Wednesday, 21 September 2016

American Monsters by Derek Landy (Demon Road, #3) - Book Review

4.5/5 Stars

One way or another...

this ends tonight.

It's all going to hell...

Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 362
Chapters: 53
Publisher: HarperCollins

Book Links: Goodreads
                      Author's Blog


American Monsters is another book I've been heavily anticipating for most of the year. Landy's sexy, supernatural horror trilogy has been spectacular, and the final entry doesn't disappoint. Showcasing his spectacular skills at blending the severe with the comedic, American Monsters gives us more of what we love of the series while sadly also wrapping it up.


I've made this comparison before, but it's more than apt: If you love the TV series Supernatural, and are looking for books with a similar flavour, the Demon Road Trilogy is going to blow your mind.

There are a couple negatives with this instalment, such as the cluttered feel of the plot along with some out-of-character moments for our protagonist. But, with that said, the overall quality of the novel is high, and bar a few plot points that are frustratingly unresolved, it's a solid, satisfying end to a terrific trilogy.

Synopsis (This time round, I'll be using the blurb that comes with my edition of the book.)

Bigger, meaner, stronger, Amber closes in on her murderous parents as they make one last desperate play for power. Her own last hopes of salvation, however, rest beyond vengeance, beyond the abominable killers - living and dead - that she and Milo will have to face.

For Amber's future lies in her family's past, in the brother and sister she never knew, and the horrors beyond imagining that befell them...

Plot - 4/5 Stars

American Monsters has one of the most endearing beginnings I've ever read. With action, comedy, and envious exhilaration, Landy sucks the reader in, giving them laughs, excitement and an unquenchable need to read on. It's superb. I will admit that, the story in its entirety, feels a little rushed. The story has a knack of jumping from one plot to another out of the blue, creating a little disjoint. The author does manage to pull most of it together, but there are some lines of plot that go unresolved.

But it doesn't impact the novel in any major way. When the random stories are this good, it's hard to muster the care to, well, care.

This fitting finale also meddles with some mesmerising mysticism, milking the supernatural and its mythology for all it's worth. It's a thrilling and often tantalising tale that never bores. Twists and turns mark the road as we adventure with the cast, some which will no doubt have you screaming in joy or absolute heartbreak.

A good, satisfying end answers most questions and leaves on a hopeful, if unclear, note. I'd say, if the author ever feels like returning, the door is more than open and I'll be readily waiting.

Pace - 4.5/5 Stars

Despite some of the plot feeling random and like fluff, American Monsters' flow is fast and fun. It's never too long before some action-packed event kicks off or some wicked, soul-destroying surprise pops up. Exposition is mostly worked into the dialogue, which I love; it keeps the story moving while also being crystal clear about its intentions. And the cast of rogues you travel with only heighten the experience by being individuals you want to travel with.

Characters - 4.5/5 Stars

The Demon Road Trilogy as a whole has a fascinating, multifaceted cast with sizzling chemistry. With demons, devils, and depravity, it's hard to go wrong, especially when an author can inject so many different kinds of sass and passion into each individual. Characters are clearly visualised, and while not all of them receive in-depth development, their personalities are strong.

Our protagonist, Amber, is great. Witty, sassy, strong, she's someone you root for, even when she makes some morally questionable choices. There is an air of petulance to her in this entry, and sometimes she can be a little on the cruel side, but it would be hard not to be after everything she's been through. Her chemistry with Milo is still one of the best aspects in this entry, and as they road trip across America fighting the forces of darkness (or being the forces of darkness), you can't help but fall in love with them.

Characters like Glen, Kelly, Amber's parents etc. also shine with their respective personalities. And imbued with Landy's wit and charm, whether good or bad, you adore each and every one of them.

Writing - 4.5/5 Stars

Landy excels at comedy and action. These two aspects are always perfect, at least where this trilogy is concerned. The hilarity is unreal and the fights range from fun little tussles to epic, life-or-death battles. Sentences and chapters flow fine and with no hiccups. Scenes are clear and described efficiently. 

A talented author that I will definitely be picking more books from.

Overall - 4.5/5 Stars

I'm gonna need to find another supernaturally charged road trip story, because this trilogy rocks at it. I have the taste, and now I want more!

Previous Instalment: Desolation

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