The Monsters in Your Neighborhood (Monstrosity #2)
Published: July 29, 2013 (Pocket Star)
Purchase at: Amazon
Review Source: Copy provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review
Reviewed by: Jo
Rating (out of 5): 3.5 stars
Note: While this review will be spoiler free it may contain spoilers for the first book in the series. Check out our review of book one Club Monstrosity.
Six months have passed since the attacks on the support group and life is looking good for Frankenstein’s monster Natalie. She’s taken over running the group, who are getting on better than ever, and her relationship with Wolfman Alec is progressing nicely (there’s even the possibility of a double date with the Mummys in the works). Everything would be fantastic if it weren’t for the threat of war for the Van Helsing family hanging over them.
When a video of a monster attack in Central Park goes viral and various monster-related hashtags start treading on Twitter, the increasingly panicked group look to Natalie to figure out their next move. But when mind games and a blast from the past cause friction, mistrust weaves its way through the group once again. Natalie begins to wonder just who they are fighting against, the Van Helsings or each other.
Like its predecessor The Monsters in Your Neighborhood is a fast-paced read with plenty of action. While some of the twists seemed fairly clear to me before their reveal, I still enjoyed the mystery and like the mixture of ancient magic and modern technology as the plot progressed. I enjoyed learning more about Natalie’s past and Frankenstein’s creations but I would have liked to see more about the other members of the group too. Their lives before the group and how they met, as well as delving deeper into the Van Helsings.
The group dynamics I loved so much in Club Monstrosity continued to draw me in, although they have slightly changed here with the death of certain members and the joining of new ones. My favorite new addition was Pat (also known as Cthulhu). He may be visually the most monstrous but seems to have the most heart, particularly poignant when juxtaposed with Hyde’s good looks and dark intentions. The dysfunctional-but-close bond shines through between the members but here we see a darker side of group mentality.
The Van Helsings approach of divide and conquer works all too well from the outside. However, it later becomes apparent one of the biggest mistakes made by the group has been in their own treatment of a certain member. It once again highlights the fact they may be monsters but their behavior can be all too human.
Natalie begins the book much lighter, seemingly genuinely happy in her own skin. When the identity of the monster from the video is revealed however, it dregs up painful memories and guilt over her monstrous nature begins to creep in again. It was hard to see all the progress she had made begin to slip. Thrust into the role of leader and forced to make some tough choices, the pressure starts to affect her relationship with Alec. There were moments where I really wasn’t a fan of Natalie’s behavior toward him, jumping to conclusions and losing her temper, especially considering how supportive he has been.
The quirky nature, witty writing and action make The Monsters in Your Neighborhood a fun and enjoyable read. While I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as the first book, I’m still fascinated by this monster support group and look forward to finding out even more about them.
Sexual content: Kissing