Review: Only A Monster by Vanessa Len

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Only A Monster is an exciting young adult fantasy that’s difficult to put down.

Joan is staying with her late mother’s family over the summer, working at a historic house with a hot co-worker she has an immediate connection with. Everything seems like it’s going right, like it’ll be a perfect summer. Then she finds out her family are monsters, and she’s one too. Everything starts to go wrong. The cute boy turns out to be a legendary monster hunter out to kill everyone she loves. As the unspeakable happens, she has to work with the heir of a monster family who hate her and go back in time to find a way to save them all.

Only A Monster is extremely readable, the fast-paced and interesting plot will make you never want to put it down. It’s always exciting to see books that play with the typical monster-hero dynamic, and this one was a lot of fun. Joan is half-human, and she’s torn between her monstrosity and what she understands to be good. Similarly, the ‘hero’ is very flawed, sure, he’s protecting the world from monsters, but he’s also a murderer. The way Joan being mixed-race and half-human interacted was fantastic, and representation a lot of people will be excited to see. It’s got time travel, it’s got magic, it’s got heists, it’s so much fun. This is the beginning of a new trilogy, and it left on a very intriguing note while also having a satisfying ending. The romantic relationships were underdeveloped, but it’ll be interesting to see where they go in the rest of the series. Overall, Only A Monster was a fun read I’d recommend to lovers of young adult fantasy.

Thanks to Hodder & Stoughton and Netgalley for providing me with an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

Author Information

Vanessa Len is an Australian author of Chinese-Malaysian and Maltese heritage. An educational editor, she has worked on everything from language learning programs to STEM resources, to professional learning for teachers. Vanessa is a graduate of the Clarion Workshop in San Diego, and she lives in Melbourne.

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I’d recommend checking out your local indie bookshop!

see you next time! Luminosity Library

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