Friday, June 15, 2012

DNF Audiobook Review - Monster by A. Lee Martinez (2/5 stars)

Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Size: 352 pages
Publisher: Orbit
Release Date: February 1, 2010
ISBN-13: 978-0316049917
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: Audiobook through
Rating: 2/5 stars

I got about 40% of the way through this book before stopping reading it. I was listening to it on audiobook and was getting so bored that I was falling asleep while I kind of had to stop reading it for safety reasons. It is a quirky novel based on the overdone premise of a secret group that traps monsters.

I did listen to this on audiobook and it was decently done. The voice acting was fine and it was easy to distinguish between characters.

Judy works the overnight shift at the Food Mart but one night she finds a Yeti eating the ice cream. When she calls animal control, Monster shows up. Monster is in a arcane branch of animal control and his job it to fight/capture/relocate monsters. Judy gets drawn into the fun and soon Judy and Monster are battling everything monstrous.

Previously I read Gil’s Al Fright Diner by Martinez and enjoyed it. I was excited to read another book by him. The book begins as quirky, over-the-top funny, and somewhat interesting. As the story continued though I just had a lot of trouble staying engaged with it (I fell asleep).

Monster isn’t all that likable; it’s interesting that his skin changes color depending on the day. He’s stuck with a girlfriend, who is literally from hell, that he doesn’t really love and he lives a life he doesn’t care much about. He is all around pretty ho-hum.

Judy is a bit better. She works at a Food Mart and is determined to not forget the strange things she’s seen (normal humans have a tendency to forget monster encounters). So she starts accompanying Monster on his trips to take care of monsters. She’s plucky, but not much more than that.

The best character in the story was a rather loose angel named Gracie, she was hilarious but only in the story for a very short amount of time (at least in the first half of the book).

The plot had yet to be revealed when I stopped reading. Basically Judy and Monster were going from place to place doing their thing. There was a hint that monster activity had increased in recent days. Other than that it was just kind of day to day life. The premise is one that anyone who reads urban fantasy has seen a billion times before...this secret agency controls monsters without normal human suspecting anything.

So it wasn’t that the book was just didn’t hold my interest at all. I felt like not much was happening and the characters weren’t people I was interested in reading about. As I said I started nodding off and decided to stop listening to the book. I tried listening to it again later on my drive to work and again started falling I decided that enough was enough.

Overall this book wasn’t for me. The humor was a bit too over the top, the characters hard to engage with, the premise is something done many times before, and the plot wandered from one day to another. If you enjoy over the top humor in your urban fantasy and quirky average joe type characters you might be interested in this book. Personally I think Martinez has written much better books.

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