Friday, December 13, 2019

Review: A Cosmology of Monsters by Shaun Hamill

Title: A Cosmology of Monsters
Author: Shaun Hamill
Published: September 2019, Pantheon Books
Format: Hardcover, 336 pages
Source: Publisher

Noah Turner sees monsters.

His father saw them--and built a shrine to them with The Wandering Dark, an immersive horror experience that the whole family operates.

His practical mother has caught glimpses of terrors but refuses to believe--too focused on keeping the family from falling apart.

And his eldest sister, the dramatic and vulnerable Sydney, won't admit to seeing anything but the beckoning glow of the spotlight . . . until it swallows her up.

Noah Turner sees monsters. But, unlike his family, Noah chooses to let them in . . .

My thoughts: I don't typically read horror books, but when I was given the chance to not only read this, but meet the author and chat with him at Bouchercon this year, I jumped at the could I pass up this opportunity? And let me just tell you...I found this book to be a weird but wonderful book. This is why it's good to step out of your comfort zone every once in a never know when you will be surprised by a really good book!

I loved that this book is not pure horror but rather an interesting blend of horror, fantasy and literary fiction. There is such a compelling storytelling element to this book, with beautiful prose that is balanced with a dark, disturbing tale. It gets under your skin because as much as you become invested with the family, you are equally unsettled by what is going on. 

This is very much a character-driven story and I absolutely loved that. The Turner Family is faced with many horrors - mundane, everyday horrors - and this story is how they deal with that while a supernatural horror lurks on the edge. Both these elements are woven together seamlessly to give us such a fantastic story, one that keeps us glued to the pages. 

This is the type of book that you become totally involved in. When you are reading it, you don't want to put it down, and when you do have to put it down, you can't stop thinking about it. Even after you finish reading it, it's hard to stop thinking about these multi-dimensional characters and this story. I know for sure it's one I will read again, as I think it begs for that second or third read. And I will absolutely be keeping an eye out for what comes next from Shaun Hamill - he is one author I want to read again!


1 comment

  1. Wow--this book sounds scary and unique! Great review! Great cover, too!


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