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The Monster of Elendhaven

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  2,454 ratings  ·  640 reviews
The city of Elendhaven sulks on the edge of the ocean. Wracked by plague, abandoned by the South, stripped of industry and left to die. But not everything dies so easily. A thing without a name stalks the city, a thing shaped like a man, with a dark heart and long pale fingers yearning to wrap around throats. A monster who cannot die. His frail master sends him out on ...more
Hardcover, 160 pages
Published September 24th 2019 by
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Average rating 3.58  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,454 ratings  ·  640 reviews

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Jul 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
3.5 stars*

This was dark, thrilling & weird (in the best way). I adored the writing and reading about these complex and interesting characters. This is definitely the perfect quick halloween read!

Thank you Tor for providing me with an ARC!
Oct 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
oooh, goodreads choice awards semifinalist for BEST HORROR 2019! what will happen?

this is a vicious little novella that ends each kiss with a bite.

it is a perfect october book, which means i picked it up a few days too early, but YOU should work it into your halloweeny spooktober book stack because it is short and creepy and an excellent pick for the season.

if i try to do a plotty review of this, it will quickly become overcomplicated for you and overwhelming for me, and ill end up sounding
Chelsea Humphrey
May 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Chelsea by: 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
ARC provided by the publisherTor.comin 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 Ive heard great things about. Its 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 in
Justin Tate
Oct 04, 2019 rated it it was ok
So confused

Don't give me a reading comprehension quiz on this one because I'm pretty sure I'd fail it! LOL. I read every word, and didn't exactly hate it, but have no idea what happened. I don't know the premise, couldn't tell you anything about the plot. I re-read the description here on Goodreads and nothing rings a bell.

What I can gather is that this appears to be some kind of remix of The Tempest. We have a clear Caliban-esque character (the monster) and a clear Prospero-type sorcerer
Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
This had such! great! bones! I loved the characters and the tone and the spooky setting but I feel like we didn't get enough time to really explore the relationship that was created and I am sad. I would loooooove it if this was adapted into a series or a longer book bc I truly loved the characters but I just needed MORE
This review and other non-spoilery reviews can be found @The Book Prescription

💉 Look how beautiful is the cover! I asked the publisher for a copy and being the awesome people they are, they immediately provided it!

💉 I have seen many positive reviews for this book and that makes me feel less guilty, I like to support new authors, I cant sugarcoat this because I really did not understand it.

💉 The beginning was good and I thought I know why people liked it and then things started happening and I
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Monster was the best, his favorite word. The first syllable formed a kiss, the second was a hiss.

I picked this book up on a whim and started reading a few pages, figuring I would check it out to see if I needed to place it higher on my priority list. Instead of a few pages, I read 1/3 of the book.

Ill be blunt here; this will not be a long review. It doesnt need to be. This is a strong contender for my favorite book of the year. This is a grim, dark humored and evil little book I loved every
'Monster was the best, his favourite word. The first half was a kiss, the second a hiss.'

The Monster of Elendhaven is one hell of an unconventional story that's part-revenger horror, part-Gothic in nature and part-love story, probably the most unconventional part of the novella. I really am not gonna say more than that because this novella is a trip and it's best that everyone discovers that for themselves. I'm just gonna be here wishing for a sequel so that I can get more of this
This was so gory, disgusting and atmospheric you could almost feel the smell of decay wafting from the pages.

3.5 stars

The Monster of Elendhaven is a dark fantasy novella following an immortal, magical man as he meets another man who might be even more dangerous than him, and who might have some nefarious plans; deliciously evil relationship ensues.

What I loved the most about this novella was the writing. It is vivid, even though most of the time you kind of wish it hadn't been, because
Jun 04, 2019 rated it liked it
Recommended to Tucker by: Publishing

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

Dang, this was dark.

I'll be honest... I completely forgot about this ARC. It sat on my shelf for months.... but then I heard it was gay and my interest was peaked so I picked it up. After all, it was short so if I hated it... it's not like I would have wasted that much time.

Fortunately, I didn't hate it. But I didn't love it either. This book follows a man. A man without a name, a monster who cannot die. He, along with
Julie Zantopoulos
Apr 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
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 Im so thankful it made its way to me. This novella is graphic in its violence and unapologetic in its gore but its also hauntingly beautiful in its writing style. It is twisted and grotesque in a way you cant 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 erotic ...more
Sadie Hartmann Mother Horror
I DNFd this at around 40 pages. It started off SO GOOD, like deliciously dark and twisted and some of the most juicy writing ever and then came a plot development that made all the darkness slide off onto the back burner and instead, this turned into something dry and boring. I was bored. I might pick this up again at some point, maybe its me? ...more
Nenia ⚡ Aspiring Evil Overlord ⚡ 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:

Holly (The Grimdragon)
You know when you order something online, like a bouquet of flowers for instance? Let's say you order them for your partner on their birthday or some romantical shit like that. The picture is all vibrant and full of life, gloriously tantalizing. Beautiful vase, lush wild flowers. PICK ME! PICK ME!

