Rowyn (rowyn) wrote,

Mr. Monster, by Dan Wells

Mr. Monster is the second book in a trilogy; the first book was I Am Not a Serial Killer, which I read a year or two ago, after convincing terrycloth to buy it and then let me have it after he read it. It is in a genre I don't read much, so I don't know exactly what to call it: mystery/thriller/horror, I guess. The narrator is a teenage boy who's obsessed with serial killers, has sociopathic tendencies, and is doing his best to be a good person and ignore an array of impulses ranging from "unhealthy" to "murderous". He has a list of obsessive rules about his behavior designed to keep himself under control. It's grimly fascinating.

I don't read this genre because horror stories are rarely cheerful or upbeat. Mr. Monster is not an exception. On the other hand, I'm not going to read a nonstop stream of fluffy romances; it's good to have some variety. The premise of the trilogy is engaging and the protagonist's determination to not carry out his variety of highly disturbing fantasies make him likable despite, y'know, the whole proto-stalker/serial-killer thing. I find myself rooting for him even though I can't see how this can possibly end well ever. At best, the protagonist is always going to be alienated from society by his inability to relate normally to people, and always going to be longing to do terrible things that -- if he's lucky! -- he will never do. I have the last book in the series too, and am kind of afraid to start it despite having enjoyed the second enough to finish it in maybe four hours. In both books, the story is well-told and hangs together smoothly; the protagonist is intelligent, quick-thinking, and heroic. Dangerous and deranged, but heroic. I'll rate it an 8 of 10 on my fun-o-meter. I kinda hope someday Dan Wells writes something that's not depressing. c_c He has at least two other books out that aren't in this series, but one is post-apocalyptic and the other is a thriller, so not holding my breath.
Tags: book review, books, review
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