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The Monster of Elendhaven

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4.31  ·  Rating details ·  42 ratings  ·  30 reviews
“A black tide of perversity, violence, and lush writing. I loved it.” —Joe Hill

Debut author Jennifer Giesbrecht paints a darkly compelling fantasy of revenge in The Monster of Elendhaven, a dark fantasy about murder, a monster, and the magician who love both.

The city of Elendhaven sulks on the edge of the ocean. Wracked by plague, abandoned by the South, stripped of indust
...more
Hardcover, 160 pages
Expected publication: September 24th 2019 by Tor.com
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4.31  · 
Rating details
 ·  42 ratings  ·  30 reviews


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Chelsea Humphrey
May 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chelsea by: Tor.com Publishing
"Power was sweeter than apples. It was cheaper than water, and sustained the soul twice as well. If Johann was going to be a Thing with a name, then from now on he would be a Thing with power, too."

I wasn't entirely sure what I was getting when I picked up The Monster of Elendhaven, but it wasn't that, and I mean that in the very highest form of compliment. I have a love/hate relationship with novellas, in the sense that I love to hate them, because I always feel like I was cheated out of a full
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Petrik
Jun 11, 2019 rated it it was ok
ARC provided by the publisher—Tor.com—in exchange for an honest review.

This starts out promising but overall it's really just not for me.

The Monster of Elendhaven by Jennifer Giesbrecht is a debut that I’ve heard great things about. It’s been advertised as a compelling dark fantasy about revenge, murder, and magician. For what its worth, it did started out that way; strongly atmospheric and dark. However, once the romance started, I found that the twisted relationship and unrealistic progression
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Melanie

ARC provided by Tor in exchange for an honest review.

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Sana
Jan 08, 2019 marked it as to-read-so-bad-it-hurts  ·  review of another edition
'a dark fantasy about murder, a monster, and the magician who loves both'
JUST FUCK ME UP, TOR.COM
Julie Zantopoulos
Apr 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc, read-in-2019
What a freaking ride. This was a quick read but it packed a serious lunch. I was provided this arc by TOR and I’m so thankful it made its way to me. This novella is graphic in its violence and unapologetic in its gore but it’s also hauntingly beautiful in its writing style. It is twisted and grotesque in a way you can’t look away from and I really enjoyed it. This is a fantasy world with magic and mages but also very real human motivators like revenge and lust. This falls short of being an eroti ...more
Nenia ☠️ Khaleesi of Bodice Rippers, Protector of Out of Print Gems, Mother of Smut, and Actual Garbage Can ☠️ Campbell
Together, they launch a plan so dark and cruel that readers will find themselves cheering for blood, and for these avengers to consummate their horrible passion for each other.

In other words:



YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAASS
Tucker
Jun 04, 2019 marked it as arcs-to-read  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tucker by: Tor.com Publishing

Many thanks to Tor.com for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review

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Hamad
Jun 01, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
ARC provided by Tor in exchange for an honest review.

It does have a V.E. Schwab Aesthetic!! Also why only 25 ratings???
Acqua
Jan 09, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult
Look at that cover!

Quoting Tor.com's twitter, this book should feature:

"- High Quality Sociopath Love
- Gratuitous Violence
- Gratuitous Corpses
- Comedy With Approximately As Much Levity As The Depths of the Ocean
- Not Technically Necrophilia
- Technically A Love Story"

...I want to read this now? Also, I've heard it's gay.
Holly (Holly Hearts Books)
Hundreds of years ago, the North Pole was cut open with searing magic, a horrific event that left the land with craters like the city of Elendhaven was in. For centuries, the black waters were poisoned with an arcane toxin that causes the skin to bubble and the mind go soggy.

Meet Johann, the Monster of Elendhaven.

This book might as well be dripping with oil and slime. Glued together with brick and mortar and smell like factory smoke and grime because this setting is VIVID AS FORK.

