Meet Monster. Meet Judy. Two humans who don't like each other much, but together must fight dragons, fire-breathing felines, trolls, Inuit walrus dogs, and a crazy cat lady - for the future of the universe.
Monster runs a pest-control agency. He's overworked and has domestic troubles - like having the girlfriend from hell.
Judy works the night shift at the local Food Plus Mart. Not the most glamorous life, but Judy is happy. No one bothers her, and if she has to spell things out for the night-manager every now and again, so be it.
But when Judy finds a Yeti in the freezer aisle eating all the Rocky Road, her life collides with Monster's in a rather alarming fashion. Because Monster doesn't catch raccoons; he catches the things that go bump in the night. Things like ogres, trolls, and dragons. Oh, and his girlfriend from Hell? She actually is from Hell.
©2009 A. Lee Martinez (P)2011 Audible, Inc.
"Martinez pokes at big-picture questions, like the nature of the universe and the meaning of life, with abundant, zany humor in this charming tale." (Publishers Weekly)
No Plot Spoilers.
First, I want to say the book, on the whole, is really pretty good. It was entertaining and engaging. The concepts that are discussed and played with towards the end are extremely interesting.
It was incredibly rushed past the initial set up. By rushed I don't mean 'fast paced' but rather too much crammed into too little time. He delves into the massive concepts in the last three hours of the book, really only the last hour and a half. The ending seems forced and, honestly, like Martinez got tired of writing the book.
All in all, I would give it a listen but it's certainly not in my top 10.
Such an amazing story! This clever and fun story did for Monsters what "Men in Black" did for aliens. This story had such a fun and eclectic cast of characters that I couldn't wait to jump in my car and hear more of this story. This is most definitely a fun book to read and laugh along to, so long as you don't mind a cynical jerk as your lead character. I got a kick out of it.
avid audiobook listener, sociopath, nerd.
This was great. I always love a story without romance. Action, mystery, magic... what more could you want?
Genre: Fantasy, Comedy
Rated: PG13 some sexual situations
Static or Dynamic: Not overly either. It had descriptions, but wasn't tedious and it had plot twists but they weren't corkscrews.
1st or 3rd Person: 3rd person: follows 2-3 main characters through a slice of life in the fantasy realm
Abstract or Concrete: Sufficiently both. Some things were abstract like the mechanics of fantastical retrograde amnesia, others parts were more concrete like the specific behaviors of a plethora of mystical animals.
Linear or Non-Linear: Weakly Linear: the plot goes forward through time but it's not until a ways in that you feel like it's actually leading to a conclusion.
Narrator: It's been a while since I've heard the book and I can't say that I particularly remember the experience. That can be good and bad. It wasn't so horrible I couldn't stand it, but it wasn't particularly spectacular.
Plot Outline: So mythical animals are all around us but you never notice them because your brain induces amnesia to counter the weirdness of it all. Monster, our protagonist is one of the guys that clears up these little monster sightings. Things get more complicated when some overly strange things tend to happen to one of the people he meets and the story floats around that for a while until it pulls towards a conclusion. I get the impression that the strange happenings of the story were devices for making jokes and poking fun at the mystical world that we apparently live in. This is mostly a comedy and if you're looking for something groundbreaking or overly involving you will probably be disappointed. However, if you'd like a chuckle on your way to work, this is perfect.
I'm an Audible editor, and I think this quote sums it up: "A voice is such a deep, personal reflection of character." - Daniel Day-Lewis
While Monster was a fun listen, this book was a little too cute for its own good (Demons use "Blessed" as a curse word! Even ethereal beings have to deal with paperwork! Our hero's name is Monster, and he catches monsters for a living!). There were some good ideas, and human existence was at stake, but the ideas weren't fleshed out enough and the fate of the universe never really seemed in doubt. It felt as though the author was thinking, "Wouldn't it be clever if I threw this in?" as he was writing it, but never stopped long enough on an idea to give it weight. Our protagonist is an overall unlikable guy, and we never really get a good sense of his back-story. The main villain's motivation seemed to be "Just because," which is pretty weak.
The narrator does a pretty good job with the different characters, and he keeps the book moving at a good clip. The 8+ hours absolutely flew by, which makes it great for a week's worth of driving to work. The story is straightforward and uncomplicated, though I'm a little disappointed because it had a lot more to offer and never really got there. Overall, I'd say this is a light, fun book with some very forgettable characters.
It was a pretty good story, made me laugh, trouble seems to find the heroine, the hero is of a differant breed (literally) with an animated oragami sidekick...
The story line had a lot of great little surprise twists and references. It was fun to never quite now what would pop up next. (Lotus, Ed, and the cats was a hoot!)
Fuzzy Nation by John Scalzi. They're both in an almost-real setting, with just some minor sci-fi twists. They both have wonderfully engaging characters and fast moving action with a lot of laughs.
No, I enjoyed taking it on long walks and jogging. Though it was often hard to turn it off, I enjoyed being able to pick it back up the next day.
My only complaint with this book are 2 things:
1. they could have chosen a better selection for the sample.
2. for so many catastrophic things to be happening nothing really happened with the characters at the end. No one changed, no one learned anything. They just went on like nothing happened and when they run into each other its odd. I was all in to this book until the ending was so mundane and every day that I was left disappointed
But there were so many cool things going on and cool ideas. And many characters I very much loved and I was hoping that there would be more dialog just to hear them talk.
Lately I've been diggin' A. Lee Martinez. He's got quite a few novels on Audible and each one captures a different sub-group of the sci-fi / fantasy genre quite well; I definitely recommend many of his other works at a 5-star level (see my other reviews). For some reason though, I feel like this one wasn't quite firing on all cylinders.
I like the dragon that he's chasing here - a monster-catcher, civil employee for a fantastic and hidden sub-culture has to save girl who is more than she seems. But I feel like the Conflict of the novel is lacking. I'm now realizing that's very important in maintaining cohesion.
Overall, I'd recommend this book, but only if all other 5-star options are inaccessible at the moment. Otherwise, I'd keep this one on the back burner.
The guy is funny! I'm a big fan of A. Lee Martinez and he didn't disappoint with monster. Original story and characters. Worth your time.
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