08 November 2010

Books: Mr. Monster by Dan Wells (2010)

In this continuation, John Wayne Cleaver is still fighting the urge not to hurt people, not to kill. It's been nearly six months since the events of I Am Not A Serial Killer, and his town of Clayton County appears to be relaxing its fear, hoping the horrible events of last winter are finished. Of course, the truth of the matter is the Clayton Killer was a supernatural force, a demon. And John had killed it.

But John, tasting the power of death now believes the "only monster left is me- the dark side of me I call Mr. Monster." While John, who narrates, does not hear voices in his head, or suffer multiple personalities, he none the less thinks there is something there, a dark force existing in his body.

The Mr. Monster.

And he continues to keep to his rules, so that he doesn’t let the evil that is Mr. Monster, even at the potential costs to his mom, aunt and sister. And, his growing (and sometimes, disturbing) infatuation with neighbor girl Brooke.

But things appear to begin again, when dead bodies start popping up around town. The police have little clue, but sense that the Clayton Killer maybe back. But since John knows that demon is dead, he begins to suspect that another demon is out there, killing women. Soon John becomes convinced that this new killer is sending a message, a message that only he can understand.

This second book in what is starting out to be a very interesting series, is much better than the first, and Wells packs a lot of info into such a relatively short book (287pages), that you can't help but keep turning the pages. And like the first one, Mr. Monster has some quite disturbing and graphic descriptions, once again making me wonder why this book would be classified as Young Adult (though my company has them in the Mystery/Suspense section).

As noted in the first review back in June, the crossing of Dexter book series and Stephen King is interesting. The demons that John has encountered so far seem to emulate real human serial killers, at least in their mind set. This element keeps the two books from falling into some sort of parody of those two genres. Plus, Wells has created a fairly original and unique voice in John Cleaver.

There is a third book coming, and it appears John may have found an outlet for his Mr. Monster, as there appears to be many demons haunting the Earth.

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