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Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes

Broken Monsters (edition 2014)

by Lauren Beukes

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9478714,434 (3.66)60
Detective Gabriella Versado investigates after disturbing displays that fuse the bodies of murder victims with those of animals are uncovered in abandoned Detroit buildings.
Title:Broken Monsters
Authors:Lauren Beukes
Info:Mulholland Books (2014), Hardcover, 448 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes

  1. 31
    The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes (queencersei)
  2. 10
    Bird Box by Josh Malerman (sturlington)
    sturlington: Both set in Detroit.
  3. 10
    The Cipher by Kathe Koja (sturlington)
    sturlington: Urban decay and the thin spaces between realities.
  4. 00
    Grave Markings by Michael A. Arnzen (WhatUsername)
    WhatUsername: Decaying city scape, role of the artist, journalists down on their luck
  5. 01
    Save Yourself: A Novel by Kelly Braffet (bibliovermis)

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» See also 60 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 86 (next | show all)
Read all my reviews on http://urlphantomhive.booklikes.com

I'd read The shining girls but the book didn't blow me away. I liked the writing well enough, but was left with too many questions about the time travel to really care. The lack of any likeable character probably didn't help either.

But, I wanted to give it another go and see if reading this book faster would help me enjoy it more. And for a time I thought it did.

Set in Detroit, quite possibly one of the most depressing places in the United States, a new monstrous serial killer is setting up his crazy tableaux. The novel follows a great number of persons during the catch for the killer, like a wannabe-reporter, a detective and her daughter.

First, I had some troubles adjusting to all the different POVs. It wasn't always clear which POV I was reading at a given time. After a while it no longer bothered me and I really enjoyed reading it (more than The Shining Girls) even though it was 'just' another crime novel and didn't deal with time travel. Once again I liked her writing, it also fitted perfect to display the state of Detroit, I think.

But near the end things got weird. It got a paranormal twist that - in my opinion - really wasn't necessary and I could have done well without it. I would have enjoyed it better had it just stayed a normal investigation. Now I not sure what I think of the complete book any more...

Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review! ( )
  Floratina | Dec 7, 2019 |
Imagine that you have read 440 pages of a fairly authentically gritty police procedural -the various story threads are coming together, the freaky serial killer is gearing up for his final freaky showpiece, and the cops are closing in. Omg the excitement!!!!

And then, completely out of the blue and totally unannounced, these unicorn-riding pixies just show up and take over. Fairy dust. It's really hard to get out of your hair. You know what else is hard to get out of your hair? An elephant. So think seriously before you consider sticking one in there. Over-accessorising is just unnecessary. Try saying that 10 times fast!! And now I'm just writing anything that comes into my head because it seems I only actually had half an idea for this book -whoops, I mean review - but I'm going to finish it anyway. Oh won't somebody please think of the children?!

( )
1 vote Layla.Natasha | Nov 10, 2019 |
an epic masterpiece of ultramodern dark urban fantasy ( )
  bunnyhero | Oct 11, 2019 |
Clever and disturbing. ( )
  RekhainBC | Feb 15, 2019 |
Broken Monsters is a bit difficult to define. It reads a lot like a police procedural, but without some of the typical tropes. There are fantasy/horror elements also, but they’re in the background throughout most of the book. I liked the writing style, but I was only moderately interested in the story through the first half. Halfway through, I became much more interested.

The book opens up with Detective Gabi on the scene of a newly discovered dead body. Or bodies. It’s not quite your typical murder. This is revealed on page 3, so I don’t consider it a spoiler, but I’m going to put it in spoiler tags for the sake of anybody who doesn’t want to read a description of a dead body. Or bodies. The “body” is the top half of a ten-year-old boy attached to the lower half of a deer. It’s not really a mystery though, because we’re introduced to the killer pretty early. We slowly learn his motive, which is where the real mystery is. The story is told from a variety of POVs, and most of their individual stories don’t seem very related at first, but of course they all eventually connect into the main storyline. Some of those characters were more interesting than others, and one of them (Jonno) was really, really annoying. It was after all the threads started connecting that I became more interested in the story.

The writing style is slightly terse, but not as dramatically terse as I’ve often seen in other police-procedural-type stories. The detective is happily not much of a stereotype either. For one, she’s a female. She’s neither an alcoholic nor a walking chimney. Although she is divorced, she has a teenage daughter who lives with her. She isn’t pursuing a case she’s been told to drop; everybody else wants the case solved too. I actually liked her character pretty well and her chapters were some of the ones I found more interesting.

There are some gruesome things described in this book, and some people might have trouble with it, but this isn’t a book where the gore is described in loving detail. It was described just enough for the reader’s imagination to run with it, and I didn’t feel like anything was gratuitous. The ending was a bit weird, but not so weird that I lost interest and couldn’t buy into it. There was a little bit left unexplained, with the tiniest hint of “is it really over?”, but it wasn’t too bad on either count.

During the first half of the book, I would have rated this at 3 stars. I enjoyed the second half at a 4-star level. I’m therefore going to give this 3.5 stars and round up to 4 on Goodreads. ( )
2 vote YouKneeK | Dec 6, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 86 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lauren Beukesprimary authorall editionscalculated
Hayes, KeithCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shields, RossCover photographssecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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