Cover Image: The Monster Belt

The Monster Belt

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Member Reviews

Ruth Estevez’s The Monster Belt was an odd blend of fantasy, mystery and horror which although some interesting elements I found much of it very bland, and even though it was not a very long book it struggled to hold my attention. The ‘monsters’ referenced in the title failed to fire the imagination and I wonder whether the targeted audience might find these creatures to be rather underwhelming when they finally appear? The story starts on a small Spanish island where most people avoid swimming in a particular area due to old local legends which indicate something nasty lives in the water and over the years there have been enough disappearances to back it up. The action is set over two different time periods, with the main characters aging a few years along the way but struggling to escape the shadow of the ‘Monster Belt’. One of the main character’s lost his best friend when he was a kid and since then developed an obsession with this mysterious location which be believes was responsible for the death of his friend and has been searching for proof of its existence ever since. 

The book heads into a combination of X-Files and Area 51 territory as main characters Harris White and Dee Winter search for proof that there is some sort of undiscovered underwater network where there are unknown creatures and tunnel shortcuts which allow them to move around and stay hidden. The main characters were interesting enough, taking in coming-of-age elements, relationships and the battle to overcome traumas from the past. However, much of The Monster Belt felt too low-key to make any significant splash in a very competitive YA world. Perhaps it tried to blend too many genres and might struggle to fire the imagination of the intended audience. AGE RANGE 12+
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