Only a Monster(Monsters #1) by Vanessa Len

Title: Only a Monster(Monsters #1)

Author:   Vanessa Len

My Rating:  🌟🌟🌟

Type: Series – Book 1

Genre: High Fantasy, Magical World, Time travel, YA fantasy

Primary Characters: Joan, Aaron, Nick

 Narration: Single POV

I probably fall under the minority of not liking this book much. I have seen people gushing over this in social media. Ratings were awesome. Cover and blurb were very enticing. However, book is too much on surface level with lot of open questions. Hopefully next books can give more insights. It’s a decent entry from a debut Author.

As a series, premise it has lot of potential. As far as this book it has too much open-ended questions with no much clarity on the world, objective and unique magic system. Plot starts exactly as described in the blurb. Joan a 16-year-old British Chinese has no idea she is a monster. She belongs to a family who steal time from humans by shortening human’s time span. Joan learns the truth about herself and her family hard way. Along with that, she also realizes cute boy Nick is Legendary Monster slayer who is ready to bring her and her family down. When she is in middle of a massacre, she tumbles down into nineties with Aaron who is an heir of another monster family. Will she be able to save her family by undoing the acts? To do that is she willing to become the same monster she despises so much?

The world-building was interesting and I enjoyed getting to know about the different families’ powers. The dynamics between the different monster families were fun along with personalities. This book set up some really intriguing politics of this world that I hope will be further explored in the sequel.

Joan character development is ok. Its not extraordinary in the meanwhile it isn’t bad.  However, love triangle is disappointing. Its neither good with Aaron nor with Nick. I couldn’t connect with all 3 characters. Even though I liked the group – Ruth, Tom, Aaron and Joan, it felt like something was missing. Magic system is unique and beautiful but need more clarity and depth. None of the powers are explained and utilized well. We don’t get to see the utilization of Hunt’s power, nor Oliver nor Nick’s Power. Writing style is decent. Narration has some ups and downs.

There were several unclear things, however this stayed in the top of my mind for long.

  • Why do these monsters time travel? What’s the objective for them to travel across time?
  • When they are in past how do they steal time? Can they take from person who is already dead in future? How exactly it works?
  • What happens in actual time when they time walk? Example – When Joan time walked for first time she lost 12-13 hours, how? What happened in those 12 or 13 hours? How her 1 second was others 12 hours? Does that time got added to her life span?
  • How, 2 days in Joan’s life is 2 years in Ruth’s?

If you the know the answers to these then let me know. Overall, Only a Monster was a fun read with an interesting magic system. I liked the factor that it explored morality of hero’s vs villains. I m definitely intrigued enough to know more about other family dynamics, politics and the depth of every one’s power. Let’s wait for the sequel.

Additional cover

Buy link-

Blurb as per Amazon

The sweeping romance of Passenger meets the dark fantasy edge of This Savage Song in this stunning contemporary fantasy debut from Vanessa Len, where the line between monster and hero is razor thin.

Don’t forget the rule. No one can know what you are. What we are. You must never tell anyone about monsters.

Joan has just learned the truth: her family are monsters, with terrifying, hidden powers.

And the cute boy at work isn’t just a boy: he’s a legendary monster slayer, who will do anything to destroy her family.

To save herself and her family, Joan will have to do what she fears most: embrace her own monstrousness. Because in this story…she is not the hero.

Dive deep into the world of Only a Monster: hidden worlds dwell in the shadows, beautiful monsters with untold powers walk among humans, and secrets are the most powerful weapon of all.

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