If I Can’t Suspend Disbelief? Houston, We Have A Problem. Here There Are Monsters- An ARC Review

Here There are Monsters by Amelinda Berube started off as a very gripping story that just didn’t follow through. I kept waiting for certain pieces to fall into place and they never did.

HTAM

Thank you to Source Books Fire and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

In order for a suspenseful thriller to work, especially one that bends in to fantasy, it must accomplish certain plot features. First, it must create reader buy-in to the center of magic. It must also allow the reader to suspend belief. I’m a huge fan of Marvel. I watch the Walking Dead. I have the ability to both buy into Magic, let go of the time traveling (because in the end it was a vehicle for the movie, not what the movie was about) in End Game, and a variety of comics. If anyone can suspend disbelief as a reader, I am one of them. However, Here There are Monsters wasn’t able to get me to buy-in to the plot or suspend disbelief.

tenor.gif

For one the magic system was not fully explained (truthfully I think this is something that is beginning to happen across many fantasy novels that feature magic across the YA spectrum- authors need to tighten it up). That is the wonder of mages and magic systems. It is a craft that shouldn’t be lost.

I do like Deidre as a character. I really connected to her because as a teenager I went through that feeling of being very different from others. Although it was an isolated feeling, I never wanted to change just to be like everyone else, either. That is a tough place to be. When she suddenly goes missing, her sister Skye is the only person who can figure out the how and why. There for, she is the only one with the ability and belief that she can rescue Deidre.

In her efforts to rescue Deidre that the timeline begins shifting back and forth. This worked for a while as it explained why Skye is not able to save Deidre and how their relationship begins to fray. Once the relationship frays and Deidre is lost to everyone is when the story also ultimately is lost. The monsters and the grief of losing a child doesn’t really work out. This both due to the lack of understanding the monsters and magic that take Deidre and the parents who aren’t really flushed out. They are surface, side characters that you can’t connect to at all.

This confusion of magic and the monsters also effects the end of the story. You don’t know what ultimately happens to Deidre and Skye’s character changes totally. The ending leaves with so many questions you would think there is a second book coming but this is a stand alone. It isn’t an ending that leaves you with the type of questions that are open to interpretation, in my opinion, but instead are just confusing and unsatisfying.

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “If I Can’t Suspend Disbelief? Houston, We Have A Problem. Here There Are Monsters- An ARC Review

  1. Great review, Susan! I’ve saw this book a couple times and the cover is definitely eye catching, I’m sorry this one did not work for you. I agree, authors really need to explain their magic system better instead of going “just because”. This is really annoying, especially if the system is really confusing! It’s hard to believe what happened and felt sympathetic to the characters if we can’t understand what’s going on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! EXACTLY! And it is especially frustrating when you are someone who has really fallen for a trend that is happening in the book world. I have DEFINITELY fallen for the mage/magic trend in the fantasy world. I’m all in.. just please don’t get lazy about it… give me all the juicy details. I need them.. thrive on them. Flush them out!!! 🙂 It will get tired fast if they all seem the same or are just…. as you said it very simply and well “Just because” lol… that isn’t going to fly!

      Like

  2. Pingback: Silvera’s Fantasy, Must Read Thrillers, Margaret Owens Interview, Non-Tropey Female Heroines And About That Heatwave… This Week In Novel Lives – Novel Lives

  3. I liked the cover but I didn’t request it, and ugh it drives me nuts when there’s no magic explanation in place or a system. Speaking of unsatisfying endings, I just read a thriller with a pretty unsatisfying one, I was left going ‘wait, you’ve forgotten these things!’ Ugh, so frustrating when a book gives you an ending that makes you want to shake it lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lovely Little Things was like that too and that was an adult thriller… like I kept thinking this cant be the end… it is only like 325 pages… and wait what? Lol… I hate that too!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. HAHA OMG. We had the exact same issues with both this and The Gossamer Mage. The first half of the book was killing it for me, but the second half just went down hill. The only difference here is that while you had issues with the ending, I thought it was the perfect IMPERFECT ending. It wasn’t a happily ever after, but it really fit the story in my opinion. I almost wish that they didn’t add the paranormal aspect, or at least fleshed that part out a bit more. Or maybe just didn’t make the creatures speak. I really loved the co-dependent sister relationship, but the monsters just kinda ruined it. I still found myself really enjoying it though, so I gave it 4 stars because it was a fast read and I loved the characters. I thought that they were pretty well done, at least the sisters.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yeah the monsters didn’t work at all. That piece needed a lot of work. I think you got more out of the ending than I did, which I’m glad you did. It is kinda like Wilder Girls where the ending fit for me but didn’t for you lol… open ended endings (wait… ok lol)…. can be odd like that. Sometimes they’ll work in one book and not an other. We are all odd little readers hahahaha

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s