Saturday, March 28, 2020

The Monster of Elendhaven | Jennifer Giesbrecht

The once-industrial city of Elendhaven lingers beyond the dismal coast of a rocky ocean. It is removed from society, abandoned by manufacturers, and was not-too-long-ago ravaged by a plague.

An opaque killer lurks along the shore. Johann is a self-declared monster: he wanders and creeps and slits and slashes, enamored with how it feels to kill people — until he meets Florian, a wealthy little fellow with many secrets of his own. Held together by magic, circumstance, and sexual tension, Florian and Johann take revenge on the visiting Southerners who long ago abandoned Florian’s family in their time of need.

THE MONSTER OF ELENDHAVEN rings in at 160 pages long in its hardcover version; the audiobook, meanwhile, is just under four hours in duration, read aloud by Daniel Henning. As it stands, this book would have made a much more fulfilling full-length novel.

Because of the inevitably-too-fast pace of the narrative, the romance between Johann and Florian feels undeveloped and unmotivated, one that is often more violent than veritable. Is a monster borne of ire and seawater even capable of love? Does Florian love Johann back, or is he just pretending to so that the monster will do his bidding? How does the mage-hunter fit into the revenge plot — and, perhaps more importantly, does she fit into it at all?

Read the rest of the review here.

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