Hello people! I hope you all are safe and happy, and that your week has started in the best possible way! This week would be full (and hence tiring, so tiring that I am exhausted just by thinking about it, I don’t know if I will survive till Sunday!!!) but I am really happy to be here with a new review!
Title: Monster of the Dark
Series: Mirrors in the Dark #1
Author: KT Belt
Publication Date: March 30th, 2021
Carmen Grey always knew she was different.None of the other children seemed able to read minds. None of the other children were able to manipulate their toys without touching them. On the morning of her sixth birthday, three men dressed in black arrive to remove her from the loving care of her parents.She is taken to an underground facility meant for others like her, for Clairvoyants. Stripped of her name and identity, over the years she is fashioned into something scary—something lethal. Each day is an endless struggle and every night is plagued by nightmares. Yet Carmen’s ultimate battle won’t be to save her life but to keep her soul.
Trigger Warning: animal death.
This was an intriguing and captivating book, that hooked me right from the start! I think that the best feature is that the MC is a child. And this is pretty great for two main reasons: the first is that we get a more in-depth vision of how cruel this all is, and how cruel people can be (and okay, it is not really that we need that, because I think that it is pretty clear how much people can suck, but I fell for it time and again. I mean, I should maybe stop reading this kind of book, because I have almost no faith in human beings in general, and this usually doesn’t help me, but there is always the tiny tiny hope that, maybe, seeing how easy is to do bad, and how easy could be to right some of the wrongs, maybe there is some redemption possible for us. But let’s stop here with these depressing thoughts, and let’s go back to the book!), because my heart really went out to the MC and to Artemis, because really, poor poor girls!
And second, because a child made for a really interesting narrator. It is not that Carmen is unreliable, but she doesn’t know what is happening, and she doesn’t have some frame for reference, either, since she is a six years old child, who simply does not know how things work, or what things mean. And this makes for a layered way of narration, and it was a thing that the author did amazingly well.
Usually, I am not the biggest fan of children as MCs or as narrators, but in this case, I loved it. I really think that this was the best feature of the book, and it is a book with a lot of good things going on!
The pace of the book is well balanced and the writing is smooth, and the combo made for a really hooking reading. It is not the happiest of the book, it is dark and it has some heart-shattering moments, and it is also quite thought-provoking, for example, I think that the way in which this book shows us that sometimes we are our own jailers is amazing. Or the importance of kindness, meaning random acts of kindness, and how far they can go, was expressed in some really moving ways. And it was all amazing. And I was hooked right from the start. It was a hard book to put down, and it made you turn page after page without even noticing it.
And Carmen is a really interesting character. I really liked her, and I liked to see her growing. She is not my usual kind of character, and yet I was really invested in her story. And we get some really interesting characters around her: Artemis and Janus are not virtue models, that’s for sure, but they are interesting. And even if Janus is not one of the good guys, he is not the worst. In some ways, he has some reasons for what he does, and he has some excuses (sure, they are not enough, and really what they are doing to the children is awful, there are no questions here, but he can be, at least partially, understood), while the triviality and the pettiness of others (and yes, I am talking about you, Isabelle!) are really worst on another scale because there are no excuses for that. Only shame.
The only complaint that I have, but it is a minor one, is about the world-building. We have an interesting world with a future setting, but we just get glimpses of it. It makes sense, because for the most part the story is set in a facility, so in a really enclosed world, and hence we don’t get to see a lot of the world, but what we get to pick sounds interesting, and I would have loved for some ways in which to learn more.
Anyway, all the rest is pretty great, so all that I have to do is to recommend this book to you, because, really, you need to read this one!
What about you? Have you read this one? Or are you interested in it?? Let me know!