Sunday, June 20, 2010

Monster by A. Lee Martinez

Sometimes, what you need is a fast-paced, over the top fantasy adventure, rather than a deep, dark, moody tale. One of the names that seems to be becoming more and more popular in that area is A. Lee Martinez. His adventure fantasies, filled with liberal dashes of humor, began with the publication of Gil’s All Fright Diner, and have continued on into his seventh book, Divine Misfortune, out now in hardcover. His latest paperback release is the paperback release of his novel Monster. It looked like fun, so I dove in.

When a stray dog is bothering you, or the local cat is looking a little rabid, you call animal control. But when you have a yeti problem, or trolls in your closet, you need someone a little different. It’s time to call Cryptobiological Containment and Rescue Services, and their best crypto-catcher, Monster. However, when Judy can’t seem to stop having problems, she and Monster realize that there is more at stake than either of them dreamed, and it may be up to them to save all of existence. If they can ever get along, that is.

Martinez has written a wonderfully entertaining story. Monster and Judy are a lot of fun as characters, are fully fleshed out, and set up plenty of laughs. All of the secondary characters work well, too, and help fill out the very entertaining plot. The novel easily moves from mild-animal control work to saving existence, and neither feels out of place or overly abrupt. The integration of the real world and the magical one is something that Martinez does very well here as well, laying the two on top of each other in a completely believable fashion rarely seen in fantasy. There is a whole lot to like here, and will certainly make you pick up another Martinez novel in the future.


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