Bruce's Reviews > One Thousand Monsters

One Thousand Monsters by Kim Newman
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really liked it

Note: This really is closer to a 3.5, but the pure insanity of the last several chapters moved me to round up instead of down.

Anno Dracula has become an odd series for me. The first three books were all great in their own way, with Cha Cha Cha serving as a satisfying ending point. However, more books were required as part of Newman's deal with Titan in exchange for reprinting the series, which resulted in the entertaining if somewhat uneven Johnny Alucard, with multiple novellas/short stories somewhat haphazardly strung together, ending on a major cliffhanger, presumably to be resolved in Book 5. The Anno Dracula 1899 collection didn't help matters, ultimately being a shameless cash grab, with only one story tied into the series (the first few chapters of this book, to be precise). Don't get me wrong, that collection had plenty of merits on its own, but the way it was packaged as an Anno Dracula book left a bad taste in my mouth. That being said, it did advertise an upcoming book, due later in 2017- Anno Dracula 1999: Daikaiju... which we still haven't seen.

Which brings us to One Thousand Monsters. Apparently, it was supposed to be part of Daikaiju, but proved strong enough to stand on its own. And for the most part, it does. A prequel/interquel hodgepodge set between the first two books, it follows Genevieve, Kostaki, and company as they flee Dracula's England, and get caught up in a power struggle in Tokyo's ghetto for supernatural creatures, Yokai Town. There follows many bizarre incidents, twists and cameos from various figures from Japanese folklore and pop culture. It's a fun romp, packed with atmosphere, entertainment, and a finale chock full of the most insane action imaginable. The cameos (the ones I picked up on, at least) tickled me pick, especially the ones I didn't pick up on at first. And some of the new characters introduced ended up being worth the time spent with them, especially the ever surprising Christina Light. Also, Genevieve's flashbacks to Dracula outing vampires to the world finally gives some insight into how the world at large reacted in the immediate aftermath, something that was never really covered before.

However, there are still plenty of negatives to go around. The plot takes its time to set everything up, only for things to draw to a close rather quickly, just as it feels like the story has picked up. This is probably a consequence of Daikaiju being split into two books, as evidenced by the prophecies mentioned, as well as the sequel hook at the end. Also, the status quo of the vampire world in Japan has been shifted in such a way that it really should have been mentioned in the books that take place after this, especially the novella where vampires gathered to select a new ruler. I suppose that's just one of the risks of writing a prequel.

Overall, it's a worthwhile read for fans of the series, but I wish Newman would get on with it and just finish things already. I'm seeing shades of George R. R. Martin here... -_-
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Reading Progress

November 28, 2017 – Started Reading
November 28, 2017 – Shelved
November 28, 2017 –
page 15
4.81%
November 29, 2017 –
page 29
9.29%
December 2, 2017 –
page 81
25.96%
December 5, 2017 –
page 126
40.38%
December 6, 2017 –
page 157
50.32% "I'm really closer to 50%. The book is only 313 pages long, somebody tell Goodreads!"
December 11, 2017 –
page 192
61.54% "Holy crap, the ninja turtles just got referenced."
December 12, 2017 –
page 241
77.24%
December 12, 2017 –
page 277
88.78% "I'm really closer to 89%. Someone really needs to fix the page count."
December 12, 2017 –
page 313
100% "And that's where the book ends."
December 12, 2017 – Finished Reading

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