Review of Making Monsters

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Review of Making Monsters

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[Following is an official review of "Making Monsters" by AJ Parnell & Chuck Duncan.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Making Monsters: Dark Origins has, at its center, the life of a young boy, Vander Masozi, who finds himself in the middle of a series of events that his young mind struggles to make sense of because of his abilities and lot in life.

Vander lives with his lazy, abusive, alcoholic father and a mentally defeated mother in a crumbling shanty in the slums of Cape Town. He struggles to provide food and sustenance for his family to prevent his father from abusing him and his mother. All this while, he struggles with a scary supernatural gift that gives him access to a terrifying world where he strangely finds reprieve.

The authors, AJ Parnell and Chuck Duncan, assign each chapter of the book with titles that provide scintillating insights into what the reader should expect. The chapters are concise, making the book relatively easy to read. The book contains graphic imagery of death, violence, and abuse that some readers may find unsettling.

The authors give us, piece by piece, stories of characters as they slowly introduce them. Through this process, readers take part in the journey, trying to piece the stories together and find the connection between these characters. Readers, of course, will find this very exciting. The book makes for a fascinating read, and readers may not be able to put it down till the very end.

I must say that this book is quite tragic and deals with a lot of grave themes. The authors take readers through many discomforting graphic details of death and abuse as seen through the life of a nine-year-old boy. Whether this is to create a sharp contrast with the truth of Vander’s life and the innocence that should have been the reality of such a young child is uncertain. Yet, they create the dreamy fantasies of children in Vander’s belief that he will one day escape his life.

In addressing domestic violence and abuse, the authors present Vander’s mum, Amahle. Readers may find themselves asking the same frustrating questions that we constantly ask about women in abusive marriages: why stay? The disappointing answer to this question will probably indicate the inefficiency with which national governments and international human rights agencies have treated the structures for handling such matters.

The authors subtly touch on the age-long gender bias. This is evident in how Kgotso, a local lieutenant, disregards detective Erin Reese and is offended that a woman will even have the guts to work as a law enforcement agent. As weird as this sounds in the 21st century, these scenarios still play out repeatedly.

The authors even bring in racism with the comments on how white authorities might not have bothered to send investigators had the victims of the murders been only blacks. They also hint at the corruption and degradation of professionalism and justice in the law enforcement agencies in South Africa. On the flip side, African readers may find themselves on the defensive while reading Making Monsters: Dark Origins. This will probably be in reaction to Africa being painted in a bad light.

This book presents many disturbing messages that not all classes of readers may be able to handle. From death, murders, abuse, racism, gender discrimination, sexual perversion, and poverty to mental ailment and religious compromises; Making Monsters: Dark Origins will task readers to question their trust in humanity and in the systems that exist.

By the end of the book, readers will be faced with an even more disturbing introspection — rationalizing evil in a person with the good that can be found in them. In this book that uses a different class of ‘monster’ to chase another, readers may feel guilty catching themselves admiring the twisted work of ‘the sculptor,’ a violent killer.

For delivering intrigue, suspense, mystery, emotions, and thrill, readers of mystery will find the intricacies of the book’s plot satisfying. I recommend this book to rational minds, not only for the thrill it provides but also for the many disturbing truths about our reality that it brings to the fore. I rate this book four out of four stars. While I didn’t have any issues with the book, its content may be unsettling for some readers.

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Post by Omark »

I must say this is the best review I have read from here.i like the emotional thriller like sounds great with full of interesting adventure.thank you
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marta baglioni
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Post by marta baglioni »

The best books are the ones that make you question your morality. I like that the story has many points of reflection. This is honestly such an amazing review. I'm adding this to my shelf ;)
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Post by Adaeze Joan »

Quite fascinating. At such a young age, Vander too up the responsibility of caring for his family while struggling with abilities that he was yet to understand. I would really love to read this book. Thanks for the wonderful review.
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Ellie Mitchell
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Post by Ellie Mitchell »

This sounds like a dark, gritty tale, which highlights various social issues. This, along with the slow reveal of characters and their connections to one-another, gives me the impression that I would enjoy reading this book. Thank you for such an in depth review.
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Post by Amy Luman »

It may be difficult for me to read this novel, but I think I’ll give it a try. All forms of discrimination make me cringe.
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Sou Hi
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Post by Sou Hi »

Thanks for your wonderful review. Looks like Vander has it tough, from the abusive father to the terrible supernatural ability he possesses. This sounds like a book I would want to read, as I want to see how the little boy can handle what life throws at him.
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Post by Snigdha Pandey »

It sounds like a great book. I love supernatural books. Though I'm not sure if I'm up for dealing with tragedy right now, I would definitely like to read the book sometime.
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Post by derialist »

The thing that I like about this book from the review is how the themes force the reader to face the dark truths regarding humanity. It's nice to read books about eutopian civilizations, but it can be equally refreshing to read stories that are familiar to our realities. Great job on the review! I'd love to read this.
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Post by NetMassimo »

This seems like an intriguing thriller with a terrific story and a dig into human nature, with its flaws and dark sides that still plague our society. Thank you for your great review!
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Post by Masa1 »

This book seems really interesting and deep, it’s gave me dark themed and vibes, I really like that kind of books, and your review made it sound like a must to read book, so I’m definitely going to read this book.
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Post by Rose Popie »

Thank you for an informative review. I will pass on this book because of its discomforting graphic details of death and abuse. Also, domestic violence is a very sensitive subject for me.
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Post by Ferdinand_Otieno »

This is an interesting psychological thriller novel highlighting a unique protagonist, death violence, domestic abuse, alcoholism, and supernatural abilities. The book is temporarily Free on Amazon Kindle and has an inciteful OnlineBookClub review. Congrats on the BOTD selection.
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Post by Katelyn Townsend 1 »

Despite the abundance of dark themes throughout Making Monsters, including graphic depictions of death and domestic violence, it's a thrilling story told from a nine-year-old's perspective. It will make you question your own decisions in life. Making Monsters is a worthy book of the day!
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Post by Mapalo Chipungu »

Vander is inspirational, even in the darkest of times, be the light and progress, good review
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