Vanessa Len’s debut YA novel Only A Monster is a fast-paced, twisty intriguing tale that had me glued to my kindle. I really do love YA fantasy when it is written in such fascinating detail, the author completely flipping the concept of angels and monsters and getting the readers to root for the monster in the story.
The story that unfolds thru Joan who realizes the true meaning of being a monster with the help of her cousin and her worst enemy Aaron, Only A Monster explodes into a tale of time-travel, monster-slayers, revenge-saga, and a love -triangle rounding up this Monster trilogy. The unique version of time travel was interesting and I loved how the author combines the tried and tested formula of time travel with a uniquely different concept like going back centuries or minutes with the person unaware of the amount of time used for the same and also the fact that time is stolen from other living human beings.
If there’s one thing, I am not too keen on in YA novels is the love triangle that most books have, even though it is a good plot device that adds up the angst in the story. Only A Monster has glimpses of the love triangle, though the romance segment of this story has not been completely fleshed out in this first book. There is mention of the age-old romance between Nick and Joan and the keen connection between them leaps off the pages every time they meet but Aaron and his subtle care for Joan is also evident.
Only A Monster establishes Joan and her powers, most parts of the story are Joan coming to terms with her abilities and Vanessa Len promises an exceptional fantasy saga in her trilogy. With the different monster families and their powers, and an enemy in the background waiting to pounce, one can’t help but be lured into this magical world and wait with bated breath for book #2.
With the sweeping romance of Passenger and the dark fantasy edge of This Savage Song, this standout YA contemporary fantasy debut from Vanessa Len, is the first in a planned trilogy.
It should have been the perfect summer. Sent to stay with her late mother’s eccentric family in London, sixteen-year-old Joan is determined to enjoy herself. She loves her nerdy job at the historic Holland House, and when her super cute co-worker Nick asks her on a date, it feels like everything is falling into place.
But she soon learns the truth. Her family aren’t just eccentric: they’re monsters, with terrifying, hidden powers. And Nick isn’t just a cute boy: he’s a legendary monster slayer, who will do anything to bring them down.
As she battles Nick, Joan is forced to work with the beautiful and ruthless Aaron Oliver, heir to a monster family that hates her own. She’ll have to embrace her own monstrousness if she is to save herself, and her family. Because in this story . . .
. . . she is not the hero.
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