(unedited proof to be released October 2017, courtesy of Raven Books)
Monster by Michael Grant
This is the start of what is no doubt to be ‘effectively’ the second series or wave in ‘The Gone Series’. The story is in what would be the same world/universe that was outside the dome, continuing more or less where ‘Light’ left us off. But, this time round, we won’t have many of the same main characters guiding us on our journey and, since the dome came down, we’ll be in the outside world, actual physical adults and all, not just mental ones. ‘Monster’, as I’ve already mentioned, is set in the same world as ‘The Gone series’. It’s set in the aftermath, of what scientists are now calling ‘The Perdido Beach Anomaly’ or in other words ‘The FAYZ’. The key word used being ‘anomaly’, hinting at the incident being a once off but, when more asteroids start landing, the quite possibly corrupt US government more than failed to keep the asteroids under quarantine. It therefore effectively left super weapons free for any crazed serial killer or deranged psycho to stumble across and add to their arsenal, a weapon of a power far beyond mass destruction. But, unfortunately the world already knows it’s too late when videos and stories of people with fantastic superpowers start popping up left, right and centre. It seems as though ‘The FAYZ’ wasn’t such a once-off after all as the Government may have hinted or hoped for. But, why would that matter anyway?
The only kids from ‘The FAYZ’ who kept their powers were those who were physically altered, and then you may also tell me also that there were only two of those such cases anyway, out of the hundreds of kids in ‘The FAYZ’. So even if people were to come into contact with the asteroid(s), what’s to say they’d even alter physically, decreasing the chances yet again that they’d be able to wield such powers, another reason again not to worry. So unless the hyper intelligent alien super-virus on the asteroids can physically alter people, specifically for it’s sole task of gifting them super powers, then why worry? But, what if it could, do we worry then? Or, do we hope that the persons in possession of these powers could be good honest people, who’d use these powers for good? But, what if they happen to also not be such good honest people, so tell me this, what happens then? Who is to stand in their way and show them that maybe there’s still some good left in this world, no matter how feeble and small it may seem? One of these such people could be Shade Darby or another such person could possibly be Hugo Rojas – it could be both or better yet, neither. What if there was no one such person fit to defend those who can’t defend themselves? What if such a responsibility fell to the corrupt yet proud Government, who would stop at nothing killing as many innocents as those they’d save in their desperate venture to save their very own necks. Tell me, what happens then?
Teen Rating: Monster is an essential read for me as a fan of this series but, in my opinion, this is almost solely due to the books predecessors. A bit of a disappointment and also a shock for me as I was expecting Grant to glue my eyes back to the world he created for ‘The Gone Series’. But, that’s only my opinion. Though, I must still mention, this is not a bad book by any measure, it just pales in comparison to his previous series. 3/5 13+