Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Book Review of Monster by Christopher Pike
Author: Christopher Pike
Publisher: Archway Paperback
Type of book: vampires from outer space, horror, science fiction, asteroid belt, "Fifth world", 1990s
Year it was published: November 1992
Mary Blanc walked into the party with a loaded shotgun. In the blink of an eye she blew two people away. She wanted to kill more, but was stopped by her best friend, Angela Warner, and the police. The next day, when Angel visits Mary at the jail she asks why she did it. Mary responds, "Because they were no longer human." Angela thinks she's crazy.
Until she probes deeper into Mary's claims and discovers a horror so unimaginable that she thinks she is going crazy. She even gets to the point where she wonders if she should have let Mary keep on killing. While there was still time to stop the thing from spreading. The very old thing. The hungry thing.
The characters do have distinctive personalities; Angela is sarcastic with an interesting sense of humor as well as incredibly resourceful and brave. I don't understand how and why it became possible for Angela to start liking someone whom she didn't have slightest affection. Other characters, unfortunately, aren't memorable and I really didn't understand the purpose of them. For example, why was Lt. Nguyen included in the book? How did he help Angela in her quest?
Things that are crazy are possible.
This is third person narrative from Lt. Ngyuen's point of view and Angela's as well. There are some minor inconsistencies in the book such as the fact that at first Mary and Kevin moved in different circles, yet the end hints that they spent a lot of time together. Also, how did Angela become infected if she didn't have water? It's a stand alone novel and it is creepy first few times one reads it.
Christopher Pike wrote 30+ novels mainly for young adults, the most famous or well known one is The Last Vampire Saga, Final Friends and Remember Me, and his real name is Kevin McFadden. One of his books, Fall Into Darkness was created into a movie. Unfortunately he doesn’t have a website, but there is a fan club that is devoted to him. (http://www.christopherpikefanclub.com/ )
In first few reads, it definitely has a creepy feel, and I often wondered how true it is. Perhaps I have aged, or perhaps this book doesn't have that special magic over me as it used to. It's not a horrible novel, but what seemed consistent and without flaws, turned into inconsistency and flawed. I do admit that the Kaatu voice that Angela exhibits is creepy, but I suppose I couldn't see any purpose for Lt. Nguyen to be in the book. Despite the supernatural elements, I didn't like that this is another book where police sucked. But yeah, I understand that no one would believe the monster theory in real life.
3 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)