I like Jack Reacher style characters regardless of setting. Put them in outer space, in modern America, in a military setting, on an alien planet... no worries. Book has non moralistic vigilante-justice? Sign me up! (oh, I read urban fantasy, soft and hard sci-fi, trashy vampire and zombie novels too)
Ummmm... I couldn't finish it.
I suppose it is meant to be funny, or maybe there is some hidden 'message' in it... but I didn't see the humor, or get the message.
It was a series of incrementally dumber 'monster' contacts where people get squished or burnt, or whatever, in comical ways, and then recover from whatever the mutilation was. It is very childish... and some scenes are just plain dumb. Like the winged horse scene that eventually develops into the main character being sucked into a giant worm - it has absolutely no purpose but to allow the author to let his imagination flow, and add some potentially icky scenes (I say "potentially icky" because in my world, it is really only children who are amused by slime in the way this author seems to be).
Nearer the end there seems to be some over-arching storyline that, maybe, is meant to explain all the foolishness. But, sorry, the lame stereotype old witch and a 'universe in a stone' was just too much for me.
And, no, it is not urban fantasy; urban fantasy is supposed to be mature, and possibly a bit on the dark side. This book is a comic fantasy... in the manner that you would expect a story in a children's/comic book to be.
The narration is okay. There is nothing graphic in the book, and I don't think there is much swearing.
I rate as follows: 5-Best of the best, 4-LOVED it, 3-LIKED it, 2-Meh, 1-Didn't like it. Fav genres: sci-fi/fantasy, fiction, science
This book was a huge letdown for me. I listened to Emperor Mollusk Versus the Sinister Brain (also by Martinez) and loved it, so I was excited to pick up Monster. Unfortunately, I found it boring, unfunny and devoid of likeable characters. Skip this one and pick up Emperor Mollusk instead.
We took a holiday up to Port MacQ (nsw, Aussie) and had a fun drive whilst listening.
I love Tom Holts books and the overall fun use of fantasy is very enjoyable. The way the story weaves around the characters to give the metaphorical appearance of Aesculapius.The Staff being the story and the characters wrapping themselves around giving the reader a journey of enjoyment.
Both my wife and I loved the book and decided to drive 250 kms the long way home to listen to the end of the story.
Joined the authors Fansite and wrote that we were gonna buy the rest of the books and audiobooks.
thanks for a great phone app. I do a lot of driving walking and the audio book has become a good companion.
A fresh interpretation!
Obviously writing about the supernatural is big business these days, but Monster has such a hapless main character that I found it quite unique. Everyone is kinda nasty, but it's hilarious! I think the premise is very promising, and although the writing could use some polish, seeing the characters develop could be great fun if this continues on in a series.
It's truly hard to find something a little bit different, and this was it. I listened to Automatic Detective and was impressed with it, too, so thought I'd try Monster. Such a sense of fun in the writing and story.
Pretty much did - kept walking around with it at work and plugging myself in whenever I had a spare minute or two. :)
This may be a really good book if it's the type of book you like. I can't judge it's merits because it's not my cup of tea. The 2 star rating is because it was compared to Terry Pratchett's books. The reason I bought was only partly because the sample seemed interesting... and mostly because we are told if we love Terry Pratchett we will like A. Lee Martinez. Comparing A. Lee Martinez to Terry Pratchett is like comparing a puddle to an ocean. Both are water but that's about all they have in common.
This story was okay but nothing that you're really remember week or two from now. There were some funny parts but I never really got interested in the characters, they were just a bit to underdeveloped.
People say I resemble my dog (and vice-versa). He can hear sounds I can't hear, but I'm the one who listens to audiobooks.
I didn't look at the chronology of A. Lee Martinez's publications until after I finished Monster. I checked because I felt from the outset that this novel was just another version of two of his other books that I have listened to (Chasing the Moon, Helen and Troy). Turns out I've been reading them backwards in time, starting with the most recent. So Monster actually came first among these three books that follow the same formula:
Gods and monsters and other mythical, magical or supernatural beings and creatures inhabit our contemporary world, many of them living and working like the rest of us muggles (yes, Martinez actually jokingly has two of his characters argue about mortal humans being "muggles" in this book, which is actually pretty funny). The main differences between the books are that the set of magical entities changes, as do the details of the danger they pose to our very existence (which happens in all three).
I have listened to a fourth Martinez novel that is not at all like this, so I know he possesses the capacity to come up with other original concepts. I'm not sure why he has come back to this structure in three of his last five novels. Actually, I just looked it up, and the number is four of the last five (that is the only one I haven't read -- not sure about his earlier novels, but I'm not going to check those right now).
When I listened to Helen and Troy, the first of Martinez's novel that I read (his most recent), I knew right away that it was a familiar form -- Neil Gaiman's American Gods, any number of Christopher Moore novels, The Magicians, Harry Potter of course, and I'm sure you can add to the list pretty easily. But I found the voice fresh, the characters lovable, the jokes funny. So I liked it, a lot, even if was not original in concept. Chasing the Moon, eh, the effect was wearing off. This time, I'm distinctly disappointed.
So if you're considering Monster as your first foray into A. Lee Martinez's brand of quotidian pantheons, my guess is you'll like it at least one star more than I did. If you've already read some of the others, maybe you'll be OK with another entry into the canon. Unfortunately, and against the positive feelings about Martinez that I came in with, I am over it.
A Lee Martinez writes pleasant stories to listen to... I have happily purchased as many as offered up.
Funny and thought provoking is how I found this book. I was listening to it in public and had to stop, I was getting strange looks because I was laughing out loud. There was also some philosophy that I found interesting, it was there without being preachy. This is the second of A. Lee Martinez's books I have read, I will be listening to more. Very entertaining.