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Review: Monster

by C. J. Skuse

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Thank you to the publishers for a chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review!
Publish Date: 24th September 2015

Title: Monster
Author: by C. J. Skuse
Publishd By:Mira Ink
Book: standalone?
Genre: Contemporary/horror/ya
Found: via email
Rating: 4 Voodoos

At sixteen Nash thought that the fight to become Head Girl of prestigious boarding school Bathory would be the biggest battle she’d face. Until her brother’s disappearance leads to Nash being trapped at the school over Christmas with Bathory’s assorted misfits. As a blizzard rages outside, strange things are afoot in the school’s hallways, and legends of the mysterious Beast of Bathory – a big cat rumoured to room the moors outside the school – run wild. Yet when the girls’ Matron goes missing it’s clear that something altogether darker is to blame – and that they’ll have to stick together if they hope to survive.

- Goodreads

I was with it there, right up until the very end. Then, what? What were you hinting at? Is there more going on? Will there be more? What?

This story is set in an all girls boarding school in the English countryside. I have never attended a school that has the possibility of boarding, but I did go to a ‘posh’ primary school and this fictional school reminds me of it, though the comparisons are so few. I sort of wish we did have a giant wildcat roaming about, but, alas we didn’t. Oddly this book makes me nostalgic for said school, then I remember I hated it there and I move on.. Thinking back over the book, and being quite tired – thanks work – all the running around in the kitchens and corridors weirdly puts me in mind of Jurassic Park, but with cats. Which actually sounds amazing….someone film this now.

I don’t tend to read many contemporary books unless the storyline is something that truly interests me, I rather prefer to escape reality. However this one seemed enjoyably sinister and I wasn’t disappointed. Plus there was the promise of giant cats. The added bonus was it was set in England so it had English in it and it’s always nice to read your own language.

This story is in first person and the development of Nash was quite interesting and it was amazing how quickly her world broadened. It was an easy read and I don’t think I was ever bored with it. Nash was engaging and, I felt, quite a believable character for the setting. Maybe one or two characters reminded me of people I knew at school too…
I was a little disappointed with the end though, a nice epilogue after Christmas would have nicely wrapped  things up, but then I guess this is a will she/wont she type of ending. And while some of the plot points were a little easy to predict, there were still some nice surprises in there. I always find this type of story remarkably hard to review, the whole things is generally rather simple and I’m too scared of giving bits away.

I’d recommend this to people who like small town based mysteries. And proper stuff. Like spellings.



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