ARC provided by the publisher—Tor.com—in exchange for an honest review.
This starts out promising but overall it’s really just not for me.
The Monster of Elendhaven by Jennifer Giesbrecht is a debut that I’ve heard great things about. It’s been advertised as a compelling dark fantasy about revenge, murder, and magician. For what its worth, it did started out that way; strongly atmospheric and dark. However, once the romance started, I found that the twisted relationship and unrealistic progression in their romance (though, maybe that’s kinda the point of the relationship) that constantly hangs in a weird status throughout the book became more of the main focus than everything else.
Excluding the fact that romance in fantasy rarely works for me, this one in my opinion just didn’t make any sense. The character’s voices were difficult to differentiate and I also can’t bring myself to care about them at all. The writing felt jarring to read and I really feel like everything about this book just felt lacking in developments due to the low number of pages. Finishing the novella, I still have no clue why the two main characters were in love with each other, if you can call it that; they lacked clear and believable motivations—again, maybe the characters being insane and lacking in real motivation is the actual point of the novel.
Before this book, I’ve just read one of the greatest conclusions to a trilogy; a series that has LGBT romance and diverse relationship developments done spectacularly well. Because of that, there’s a chance that I subconsciously compared the greatness of what I previously finished to this one. Overall, The Monster of Elendhaven isn’t for me. Take this review with a grain of salt, there are still three months left until its release date and a lot of people have loved it so much. I think mine is, in fact, the third non-positive review that this book has received on Goodreads and if this book has your attention already, don’t let my review steer you away from it because clearly, right now I’m definitely in the unpopular opinion side.
Official release date: September 24th, 2019
You can pre-order the book from: Book Depository (Free shipping)