Author: Jesse Petersen
Genre: supernatural fiction
Series: Monstrosity #2
Published: expected July 29 2013
Source: publishers via edelweiss
As one of Frankenstein’s Creatures, Natalie Gray knows that unique parts sometimes make up a great whole. Still, leading a diverse support group for monsters—now including Cthulhu!—isn’t an easy task. Especially not since the internet arrived.
New York City embraces the different and the bizarre. Still, even for such a fun-loving city, the supernatural and monstrous might be a bit too much. It’s been six months since the members of “Club Monstrosity” overcame the most recent spate of anti-monster violence and they’ve reestablished their routine of meeting in a church basement once a week to (ugh!) talk about their feelings. Still, they also know a war against them is brewing.
Natalie and Alec (the werewolf) have begun dating, and the mummies Kai and Rehu are tighter than a bug in a…well, bandage. But when modern means (YouTube, Twitter, bits and bytes) are used to chilp away at the solidarity of these ancient monsters, it’s up to Natalie to save the day. #MonstersInNewYork may be trending on Twitter, but this girl’s trending toward saving the day…somehow.
Jesse Petersen's Monstrosity series is turning out to be a collection of very quick, very amusing, very clever supernatural books. With The Monsters in Your Neighborhood, the sequel to Club Monstrosity, Petersen is two for two in these stories featuring classic monsters in the modern-day setting of New York. With the same humor and wit that marked the first novel. this is a return to form. A done-in-one-sitting read, Natalie and her misfit crew (with some new additions!) are sent to solve a new mystery, while simultaneously protecting themselves from the new threats that face them.
Still in third person, the POVs of Natalie and Alec are used to narrate the story. Six months after their escapade and near-reveals to the world during the events of the first book, a new monster (a "Cthulhu" named Pat) has joined the ranks, as well as Rehu, Kai's on-again-off-again mummy boyfriend playing a more prominent part. Wrestling with a twitter and video threat, as well as with the ongoing search for Hyde, the group finds itself strained and tested in new ways. Old alliances are broken, relationships are tested, and secrets are revealed - all with a bit of humor and a dash of cleverness, mixed in with the unexpected. Petersen takes some interesting risks with her story, but it all pans out quite well by the end.
One of the things I enjoy about these novels can also work against it in a way. These books are quite short, and while that makes for a quick, entertaining read, it can make both the plot and the final denouement a bit hampered. These are mysteries meant to be wrapped up in under 250 pages, so some of the suspense and drama can be lost in the rush to get to end. It all comes together a bit easily, and the final reveal of the antagonists doesn't quite pack the punch the author intended.
That said, The Monsters in Your Neighborhood is still a fun and clever mystery. Alec really steps up as a character, Natalie undergoes some unique struggles and emerges a stronger character, all the betterment of the series. The books ends with some loose ends and obvious chances for sequels, so I hope to see more from Natalie, Pat, Linda, Alec, Kai, Rehu, and yes, even Hyde, in the near future.