#21 The Monster by Garth Nix and Sean Williams

So, it turns out that working full time, trying to finish up an AA after a decade or so of fucking off, trying to become a first time homeowner in what is no longer a buyer’s market, plus a whole host of family drama means I barely have time OR brain power to read the books, let alone write reviews for them.  But I’m going to try and catch up, at least somewhat,  I’ll probably have a lot more of those, “I don’t have much to say about this book” than I first intended.

The Monster by Garth Nix and Sean Williams is the second book in their Troubletwisters series.  It tells part of the story of young twins Jaide and Jack Shield.  In the first book, the two are sent to live with their grandmother after their growing powers attract the wrong kind of attention.  And blows up their house.  Jaide and Jack are startled to learn that their grandmother and father are Wardens, people who use their magical ability to protect the world from The Evil.  The Evil is very interested in Jaide and Jack, because before they gain control of their powers they are very vulnerable and The Evil can absorb them and their gifts. (Which is even creepier sounding when described in the book.)

The Monster is pretty slow going at times but some interesting hints for what the future might bring are dropped.  It seems like some very difficult times lie ahead for Jaide and Jack, and it will be very interesting to see which routes Misters Nix and William choose to take.  I’m predicting the safe but emotionally satisfying route because these are books for fairly young readers, but as anybody who has read Shade’s Children or The Ragwitch knows, Mr. Nix at least isn’t afraid to FUCK YOUR SHIT UP every once in a while, so we’ll see.

I listened to the audiobook version of The Monsters and I cannot recommend that you do the same.  Two of the major characters are talking cats and while the way their voices are done might be what you would expect a talking cat to sound like, it’s grating, off-putting, and ANNOYING AS HELL.  No me gusta.  AT ALL.  I can recommend the book in general though, because of the realistic characters, decent plot, and super creepy imagery.

Also, not really anything to do with the quality of a book, but an Irish Wolfhound (non-talking) shows up fairly briefly in the book, much to my delight.  I’ve been kind of obsessed with Irish Wolfhounds ever since I read Zlipha Keatley Snyder’s Stanley Family books in elementary school and between this book and the dog food commercial with the solider coming home, I have been wanting one all over again.  Somewhat tempered by the fact that they only live six to seven years.  Poor, raggedy, adorable doggies!

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