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My Name Is Monster

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  513 ratings  ·  123 reviews
After the Sickness has killed off her parents, and the bombs have fallen on the last safe cities, Monster emerges from the Arctic vault which has kept her alive. When she washes up on the coast of Scotland, everyone she knows is dead, and she believes she is alone in an empty world.

Monster begins the long walk south, scavenging and learning the contours of this familiar la
Kindle Edition, 321 pages
Published June 6th 2019 by Canongate Books
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Average rating 3.71  · 
Rating details
 ·  513 ratings  ·  123 reviews

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Ruby Granger
Jun 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
okay WOW!

This book was wonderful! I downloaded a sample on Kindle and *very* nearly didn't read it because I didn't like the first few pages -- but I'm so glad I kept on going. This is one of the best books I've read this year.

Following a war where a sickness was released as a biological weapon, Monster is the last person left. We follow her story of survival and break between her visceral present and brief memories of before. Hale treats memory uniquely and wonderfully!

Monster eventually, how
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Monster is the only human left following an apocalyptic war and the ensuing sickness. Left by herself she’s free to explore the world as she pleases, until she finds a child, a new Monster, to nurture her loneliness and teach her the ways to survive this new world.

The descriptions of the present world are good, although there’s no real ‘newness’ about it. We’ve read this story before, in a number of post apocalyptic Britain’s. How
Jun 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sometimes the simplest premise and exquisite execution come together serendipitously and make for a totally absorbing thriller. My Name is Monster is one such powerhouse post-apocalyptic landscape in which humanity is dead. Gone. Extinct. Except for Monster. And Mother. We never quite know how it has come to this although reasons are alluded to throughout we are not given reliable or solid reasoning; I liked these mysterious parts of the book as my imagination ran away with itself and it was rat ...more
Emer (A Little Haze)
This book has a great premise. It's a book of the apocalyptic variety and starts out with a woman named Monster, who is seemingly the only person left alive after some sort of war and a sickness... The book is purposefully vague. We see how Monster struggles to survive to find food, water, safe shelter... Until one day she finds a child whom she decides to name Monster while she becomes known as Mother. It is explained that Monster means survivor whereas Mother means creator.

I very much enjoyed
Joanne Harris
A terrific piece of writing; tough and tender and insightful. Loved it.
Mar 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A surprising and unexpected read. I was drawn to the book for its cover because it was so enticing. The plot itself had the same effect on me: I was intrigued to see how Mother and Monster would develop and what sort of hope, if any, would be provided at the end.

Firstly, this is very much a dystopian novel. After a sickness and global war leaves no known survivors, apart from Monster and Mother, this novel explores the idea of establishing a new world, a new type of living in a stripped-back soc
Alayne Emmett
Aug 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a wonderful book! I was a little unsure at first as the story was about a virus wiping out most of mankind and I thought no, do I really want to read about a virus? But, I’m really glad I did as this is a beautiful story and not at all sad. It deals with two women and their relationship and what happens to them. The ending is empowering and will stay with me for a very long time.
I truly hope that Katie Hale writes more books in the future.
Callum McLaughlin
Nov 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dystopian
Katie Hale’s debut is a thematically complex take on post-apocalyptic fiction that explores the notions of survival, belonging, the enduring influence of societal roles, and the complexities of motherhood.

The world has been decimated by war and disease. Our heroine – who refers to herself only by her childhood nickname, Monster – was an engineer who worked as part of a research team dedicated to finding a cure for the world’s Sickness. When the last of her team dies, she emerges from their arcti
Lucy Banks
Jan 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Post apocalyptic novel told from an interesting viewpoint.

I eagerly requested this book from Netgalley as my fellow book-reviewers suggested it might be my sort of thing. And it was... kind of. I enjoyed it, but had a few minor reservations.

It tells the tale of 'Monster' - a woman who is left alone after humanity has been wiped out by war and the Sickness. She was fortunate enough to be in a Seed Store when things wer
‘My Name is Monster’ belongs to the tradition of post-apocalyptic final survivor fiction. Such tales do not depict attempts at rebuilding in the ruins or conflict amongst survivors. Instead they show a world denuded of humanity through the eyes of a witness, sometimes with a sole companion, who must cope with the enormity of humanity’s demise. The earliest example I know is Mary Shelley’s The Last Man (1826); The Purple Cloud (1901) also fits the bill. There is a capital-R Romantic sensibility t ...more
Lel Budge
Feb 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
This is Katie Hale’s debut novel and I was so intrigue by the post apocalyptic premise and an original sounding blurb.

I found this to be a wonderfully well written book. The descriptive language drew me in to this emotional, cold and dark world.

This is a post apocalyptic story of a young woman who believes she is the only person left alive after The Sickness. Her name is Monster, a nickname given to her by her parents when she was younger and a bit of a loner.

Monster manages to survive by making
May 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A complex, accomplished debut. The prose dazzles while the themes of feminism, power and fertility sneak in for a gut-punch. It kept me gripped from the first page, and the characters continue to live and breathe in my imagination.
Dec 30, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
An insubstantial story in terms of action, but with surprising depth as the relationship between ‘Mother’ and her protegee ‘Monster’ unfolds. Both have survived the war and sickness that has destroyed practically every human on earth and meet by chance during one of Mother’s forays into the city for supplies. She takes the child back to her farm, nurtures her body back to health and teaches her the skills she needs to survive, many of them hangovers from her own lonely, excluded childhood back i ...more
Jun 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, 2019
Lil' spoilers, maybe?


