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  • Writer's picturehffishwick

Only a Monster

This novel has such a cool premise - I knew I had to read it as soon as I saw the blurb and Len really delivers.

Joan is a monster. She's known since she was a young child, but never understood what it meant until she accidentally steals time from her human neighbour and travels into the future. Stealing a few minutes or hours here and there, Joan's monster family, and the other monster families of London, have been time travelling through the centuries without a thought for the human lives they're cutting short. But, half human herself, Joan isn't sure the cost is worth it. And there are others that agree - others who want to stop the monsters from stealing human time at all costs. Including Nick, the boy she's been crushing on all summer. Saving her family from Nick will mean embracing her own monster nature and working with her family's enemy, Aaron Oliver. But going up against time itself won't be easy - if it's even possible.

Only a Monster is a villain narrative with plenty of murky morals and interesting ethical decisions. I loved following Joan's journey and the choices she faces. She's superbly well written and is a character I can't wait to follow in the next book.

The time travel elements are superb, especially all the tiny details that bought each time to life (even if some of the 90s nostalgia and tech made me feel old!) A love of history shines throughout this story and you feel yourself being pulled into the joy and wonder of time travel, even with its deadly cost.

There is also some great world building. Monster London is well developed, with secret spaces, laws and politics. The family powers and histories were really clever and I'm looking forward to finding out more about them in the next book.

The romance element of Only a Monster was also done to heartbreaking perfection. I don't really want to say any more than that because of spoilers, but it really is the shining star in an already brilliant story.

Thank you Hodderscape for letting me review an advanced copy via NetGalley


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