So you order them.

Then you wait.

They arrive.

You take them out of the box.

Except instead of the stunning order that you were shown on the website, you receive a sloppy, lackluster vase of a partial
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
Lily ☁️
me: I wont let myself get sidetracked by shiny ARCs from publishers anymore, Im going to stick to my TBR.

also me: Let me just sneak a little peek

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Laurie Anderson
Jan 28, 2020 rated it it was ok
Not my cup of tea.
Erica ♋️✨
Mar 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book was dark and twisted and had a gay romance that i was so here for 🖤🖤🖤🖤
Mogsy (MMOGC)
2 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

This is probably going to be one of my shorter reviews, because as much as I wanted to love The Monster of Elendhaven, unfortunately that just didnt happen. That said, neither did I dislike it. Once more, as it so often tends to happen with me and novellas, Im left with a sense of coldness and indecision when it comes to my feelings on this book.

Things started well enough. In the beginning, readers are introduced to the
☾ h a d e e r ☽
Oct 25, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2019
Okay, so I absolutely loved the vivid, visceral writing. So much of this was gross and gory and deliciously written. I also really loved the aesthetic, which is a kind of Victorian-era industrialized Germany/London. It's fab. The worldbuilding is also fascinating, with Elendhaven being a rather eerie city with an unsettling origin story. I also very much enjoyed the toxic relationship between the two main characters.

But??? The ending?? I'm so confused? I don't even know if I was supposed to
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing


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 Rippers 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. But
Oct 31, 2019 rated it liked it
Behold! My one and only spooky October read. I was very excited about The Monster of Elendhaven, but then I saw some mixed ratings and was, like, yikes. Luckily, I enjoyed it. But I'd be lying if I said I wasn't also disappointed by it. The plot was, shall we say, lacking.
OH ! MY ! GODDDD !!!!!

I was already excited for this book just based on the gorgeous cover and awesome title alone, and once I started it I was hooked basically from the first page. This seriously might be my favorite thing I've read all year [discounting rereads] and I'm already at the point where I want to go back and reread it [although I'm planning on waiting until I can get my hands on the audio]. The last book I wanted to read again immediately after finishing was Vicious by V.E. Schwab
Im not sure how I feel about this dark and weird story of revenge and murder, and twisted people. I clearly got a sense of a decaying, dismal town, one step away from dissolving in the poisonous water at its shores, peopled by an avaricious, small, upper class (I know, oxymoron), and many desperate poor. Its amongst these poor that Johann, the self-styled Monster of Elendhaven preys, until he comes across Florian, the last remaining member of an old-moneyed family, and a sorcerer. Soon Johann is ...more
˗ˏˋ aphrodite ˊˎ˗
**3.5/5 stars

this is the three gs you could every want: gross, gory, & gay

I would like more, pls
Faith M ✨
Dnf at 15%

I thought it would be awesome and spooky but it was an edgelord's wet dream and I hated it.
Monster, Monster, Monster, Johann said to himself, the first half a kiss, the second a hiss.

I loved this book. I loved this book. I would peel my own soul out of my body and throw it into the ocean as some grand sacrifice if it meant that I could magically make this book longer or summon more of them. I have a love/hate relationship with novellas because when I fall in love, I feel cheated and miffed and extremely inclined to offer a kidney to the author if it means getting more. And I only
Kari Rhiannon (Moon Magister Reviews)
I listened to this as an audiobook and its a short snappy read of three hours. Its very much a book about villains and monsters, set in a whale oil fed town on the dark polar shores. Think Dishonored mixed with The Savage Song and a hefty dose of Dorian Gray.

I deeply enjoyed the dark, mucky world of Elendhaven and will be interested to see whether we get another book in this world. I do warn that its not a book for faint hearted and give content warnings for gore, body horror, murder, suicide
Oct 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-releases
3.5 stars

This was an interesting horror novella. Its dark and gruesome and also queer. I liked the relationship between the two monsters of Elendhaven.
The writing was good, the worldbuilding was a fun one. The story takes place in the northernmost gloomiest town, on a shore of a black ocean. The story progressed energetically, but the ending was slightly lacking. I am confused about the last chapter.
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Play Book Tag: [Fall flurries] The Monster of Elendhaven - 3.5 stars 1 15 Oct 22, 2019 12:02PM  

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“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.” 6 likes
“Monster was the best, his favorite word. The first half was a kiss, the second a hiss.” 6 likes
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