I recently mentioned reading Mr. Monster by Dan Wells, and I thought maybe I should do an actual book review since I loved it so much. But since it is a sequel, I thought I should review the first book, I Am Not a Serial Killer, as well. So here's two for the price of one!
Double Book Review: I Am Not a Serial Killer and Mr. Monster
Shallee ● Oct 21, 2010
Here's the synopsis for IANASK:
I Am Not a Serial Killer is the story of John Cleaver, a 15-year-old sociopath who works in a mortuary, dreams about death, and thinks he might be turning into a serial killer. He sets strict rules to keep himself “good” and “normal,” but when a real monster shows up in his town he has to let his dark side out in order to stop it–but without his rules to keep him in check, he might be more dangerous than the monster he’s trying to kill.
When I read this book, I did it in one day. It was driving, and impossible to put down. I loved the premise, and the execution was brilliant. I can't even imagine the difficulty of creating a likable protagonist out of a sociopath, but Dan does it brilliantly. I love John Cleaver. I feel sorry for him. I rooted for him to win. I was terrified for him. This book took me through such a range of emotions, I was both exhilarated and exhausted when I finished.
The book is technically shelved as horror, and it has elements of horror in it, but I wouldn't classify it that way myself. The horror elements were brought in so flawlessly, they didn't even seem out of place in John's world. Even for people who don't like horror, this is a must-read.
Now, to Mr. Monster.
John Wayne Cleaver has always known he has a dark side but he’s fought hard to oppress it and live a normal life – separating John from Mr Monster to survive. But after confronting and destroying the vicious killer that was terrorizing his town, his inner monster is getting stronger and harder to contain. And now more bodies are being discovered...
With the police failing to catch Clayton County’s second serial killer John is going to have to use his secret knowledge of the first demon-killer to trap the second...but will he be able to avoid suspicion falling on him, and, in the face of extreme horrors, will he be able to restrain Mr Monster?
Mr. Monster is what John calls his dark side-- the side that wants him to kill and maim and destroy. Because he had to let Mr. Monster out in the previous book, John now struggles even more to keep him under control. Again, I finished this book in one night. It was even more gripping than the last book, because you can sense how desperate John is to keep Mr. Monster locked away. The situations John is placed in all but yank Mr. Monster out, raising the stakes even higher than the last book.
John's character is, if possible, even more expertly executed in this book than in the last. You can feel the subtle changes in him. Again, I went through an astonishing range of emotions with John (which is amazing, considering he's a sociopath). This is one of those sequels where I might actually like it better than the first book.
So, my friends, go. Buy. Read. You won't regret it.
Labels: Book Reviews
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