Monstrum (Bella Monstrum #1):
STAY OUT OF THE BERMUDA TRIANGLE
Few places on earth engender as much primal fear as the mysterious and forbidding Bermuda Triangle. With good reason.
A bizarre plane crash at sea leaves Bria Hunter and her high school classmates trapped in a chilling race for survival.
Will Bria and her friends escape from the evil presence before it’s too late?
In the mood for a nerve-shredding tale of horror on the high seas that keeps you turning pages with the lights on all night? Then grab Monstrum today! – Goodreads
Monstrum was just a fun read. It had everything you could ask for in a YA Monster Thriller. It was filled with action, hormones, drama, blood, romance and an awesome monster. Seriously, the monster was great. As I had remarked when I reviewed Devour by Kurt Anderson, there are only two ways to write a book involving gigantic monsters. You can either go full-on horror/thriller, filled with pulse pounding action and drama… or you can go campy. Devour failed. Monstrum did not. This was outright hilarious at times, filled with cheese, and yet still gave enough action and tension to keep you on the edge of your seat.
The author has a fantastic way with words. My favorite (non-spoilery) line occurred early in the book:
Raw and primitive, it sounds like an enraged elephant has mated with a screeching eagle and spawned a T-Rex. – Ann Christopher, Monstrum
Read that line. Read it, think about the logistics for just a second, and then call up your therapist.
Here’s a line that contains a mild spoiler (only in that it reveals what type of creature the monster is. Which gets revealed early on in the story anyways. If that doesn’t bother you, highlight the blank space after ‘hideously sharp.’ below to read it.)
As if in answer, one side of its mouth edges back, revealing row after row of teeth that are perfectly triangular, blindingly white and, no doubt, hideously sharp. After a long beat, I realize, with a sickening jolt in my belly, what’s happening. The chimera is smiling at me. – Ann Christopher, Monstrum
This is one of those times where you should scoff and roll your eyes, given what’s just happened in the story, but the author does a really good job of making this believable and creeeeeeeeeeeppppssssy. Very, very creepsy.
Monstrum was filled with so much bad horror movie villain awesomeness that I remarked on Twitter:
I LOVE this monster! It’s so…monstrous. It’s like this massive ball of squidgy sociopathicness. It makes me want to do a mad scientist laugh.
So, on top of the awesome monster, snappy dialogue, and almost non-stop action, there’s even more about Monstrum to love. Diverse main characters! Minorities take the center stage in this rather epic monster thriller book. The fact that they’re highly intelligent and have some interesting skills (such as fencing!) make it even better. The author definitely avoids the stereotypes (for a quite understandable reason!) and gives us great teens to read about.
Now, I’ve tried to drive home the point that this is a campy read, but just in case that point has been missed… If you don’t have a good appreciation for the Syfy type creature feature movies, don’t read Monstrum. It’s definitely angled at those who enjoy laughs right along with their action sequences. This is a young adult read, but those above the recommended age range can easily enjoy it, too.
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