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carols

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“The more I read, the more I acquire, the more certain I am that I know nothing.”
― Voltaire

Monster - A. Lee Martinez Three and a half stars. An interesting book with a host of unusual characters. We follow the adventures of Judy, a clerk at a fast-food mart and Monster, a freelance monster hunter. I felt the characters come to life and were unique, but I didn't find them sympathetic--it was hard to care too much about them. Rather, I wanted to pop them both on the head and say, "wise up!" It says something when your most ethical and sympathetic character is a sidekick paper golem from another dimension. However, the fact that that is even a sentence in my review is one reason I'll read more of Martinez' books--very creative characters.The plot is mostly action/puzzle solving, when Judy repeatedly comes into contact with Monster over monster infestations that keep occurring in her vicinity. Judy tends to forget the experience unless magic helps maintain her memories, and one of the most interesting plot points is when she is determined to maintain her memories on her own. I felt the steps she took and her subsequent reactions to them to be both realistic and sadly funny.There's a segment on a couple living across from a being we meet later in the book, and in retrospect it's a little puzzling why it was included. Perhaps it is meant to show us how amoral/ egocentric she is? Unfortunately, it derails the focus from Monster and Judy and does little to heighten tension. It turns out that the book is a little bit philosophical too, and gets kind of-far-out universe-origins odd. Maybe Martinez is channeling Douglas Adams. If you enjoy that style, you will most likely enjoy Monster.Rounded down because of language and unsympathetic characters. By language, I would say it was written at a low high school level in straightforward prose. It's a style I occasionally enjoy but felt lacked world-building and sophistication.