Review: Monster

Monster by A. Lee Martinez
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is my third A. Lee Martinez book and I must say, I’m liking his stuff. This one is a little more serious than the other two I’ve read,, but all of his works have a certain… humanity… to them – regardless of the fact the characters aren’t always, or even often, human. In this one, at least two of the main characters are, nominally, human so that’s okay. And another is a paper gnome from another dimension (a really great creation, by the by).

What I really enjoyed, though, is that Martinez, no matter how absurd his situations are, never winks to the reader. He plays this story 100% straight, Unlike Emperor Mollusk versus The Sinister Brain, which went slightly over the top. Monster is grounded in the story of a working class guy who’s profession was chosen because he was trying to impress a girl and how he gets involved in accidentally saving the world. There’s a little too many coincidences towards the end, hence the 4 not 5 rating, but at least they are given a quasi-logical explanation. And except for the big reveal of “what’s really going on,” there aren’t too many WTH surprise moments. But again, that’s okay. This isn’t a twisty-turny thriller. It’s an action adventure that’s well written, with well drawn characters and some clever ideas. And a girlfriend from Hell. Literally.

I’d certainly listen to more of his work.

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