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Monster--- A book review

Just finished A. Lee Martinez's engaging story, Monster. 

I will freely admit that I don't dabble in the world of SciFi on a regular basis. It's nothing personal against the genre, just not overly fond of the alien world-building that so many times can weigh down an otherwise pleasant story. 

There is a certain finesse, which is necessary to introduce a new set of  'rules' outside our comfortable reality. Some authors have that finesse, others don't. 

A. Lee Martinez has that finesse. 

The title-character, Monster Dionysus, a human-like entity who changes colors every time he wakes, is a member of Cryptobiological Containment and Rescue Services (CCRS). He spends his nights, with the help of his inter-dimensional paper gnome helper, Chester, bagging cryptos. Got a problem with Yetis raiding the ice cream freezer at your local grocery store, just call CCRS and they'll contain, bag and remove your unwelcome intruders. 

Monster's tedious job and tedious relationship with his demon-girlfriend, have his horribly tedious life spinning in circles. If not for a chance encounter with a helpless human, Judy--- who has a hard time remembering that she even met Monster (witnessing magic is very unsettling, something better off forgotten), Monster's life may have continued down its path of self-destructive boredom. 

It's isn't long before Monster realizes that his fate and the fate of the Universe itself is somehow tied to this ridiculous human who has a penchant for attracting cryptos at the most inopportune times. 

Not a difficult read. There isn't any great and ponderous theme to boggle the mind---just a straight-forward, often comical, neat little story. 

My only complaints were that I didn't find the character of Monster engaging/endearing at first. The intention was to play him off as a jerk, I get that, but even jerks have soft spots that occasionally peek out. Monster does redeem himself at the end, but I kind of expected to see the merest hint of redeeming qualities somewhere other than the last couple of chapters.

The only other complaint I had was the dialogue-- which came off (in a few spots) as corny or forced as a means to explain what was going on. 

All in all, a fun read. I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys stories outside the norm,  who likes a little comedy and allusions to demonic love-making. 


  1. Sounds intriguing -- and you're right about the "finesse". I can't stand SF info-dumping.

  2. "info-dumping"... that was the phrase I was trying to remember last night! Yes, that makes some SciFi stories impossible to enjoy---

    And, yes, 'Monster' is an intriguing story :-)

  3. I haven't heard of this, but I am intrigued. Like you, I don't read SciFi much. The crypto-hunter plot sounds like something I'd like, though! I love a good monster. :)

  4. It's definitely not your typical story, and that's what made it such a fun read--- you should give it try :-)


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