Review: Only a Monster By Vanessa Len

Series: Monsters #1
Author: Vanessa Len
Publisher: HarperTeen
Released: February 22, 2022
Received: Own
Warnings: Violence, racism, kidnapping, torture

4 1/2 kitties

Only a Monster is Vanessa Len’s debut novel and the start of a series of the same name. I can already honestly say that I’ll be counting down the days to the release of the next book. (I really hope that OwlCrate does special editions for the rest of the series!).

Every summer, Joan heads off to spend some time with the rest of her family in London. They’re…different, but she loves them. But then, one day, it all suddenly makes brutal sense to her why her family is so different from the rest.

They’re all monsters. Not figuratively, literally. This revelation is just the beginning, as Joan’s life is quickly thrown into peril. After all, where there are monsters, there are also monster hunters, which means that Joan is very far from safe.

“If you need to run, always imply that you’ll return.”

I can’t get enough of dark and brooding fantasy, so I was thrilled at the announcement of Only a Monster by Vanessa Len. Better yet – it’s the first in a series, which means that there is more to come! Be still my heart.

Only a Monster is very much a YA urban fantasy, which means it intersects two of my favorite genres. It’s also a bit darker due to the very nature of the story. In other words, it’s perfect for those who love atmospheric fantasy reads with an emotional twist.

Joan’s story is so very compelling – she spent her whole life thinking her family was a bit odd but otherwise normal. Then, on the day her powers sparked, she realized the truth: they were all monsters. Literally, not figuratively. Things take a turn for the worse after this realization, with loss and blood on the rise.

Balancing out the horror and loss, we have time traveling (thanks to the monster ability within their blood), a romantic subplot, and a heist. All with the ultimate goal of saving the day, of course. The irony is not lost on me.

I want to talk about so many heartbreaking and compelling twists, but I refuse to spoil them for readers. Instead, let me say this: Only a Monster ripped out my heart and proudly showed it to me. Now, I beg you to go and read this book so that we may experience the same thing and talk about it together.

About Liz (AKA Cat)

I am an avid animal lover, photographer, reader, and much more. While my photography blog is feeling a bit neglected at the moment, the other sites I'm involved in are going strong. ✧I review books, comics, and basically anything else in the literary world over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks (of Books). ✧I review comics and books, as well as write content for Word of the Nerd. ✧I review comics for Monkeys Fighting Robots. ✧I write content for Screen Rant and CBR. ✧I write book reviews for The Review Crew.
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3 Responses to Review: Only a Monster By Vanessa Len

  1. Nice review! Would you say this book moved along at a moderate pace? I like more action in YA books with not so much emphasis on romance because sometimes it can drag things down.

    Liked by 1 person

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