This is a very think-y book and I loved it. For a post-apocalyptic setting, not a lot happened, but there was a lot in it still. The characters (all two of them!) were very tangible and different and both of them were fiercely understandable – but not necessarily relatable – even when they were at odds, even when you were in the other character's perspective. It was about aloneness and not wanting to be alone even if being together is difficult, and about words and mean
Sarah Ames-Foley
3.5 stars

This review can also be found on my blog.

I can really appreciate the appeal behind this novel, even if it didn't do much for me personally. This is a quiet post-apocalyptic character study of two characters: Monster-turned-Mother and Monster (the second). The naming seems confusing, but it absolutely makes sense within the story and is quite easy to follow. The first half of the novel follows Monster (to-be-Mother) as she travels home following an apocalyptic war slash disease. The "Sic
May 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just WOW.

Full review to come at
Feb 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
It is always a brave thing to write an entire book from just one or two points of view. No supporting characters, very little supporting action. Just one person and their thoughts. It is particularly brave to make that one central POV character not particularly likable.

The writing itself is simply lovely. Very prettily written and it's so easy to just devour this book in one or two sittings. The atmosphere is fantastic and the psychology is fascinating.

I am a bit of a sucker for post-apocalypt
Erica B (ricci.reads)
'My Name Is Monster' by Katie Hale is a work of dystopian fiction which uses stark language to convey the desolation of our main characters existence.
'Monster' believes that she is the only surviving human in post-apocalyptic Britain but finds a girl who she becomes something of a mother figure to, the first part of the novel being from Monsters perspective and the second part of the novel being the girls.

While I appreciate the concept and why it is written in such a way, it was a bleak reading
Aug 27, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Miss Naseweis
I have to admit that I’m pretty disappointed by this book. Nevertheless, I liked the writing style which was downright poetical some times. The author made me think about many interesting questions and aspects of life and provided a good insight into the two characters, Mother and Monster, most of the time. But still, there are so many things about this book that didn’t sit well with me.

First of all, I couldn’t always comprehend the passage of time. Like I don’t really know how long the war went
Sam Harford
Sep 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An atmospheric dystopian tale about motherhood, and the costs that come with it. My Name is Monster tells a story of planet earth’s sole survivor after some unknown source of Sickness left her in total isolation—or so she thinks. Monster, the name pressed onto her before civilisation’s collapse, had always struggled to fit in with other people and she often kept her distance from emotional connection.
Once this might have been a weakness, but as the world crumbles around her, Monster’s aversion
May 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, this book was really something. It begins with a young woman who only goes by her nickname, Monster. She believes herself to be the lone survivor of what appears to be the end of the world, which has been wiped out by war and sickness. She begins her trek home to Scotland, where she has accepted a lifetime of solitude, only to one day discover a young, untamed girl. She immediately takes this girl in as her own, with the intention of teaching and “creating” her from the apparent blank slate ...more
Aug 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
This was a really interesting book to read. It's written in the first person and follows the experiences of a girl called Monster. She is alone in the world, and as far as she knows she is the only one left alive.

I liked the style of writing in the book. It reminded me of other books I've really enjoyed which have a particular style inspired by children growing up in isolated and/or dystopian environments. This is the life that Monster leads, and even before events left her alone in the world sh
Trish Leggat
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this on NetGalley for the sheer reason that it intrigued me in every way - the cover, the Synopsis and the reviews on GoodReads. It sounded so completely different from anything I had ever read before. This is a debut novel by a acclaimed poet and as soon as you start reading you call tell. This is an exceptionally beautifully written book. The language is incredible, and how things are described had me hooked. I could almost feel the world that she built, the cold, the heat, the wet, t ...more
Dec 28, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-brave, sci-fi
When the Sickness and the War swept the planet, Monster was working in the Arctic. Returning home it seems like she's the only one left alive. Until, one day, she finds a girl hiding in a shop and must teach her new charge everything needed to survive. This was a stark novel, harsh in its outlook but with an undercurrent of hope running throughout. Monster is an intriguing protagonist and her adventures on the mainland pit her against nature and herself.
thewoollygeek (tea, cake, crochet & books)
An interest and thought provoking read, not always easy at times and quite often thought provoking. The characters are well written and while not always likeable the book keeps you hooked and involved. A great read for something a bit darker and to make you think.

Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for a free copy for an honest review
Aug 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gripping, perhaps because of the heightened fear that comes of reading a book like this in the midst of a global pandemic. Oddly relatable, though entirely removed from my own experience, because of the honest depictions of the difficult balance between loneliness and needing to be alone.
Miss Naseweis
RTC, I think I have to calm down first
Cat Cola
wow, such a riveting story and the story ebbs and flows throughout but also leaving a sense hollowness and emptiness behind given the theme and context of this book.....a post apocalyptic world filled with desperation yet tender connection between Monstar and Mother.

I like the way all the memories are subtlly interwoven into the storyline and what's happening at the moment. But I do need to say that sometimes I find the description a bit difficult to follow once the book is put down and picked u
Having believed I’d covered most post-apocalyptic themes in fiction, I was caught off guard by how much I enjoyed this book. Hale wisely focuses on the evolving mother-daughter relationship between the two main characters which in turns is compelling, turbulent and oddly touching in places.

Atmospheric, and will stay logged in your memory long after its conclusion.

Highly recommended.

With thanks to Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
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Born in Cumbria, Katie is the author of a novel, My Name is Monster (Canongate, 2019), and two poetry pamphlets: Breaking the Surface (Flipped Eye, 2017) and Assembly Instructions (Southword Editions, 2019), which won the Munster Fool for Poetry Chapbook Competition. In 2019, she was awarded a MacDowell Fellowship, and was Poet in Residence at the Wordsworth Trust.

She has recently won the Buzzword

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