The Monstrous Child – written by Francesca Simon

 The Monstrous Child – written by Francesca Simon, Published by Faber & Faber, (9780571330270), 2017

Format: Paperback

Rating: 3

Genre:  Fantasy

What did you like about the book?   This book was on my must-read list as the reviews were awesome & the story sounded so cool. Hel, the daughter of Loki & a goddess, is half corpse from the waist down – and exiled as a teenager to rule over the Underworld. Sounds great, right? Well, I made it about halfway through the book and completely lost interest.

What didn’t you like about the book?   The entire book is narrated in a first person narration, past tense as Hel tells her life’s story; she’s not very happy and after a few chapters, it starts to feel like one long whine. In addition, Hel is hopelessly in love with a god of light that she believes loves her back; it’s really obvious to the reader that this isn’t the case and she’s setting herself up for a major disappointment. I would have liked her character better if she showed some strength or redeeming qualities – anything! Other characters are very two-dimensional and their words recounted only from Hel’s perspective.

To whom would you recommend this book?  Teens who like fantasy & don’t mind depressing reads.

Who should buy this book? School & public libraries; additional purchase.

Where would you shelve it and why? Young Adult Fiction

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles?  Nah. Read Black Witch by Laurie Forest instead!

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Robin Fosdick, Morse Institute Library, Natick, MA

Date of review: 6.28.17


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