A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Monster continues the sci-fi series began in Gone by Michael Grant (Front Lines). It features teens who transform into superheroes and giant monsters, thanks to an alien virus. There's plenty of large-scale violence that kills many innocent bystanders. Characters under stress use profanity: "hell," "damn," "bitch," "bastard," and "s--t." There's only a hint of sexual content and little alcohol/drug use.
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What's the story?
Set four years after the removal of the mysterious invisible dome over Perdido Beach, Monster presents a new collection of teen mutants and monsters. Virus-laden meteorites are falling to Earth, and those teens who encounter them are physically changed beyond recognition. Shade Darby gains super speed, while her friend Cruz develops a kind of invisibility. They are on a collision course with other, less benevolent mutants -- ones bloodthirsty and indifferent to human suffering.
Is it any good?
Offering more than just punch-ups between teen superheroes and giant monsters, this fast-paced sci-fi tale has an exuberant X-Men-meet-Godzilla vibe. Although not completely self-contained, Monster is a reasonable jumping-on point for the Gone series. The multidimensional cast of heroes and villains is suitably diverse, with cisgender, transgender, and lesbian characters at the fore.
Unfortunately, the climactic battle goes on a bit too long and does not resolve much of anything. Nevertheless, fans of the series are likely to enjoy this installment, as are readers seeking a new series of sci-fi thrillers.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Monster presents a battle between good and evil. Are people only one or the other?
Raised as a boy, Cruz now identifies as transgender. What kinds of issues do transgender kids face in real life?
How do people learn to feel empathy for each other? What traits do all humans share?
- Author: Michael Grant
- Genre: Science Fiction
- Topics: Superheroes, Friendship, Misfits and Underdogs, Monsters, Ghosts, and Vampires
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
- Publication date: October 17, 2017
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 14 - 18
- Number of pages: 432
- Available on: Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), iBooks, Kindle
- Last updated: June 19, 2019
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