There is no stopping it.
The Cloud is armageddon, steamrolling the world at a walking pace.
In his thrilling debut novel Monstre, author Duncan Swan crafts a relentless, terrifying, genre-bending tale of courage, desperation, and redemption that shows just how fragile our civilization is… and how far we will go to survive.
Day 0. From the wreckage of a research facility in Switzerland, a plume of toxic smoke and ash pours into the sky, forming an impenetrable cloud that is slowly smothering the world in darkness. As Europe disappears beneath the Cloud, a squad of United States Marines are sent on a desperate mission to find out what went wrong, and how to undo it before it’s too late. Venturing into a cold, dark world, the Marines must travel deep under the Cloud, with no comms, no backup, and no idea of what they will face.
Day 89. Half a world away, the Cloud has reached the East Coast of the U.S. With nowhere to run and no hope of survival, the American people have descended into madness, turning on themselves and each other. From the sidelines, an old Tennessee sheriff watches as his country unravels. But he can’t bring himself to take the easy way out. Quitting isn’t in his DNA. So when one of his deputies asks him to help protect her family, he leads them west, chasing a miracle-a rumor of an old nuclear bunker that just may be their only hope for survival. Because if the Cloud doesn’t kill them, what’s hiding in the dark will.Monstre by Duncan Swan
Action, suspense, gore. The three words I will use to sum up this book if anyone asked me. Monstre by Duncan Swan is full of gory action and the suspense does not ease at all. In fact it never eases not even at the end. That’s right… Monstre is definitely not a standalone read. We get a big cliff-hanger and for some that can be a deal breaker. I for one was left a little annoyed but only once I found out that I have a year to wait for the next instalment. If you are reading this review towards the back end of 2021 then lucky you. You don’t have long to wait till you get the all important close on the story. I will say right now that I am looking forward to the Volume 2 of Monstre however…
Okay, so while I was browsing through other reviews of Monstre it’s quite obvious that the audience are split on how they feel about this book. Some loved it and some hated it. I find myself somewhere in the middle slightly leaning towards loving it. I enjoyed this read and as I already stated I look forward to the next instalment. There are a few things that stopped me from loving this book and I want to get them out in the open now before I say anything else.
First, there is a huge lack of female characters in Monstre. I wanted to see more and it would have been a good addition to the line up if there was. We do have Sara and she comes across as the strong female that we need however I feel she was pushed to the back a little but when she is in the light she is a dynamic and fun character.
Secondly, we have some trigger warnings for this read. Mention of rape, suicide and the use of the word retarded are all present. Now I do believe the first two add to the story and help create the apocalyptic setting where the criminals of the world are able to flourish as society collapses. Then we have the use of the word retarded. In this case the word was not needed to be use and a magnitude of words could have been used in its place.
Lastly, I hoped for a little more character development in Monstre. We have many POV changes amongst several characters but I could really find a connection with them. This is a shame as there is many a suspenseful moment where a good connection with the characters would have had me frozen in fear at the impending doom.
Okay, now that is off my chest I will say this was an enjoyable read despite what I have just said. The action is incredibly intense and I found the book hard to put down because of it. I found myself staying up later in the evening on several occasions. The action is nice and gory and you will enjoy it if that’s your thing. I know I do. We get spilled guts, broken bones. The lot.
Duncan Swan does a very good job on creating a great setting for this book. Monstre has some fantastic descriptions that fill the imagination. We really get a feel for the collapse of society and the effect that has.
If you love action and gore you will enjoy this book. I liken it a little to the Alien franchise. You have your ‘Monstre’, you have your dark suspenseful moments and you have your trigger happy soldiers. What’s not to like? As long as the lack of female characters and character development doesn’t bother you then this is a good read. Like I said I look forward to the next instalment.
Monstre entertained me enough despite of the flaws to be given a Book Vagabond Recommended ribbon.