Thursday, January 20, 2011

Mr. Monster Review

Mr. Monster by Dan Wells

Publisher: A Tor Book
Hardcover: 287 pages
Reading Level: Young Adult
Book 1  I Am Not A Serial Killer (Mar. 2010)
Book 2  Mr. Monster (Sept. 2010)
Book 3  I Don’t Want to Kill You (Mar. 2011) 
Summary: John faced a demon in the last book. In this one we find out who that demon really was. And Clayton County, you can thank your lucky stars John is still obsessed with serial killers. He’s the best defense you have against a new evil doer who’s been preying on your innocent population. The previous serial killer murdered quickly and for love. This one enjoys the game—kidnap, restrain, torture, kill.
In this second book of his trilogy, Dan Wells brings new readers up to speed, painlessly, while continuing to move the story along. He has John saying, “I’ve spent my whole life trying to keep my dark side locked away where it couldn’t hurt anybody, but then that demon showed up, and letting my dark side loose was the only way to stop it. And now I don’t know how to lock it back up.”… “I call my dark side Mr. Monster: the side that dreams about bloody knives and imagines what you’d look like with your heads up on a stick.”

Then, the author cleverly and humorously has John and his only ‘friend’ Max discuss the new killer’s possible motivation in blatantly leaving the bodies to be found like calling cards. Wells also deepens the relationship between John and his crush, Brooke.

The only letdown for me is the murderer. He’s not as intriguing as the one in the last book. And the scenario with his victims seems mundane…like I’ve seen it before. The author doesn’t need to make it more evil, just a little more original. But I love how John figures out how to somewhat control his enemy. Let me know how you like the scene in the kitchen where John plots to overcome the villain.

As I noted in my last review, I don’t usually care to read violent thrillers, nor do I enjoy reading again about how bodies are prepared in a mortuary. Yet, Dan Wells does write an interesting predicament for his protagonist. John is surprised to find he has a stable, responsible reputation with Brooke’s father. But on the inside, John is struggling with his dark side. I’ve got some theories about where this series is going. I’ll go out on a limb and predict that by confronting these real “Monsters,” John will be able to resolve his own inner, fearful thoughts. The third book comes out in March. I can hardly wait because the last line of this book is chilling. Don’t peek! Just read the whole book and wait for it!

Cover:  5/5 (again, a pristine cover that is menacing in its simple threat)
Plot:      4/5
Characters: 3/5
Writing: 5/5
Ending:  5/5
Overall rating: 4/5

To read my review of I Am Not A Serial Killer, the first book in the series, click here.