asked Embla. I don't see any hall.
"I'm building one over there,' I said.
"When you've finished the hall we'll talk about gifts," said Embla."
I didn't know what to expect going into this one but it was an amazingly fantastic and quick ride! Hel is the daughter of Loki, cursed to rule the underworld. Do I eve ...more
Francesca Simon is best known for her Horrid Henry stories, beloved by children who delight in naughty narrators and anti-sweetness. This foray into the younger side of YA (12-14) has a contemporary smart-ass tone, despite the setting and characters which are taken from Norse mythology. The protagonist is young Hel - a fourteen yea ...more
It could have been a nice Norse tale if written as a short story, instead we have a stodgy 300 pages book full of emptiness. Even the layout makes me think the writer's main goal was to fill the most pages possibles with short phrases, long blank pages and enormous first letter. Even ...more
Hel is the Daughter of a Giantess and the God Loki. Unfortunately, Loki's spawn seem to come out misshapen, wrong and fated to do terrible things. Except, while Hel is described as having corpse legs the Fates have no future reading for her. She is not destined to harm anyone....and yet she remains hated for her deformity. She is called ugly, she is unwanted, ...more
It is a very gentle almost slow telling of how Hel came to be where she is and it almost mirrors the snail pace of the realm she rules.
But throughout you can sense the young girl behind her giant-god persona, feel her constant self-consciousness about her corpse legs, reel from her anger at the Aesir and in ...more
Beyond this, an interesting concept; seeing the course of the world from a rather neglected character in Nordic mythology, Hel. It was indeed quite interesting to see the passing of time and the interplay of other characters from Hel's perspective. I also respected how true to the canon myths the book remained (tbf I'm mainly going by Gaiman's Norse Mythology here).
However, I found the book quite repetitive, with Hel repeating herself in what did not appear to me to ...more
This confused me. I'm not really sure it knew what it wanted to be. It felt too childish to be YA at times but it was definitely NOT for children. I know the author writes for kids so maybe it's tough to turn that off when you are used to writing for them?
Hel's voice was really strong and I actually did like her but everyone else barely registered. I mean Odin made no impression on me whatsoever. This Odin we are talking about. Odin makes an impression! I did like how she called him 'one-eye' th ...more
And lets be honest, nobody wants to read a book where you notice how hard it is trying to be good and different and unique. Since that just makes the book frustrating and non of the things it tries so hard to be. Most of the time to me it automatically ends up being a pretty bad book that is clearly has many aspects of other better known books and is anything but unique.
It tries SO hard to be funny and sarcastic. But ...more
I loved this reimagining of Hel as a petulant and frightened teen, with a wicked sense of humour and a need to be loved. Hel is often portrayed as emotionless and distant ...more
The ending seemed a bit abrupt. I would have really liked to know what happened to Loki and Modgood, but I guess it was just the 'fresh start' kind of ending. It didn't really wow me.
All in all, I loved the protagonist's voice and it's ...more
|Play Book Tag: The Monstrous Child - Francesca Simon (3 1/2 stars)||1||8||Oct 31, 2017 06:34AM|
|The YA Book Prize...: Discussion - The Monstrous Child by Francesca Simon||2||2||May 29, 2017 10:48AM|
|NZ Intermediate S...: The Monstrous Child||1||10||Apr 09, 2017 02:49AM|
She then threw away a lucrative career as a medievalist and worked as a freelance journalist, writing for the Sunday Times, Guardian, Mail on Sund ...more