Becky Spratford's Reviews > A Cosmology of Monsters

A Cosmology of Monsters by Shaun Hamill
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Three Words That Describe This Book: coming of age, extremely menacing, Lovecraftian

This is a Lovecraftian homage novel, but it is also the story of one family literally haunted by monsters.

There is beautiful language and a compelling storyline both the tale of a family and of true crime-- missing persons-- that are linked. It is also a leisurely paced novel where the journey, the details, the multi generational character development are part of the enjoyment and the reading experience.

Lots of people have enjoyed this book, especially fans of horror.

For a debut novel, it was solid. There were some issues in the "third act" where the story behind the monsters is finally revealed and it all goes quickly, a little too quickly in comparison to the level of detail throughout the novel.

But I had a few unsettling issues with the book and most of them have to do with the monster and Noah and their relationship. I can't go into why without giving spoilers but in general, I was uncomfortable with Noah and the monsters relationship, it seemed like child grooming and the portrayal of the female monster was bordering on misogynistic.

The women in general in this book were not fleshed out well and relied on stereotypes. But it was the child grooming that bothered me the most. [I am wondering if a female editor ever had a hand on this book because I feel like a few small changes could have made this book much better.]

I get that it is there to add to the unease, but I don't think it paid off. Noah is a victim of child abuse and he chooses to defend his abuser forever. I really couldn't get past that.

But there is a lot here to praise. The story is original and well developed. It is an interesting take on the reimagining Lovecraft trend. And like I said, lots of people are enjoying this book.

Definitely interested to see his next horror novel.

Reaadlikes: For a more seasoned, epic Lovecraftian inspired tale try LOVECRAFT COUNTRY by Ruff or for a story that involves family secrets and a speculative monster try THE CHANGELING by Victor LaValle
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Reading Progress

September 25, 2019 – Started Reading
September 25, 2019 – Shelved
October 10, 2019 – Finished Reading

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