We mostly have
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Casey
I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS BLURB
"The Monster of Elendhaven is a dark fantasy, a twisted tale of revenge set in an original world as oily and real as Jack the Ripper’s London. After a thing with no name washes up on the docks, empty, alone, and unable to die, he becomes obsessed with a frail young man who can twist minds with magic. Together, they launch a plan so dark and cruel that readers will find themselves cheering for blood, and for these avengers to consummate their horrible passion fo
...more
FanFiAddict
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Rating:★★★★★

Synopsis

The Monster of Elendhaven is a dark fantasy, a twisted tale of revenge set in an original world as oily and real as Jack the Ripper’s London. After a thing with no name washes up on the docks, empty, alone, and unable to die, he becomes obsessed with a frail young man who can twist minds with magic. Together, they launch a plan so dark and cruel that readers will find themselves cheering for blood, and for these avengers to consummate their horrible passion for each other. Bu
...more
Alex Zagorac
Giesbrecht is my mom's maiden name so I'm just gonna go ahead and pretend that this awesome sounding book was written by a relative!
J.A. Ironside
Many thanks to Tor.com for sending me a hardcopy arc :)

This is a quick read - I got through this novella in a single sitting - but its no less impactful for that. A huge amount of story is carefully folded into this delicately wrought story, filled with dark pockets containing darker gems.

Johann grows up on the streets of Elendhaven, discovering he has a few unusual talents - one of which is performing actions of ruthless, calculated violence. Florian was born to one of the dying city's great f
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Natassja
Jun 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
*bring me to life muffled by the sounds of the sea's cold embrace*
Travis
May 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sort of like a gay Frankenstein meets Count of Monte Cristo? It's hard to describe but I know it was great.
Pie
Jan 09, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Book: monsters, murder, magic, other cool things beginning with M.
Me: hello yes please when can I read this.
axel
Jan 12, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
01/12/19
this sounds like everything i ever needed??
Jordan Shiveley
Jun 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Drew
Apr 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best of the Tor.com novellas, for me, are the ones that are as much about world-building as they are about the story they aim to tell. This one, for sure, has a story and it's a corker with plenty of violence and passion and the usual twists & turns -- but it is the world of Elendhaven, the strange dark snowy landscape of the city and its inhabitants that makes this such a terrific read. I found myself dreaming of Elendhaven the same way I did of Ambergris the first time I visited, and I ...more
JK
Jun 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A deliciously dark tale of grotesque passion in the between-spaces left by the decay of a once prosperous city as eroded by the changing times as it is by the sea.

Giesbrecht's prose is so gripping that I finished the whole novella in one go. The whole work bleeds so much atmosphere you'll feel the grime and the sleet sitting outside on a bright summer's day. The characters are fully realized and their contrasting motivations are very compelling but she makes no attempt to redeem the irredeemable
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Caleb Masters
Jun 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With The Monster of Elendhaven, Jennifer Giesbrecht has penned a perfect grim, soot-covered, gothic delight. Masterfully blending horror and dark fantasy, Monster follows a murderous creature who calls himself Johann and his unexpected run-in with a sorcerer, Florian. Together they carry out a variety of nefarious deeds - slicing, murdering, and poisoning their way across an oily, smoggy, industrial city. With pitch-perfect mood and amazingly sharp, precise writing, The Monster of Elendhaven ann ...more
hellohelloallie
Apr 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was the dark and gore-filled companion to Susana Clarke’s Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell. The prose is exquisite and the violence portrayed with complete beauty. Tor.com is THE imprint for genre-bending, Cross-the-border fiction.
Kim Ward
Jun 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This twisted little tale is a fun, completely charming addition to anyone’s novella collection. Jennifer Giesbrecht has created a unique world with characters you love, hate and love to hate... great fare in the traditions of gothic horror.
DC Grrl
Jun 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a spooky new boogeyman/fairytale book. Told from the perspective of the monster himself, which I really enjoyed. Beware, it includes gruesome details, and there is suggestive language and swearing. Again, I enjoyed these things. I found the language wonderfully graphic and descriptive.
Em
Apr 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Grimy and dark and fucked-up and absolutely delicious.
Jana
Review to be posted at Fantasy Literature.
The Artisan Geek
May 18, 2019 is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: june-tbr
18/5/19
A sincere thank you to Tor.com for sending me a copy of this book!!

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S
May 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Giesbrecht's writing is lyrical and wrought but there's no flowery over-expenditure. Each sentence has the feel of poetry even when at its most vile, evocative and wonderful, but grisly and sharp and concise. Yes it's dark and messy, yes it's queer and complex, yes it veers back and forth between subtle and flamboyant, but most importantly it's great fun. Reaping what you sow has never been more satisfying.

If the most negative reviews this has amount to that it was an issue of content and tone n
...more
Yuki 28
rated it it was amazing
Feb 18, 2019
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