Club Monstrosity (Monstrosity #1)
By Jesse Petersen
Published April 29th, 2013
Source: Received ARC from Pocket Star (via Edelweiss) in return for an unbiased review (Thank You!)
About the book:
Natalie’s one of Frankenstein’s creations and works in a New York City morgue. So of course she needs therapy. She and her friends—er, fellow monsters—have formed the world’s most exclusive, most dysfunctional support group. What could go wrong?
Undetected in the modern world and under pressure to stay that way, Natalie Grey, Dracula, Bob the Blob, and others (including the fetching wolfman Alec) meet regularly to talk about the pressures of being infamous in the Big Apple. Topics include how long it’s been since their last sighting, how their “story” creates stereotypes they can’t fulfill, and—gasp—sometimes even their feelings. But when their pervy Invisible Man, Ellis, is killed in a manner reminiscent of the H.G. Wells novel, it’s clear someone’s discovered their existence and is down for some monster busting.
Led by Natalie—and definitely not helped by Hyde’s bloodthirsty tendencies—the members of Monstofelldosis Anonymous band together for security and a little sleuthing. And maybe—maybe—if they don’t end up dead, they’ll end up friends somewhere along the way.
My blogging bestie, Lisa at Paranormal and Urban Fantasy Reviews, mentioned this book to me so off I went to check it out (she orders me around a lot 🙂 ). I thought it was such a unique premise that I snapped it up on Edelweiss. I really looked forward to reading it. As I read the ARC, I had some issues with the POV(s) and it took me a little bit to get into the groove of the story but once I did, I really enjoyed the eclectic group of characters and the mystery of who’s killing them off.
Characters / Setting / World Building
The whole premise of the story is that all those monster stories you heard growing up are actually, partially true. Those monsters exist. The authors who penned their stories just might not have gotten the monster’s details quite correct. For instance, we all know Frankenstein was actually the doctor’s name and he built “the monster”. But in this world, he built several “monsters”, one of which is Natalie Grey. She’s several hundred years old and does her best to blend in with the good folks of New York City.
But Natalie isn’t the only monster around New York City. And to help each monster blend in and stay unnoticed, they get together in a support group who meet in the basement of a church. Just like any other support group in New York City.
This is how we meet all the characters of our eclectic cast. Despite some of the problems I had reading this story, I think it was the characters that held my attention most and kept me reading. I think besides Natalie, my favorite characters were Kai, the mummy, and Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde. Ms. Petersen’s take on the split personalities of Jekyl and Hyde was fantastic. Especially as the story progressed.
Story / Tempo
Although I had a bit of trouble getting attached to this group of misfits during their first support group meeting, I hung in there because the story quickly evolved into a mystery. From that point on, the story picked up speed and kept up the decent pace all the way to the end. I can’t recall any frivolous scenes.
My main hangup with the story, and this may be because it was an ARC I read, is that this story is written in the third person and I often have a problem with this POV. Often times, third person sounds way too close to first person to me. When Ms. Petersen would have the narrator switch the character’s POV, I was lost for a few moments until I figured out whose mind the narrator was in.
Despite that little POV issue, the uniqueness of the story had me reading all the way to the end. Once there, I was surprised to find out that there is actually another Monstrosity coming out on July 29th, 2013!! I’m actually pretty excited for the next one, both to get back to see where Ms. Petersen takes her characters and to get some closure on a few loose ends 🙂
Other Books in the Series:
About the Author:
Jesse’s life as a writer began when her husband made the brilliant observation that she was much happier writing than doing anything else. So she took the plunge and decided to do that full-time. After many years and many books in different sub-genres, she was bitten by the zombie bug (not a zombie, but the bug) and took off on a zany adventure into the world of Urban Fantasy. Soon zombies were not enough and now she is poised to take over the world with her not-so-normal paranormal stories which inject dark humor into uncommon circumstances.
When not coming up with stories about the weird and wonderful she lives in Tucson, AZ, with her high school sweetheart husband and two cats. She plays video games, hangs out with her favorite nephews, hikes in the beautiful mountains, watches wayyyyy too much reality TV (and some really good scripted TV), ponders all things geekish and madly scribbles notes on her next idea while she laughs at people who still have to shovel snow.
Oh and from time to time she even writes, which is still what she likes to do best. She loves chatting with fans of her stories and lovers of geeky things. She encourages you to contact her at the various places listed on this fabulous website (keep scrolling, you’ll see it).