The Monsters in Your Neighborhood

The Monsters In Your Neighborhood (Monstrosity, #2) - Jesse Petersen Natalie is the new leader of the Monster support group but it’s not exactly peaceful. Despite having come together closer than ever before, they all live under the shadow of Van Helsing’s declaration of war. After such a delay, they have only just started to relaxWhen Van Helsing fires the first salvo. Not in a direct attack – or not just in a direct attack – but via twitter and youtube. The Van Helsings target them at their greatest fear – exposure. Exposure to a hostile and terrified public who will rise up in a mob like those the Van Helsings whipped up of old.As the group turn on each other with suspicion and spite – fanned by the flames of Van Helsing’s divisive tactics and even a traitor in their midst, Natalie must hold them together to face their old foe.This is one of those book reviews I’m having trouble with – because a lot of what I’ve said about the first book in the series still applies. I don’t like my reviews to sound repetitive, but this book is exactly what you’d expect from the last book.The monsters are still extremely fun characters – they continue to be everything they were before – while different and odd and, yes, monstrous, they’re equally human. And by human that doesn’t mean nice and compassionate - no it means petty and prone to panic and likely to be selfish and frightened and resentful and spiteful. Human doesn’t mean nice – and I think too much in Urban Fantasy, a monster striving to hold onto their “humanity” means a monster trying to be compassionate and kind. But that’s only one side of humanity – we’re not all nice. We do fall apart in a crisis. We do look for someone to blame rather than looking for solutions. We are paranoid, we do tend to lash out when threatened or upset or angry. We don’t always make sense. We don’t always act sensibly and we certainly don’t always listen to reason.This book shows that extremely well with the story set up to try and drive wedges between the monsters of the group. We have seen characters grow – with Linda gaining some strength, Kai and Natalie growing closer with mutual respect and, of course Natalie and Alec have really developed their relationship; all excellent things I wanted to see. But all of that is threatened with the external menace mixed with the individual threats – you can see who is closest to who by the way they bury their suspicion, but those close relationships also mean those who are just friends worry that they’re going to be sacrificed for the sake of loved ones. The paranoia, backbiting and lashing out between them is so very typical of a realistic response – especially when you get directed threats like the Book of the Dead, carrying spells that can kill immortal mummies, is stolen which make Kai and Rehu paranoid and frightened. It’s really well done.I like how Natalie has grown as well, she used to have a lot of insecurity but she has really come into her own as a leader – clearly standing above the others. She’s really believable as a leader; she isn’t perfect by any means and she certainly has doubts, but you can see why the others believe in her and support her. And I definitely love how Linda has grown with respect to dealing with the man who treats her poorly – oh yes yes I do.Read More