Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Monster is the 6th book from the inventive and chaotic mind of author A. Lee Martinez.

Martinez had me hooked after I thoroughly enjoyed his debut (Gil’s All Fright Diner), and from what little I read of Monster, before purchasing it, I knew I was in for another treat.

Don’t let the title put you off. It sounds rather like a horror novel or even a serial killer thriller, but it’s not. It’s a lot funnier for a start. It’s actually rather hard to categorize the book. It could be described as either Urban Fantasy or Comic Fantasy and the author himself disagrees with both of those. I’m going with Comic Urban Fantasy.

The Monster of the title is Monster Dionysus. Monster works for Cryptobiological Containment and Rescue Services. If you have a problem with an infestation of trolls or an army of imps have invaded your house, then Monster and his paper gnome partner Chester, are more than likely who will be sent to deal with it.

Judy is a college dropout, doing nothing with her life, who happens to find a yeti eating all the icecream in the freezer of the supermarket where she works nights stacking shelves. She calls Animal Control Services and Monster and Chester turn up to handle the invader.

Judy has a problem with creatures of a magical nature, they seem to keep turning up and they manage to pretty neatly also ruin Monster’s life. They certainly total his car, trash his house and hasten the break up of his relationship with his succubus girlfriend; Liz. This throws Monster and Judy together even though they don’t really like each other. If the two of them can’t work together the cat loving Mrs Lotus, and her mysterious stone will destroy the universe.

Author A. Lee Martinez managed to crack every funny bone in my body with Monster, he’s fast joining Sir Terry Pratchett on my list of authors not to read on the train lest laughing inappropriately earn you glares from the grey suited office drones. Early on in the book I was reminded of Men In Black, at times the book is very much the fantasy equivalent of the comedy sci-fi film. Monster is Tommy Lee Jones, Judy is Will Smith and there’s even a case to equate Chester with Frank the talking pug dog.

I loved Gil’s All Fright Diner and Monster is getting the big thumbs up too. I’m going to have to seek out the rest of Martinez’s work.

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