I don’t know why I keep doing this to myself. I get so excited when a series I like gets a spin-off, so from the moment I saw Monster was out I was geeked. I loved the idea of revisiting the Perdido Beach crew, but I never take into account how different the book could be. I never think about how sometimes it’s best if my memories of a story stay unchanged. I think that was my biggest problem with reading Monster.
Gone was such an detailed and long series. The majority of the characters stayed with us through the whole series, and maybe it wasn’t my all time favorite but I loved it enough that it left a mark on me. When I started Monster I wanted more of the same. Even though I knew this followup story was going to be more about Dekka, I still wanted the characters to be the same. Not to give any spoilers away, but it’s not the same at all. The nightmare they went through has altered them forever, emotionally and physically. This is an all new story, with mostly new characters.
Unfortunately for me, all those new characters were part of the problem. There were way too many POV changes. I was excited to read about Dekka, and because there were so many characters her part ended up being so much smaller than I expected. Maybe it sounds whiny, but I didn’t want to spend most of my reading time with an all new cast of characters. I just couldn’t make myself care, which is too bad because I went in with all the cares a fan of Gone could have.
Reviewing Monster is difficult, because the rest of my issues had to do with things I can’t talk about. I’d almost say it would be better to read Monster as a standalone, but I don’t think you can. It’s tied enough to the original that you’d be lost without it. You need to understand the gaiaphage. You need to have gone through the FAYZ with Dekka to understand why she is how she is. Yet, then you’re forced to compare, and at least for me Monster came up short.
Here’s hoping everything grows from here.
Thank you to Katherine Tegen Books for providing a free ARC in exchange for an honest review.