Saturday, 16 January 2010

Review: Monster Republic - The Divinity Project by Ben Horton

Publisher: Corgi
Format: Paperback
Released: January 1st, 2010
Grade rating: C

Amazon summary:

An explosion in a nuclear power plant. Kids patched up with scavenged body parts and bionic implants. A growing army of superhuman soldiers programmed for destruction. 'No', whispered Cameron to the monster in the glass. And he watched it shaking its hideous head. 'That's not me. You're not me'.


I was pretty excited when I heard that this book was like Terminator meets X-Men. What a premise! Luckily, Monster Republic delivered the non-stop action promised, and moved along at a very quick speed. As a bonus, Random House have included a few pages of art at the back, which made imagining the characters and settings that much easier.

Cameron is a normal teenage boy, with the usual mix of secondary school friends, and the hots for a girl in his year. He's not a character that stood out to me at first, but all that changed when he woke up after surviving an explosion at a power plant. He became a leader, a warrior, and someone to be feared. Cameron's new life as part-machine, part-boy struck me as a metaphor for growing up, with his new responsibilities and decision making teaching him some valuable life lessons.

Rora, a fellow member of the Monster Republic for rejects, is a good match for Cameron, and takes him under her wing. She comes across as the leader of the group, and risks a lot when she decides to trust Cameron. Carla, a mish-mash of machine parts and students, plays the main villain well, even though she coincidentally always turns up at the right place at the right time.

Monster Republic didn't hook me immediately, and it took me quite a while to warm to it. I felt detached from most of the characters, which I think is down to me not being able to easily empathise with their situation. I did enjoy all the action scenes, and the story itself was fantastic, but for me it just had that special ingredient missing.


Becky said...

Oh what a shame that it was lacking the magic. It still sounds like an action packed read though so I shall certainly read it. Great review and I'm thinking that your grading system is very effective.

Luisa at Chicklish said...

Thanks for a great review - it's so helpful as I know just who to recommend this book to! I'll get recommending. Thanks!

Lauren said...

Very interesting review. I like when art is included if it adds to the experience. I've read some good reviews of this too, and I'll still read it because the story is the kind of thing I usually like - but that magic ingredient is important to me too. Will save this one for when I'm in the mood for some serious action, I think!

Jill of The O.W.L. said...

Thanks for the review! I've seen the book around but no reviews yet. Glad I know more about it.

McKenzie said...

Good review. I hadn't been especially interested in this book, but I think I would've picked it up if it had gotten great reviews.

Anonymous said...

this is bogus, this is the best book I've ever read and should be read by everyone