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Monsterland, by Michael Okon - 5 Stars

Mythical monsters in a modern theme-park-gone-wrong? This must be a suspension of disbelief story. As with Disneyland, Universal Studios and the history of roller coasters, making the thrill bigger and better is always the showman’s aim, so what on Earth could possibly top this?

You can peer into Monsterland at multiple levels but it’s hard to avoid the abstract school playground question of “Who would win in a fight between a werewolf, a zombie and a vampire?” In the movie Pirates, the same debate arises as “Who would win a fight between a shark and a Dracula?” I know that’s puerile but this is also a coming of age and turning adult story, so that discussion from these characters is valid in the opening chapter. Part one of the story is also characterised by the scene where a girl likes a boy and he doesn’t know what to do about it. In part two, the boy is shaken out of his immature world and changes into an adult, at last finding a way to say what he’s feeling.

As none of the three my…

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All my 102 book reviews from 2017 in one place!

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