Member Review

Cover Image: Only a Monster

Only a Monster

Pub Date:

Review by

Reviewer 784451

My Recommendation

4.5/5 stars rounded up.

Sixteen-year-old Joan Chang-Hunt is nervous-excited. She is spending the summer with her family in London and volunteering at historic building, Holland House. She is preparing for a date with Nick, her co-volunteer at Holland House, who she has been drawn to since they first met. But on the day of the date, an accident with a neighbour leads her to discover that she and her family are monsters with powers that can harm humans and more. Soon after, she finds out that Nick isn't all he seemed either. 

Only A Monster is an explosive start to what is going to be a fantastic YA fantasy series. It had so many elements I loved: the hidden monster world-building, the system of powers, the hierarchies of the monster families and the Court, the historical elements and the time travel. 

The time travel element deserves special attention. [author:Vanessa Len|20212262] wove it into this story with what feels like such ease but must have taken a heap of work. Time travel is notoriously derided in many narratives as being nonsensical or lazy. But it's described so effectively in Only A Monster, with clarifying details on its mechanics showing up as a natural part of the story. I thought this was so masterful. 

If I have small bugbears: I would have preferred the monsters to be called something other than monsters...I'm not really sure why. 

Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC of Only A Monster.

Buy this Book on