Book Review: The Monster of Elendhaven

The Monster of Elendhaven by Jennifer Giesbrecht
Published by Tor.com on September 24th 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Horror, Novella, Queer
Pages: 160
Format: Hardcover
Goodreads

Rating: 4 out of 5.

“He tried to decide later what he was: Johann the Thing. Johann the Demon of Elendhaven. Devil Johann, Johann the Black, Oil-Dark Johann. Monster was the best, his favorite word. The first half was a kiss, the second a hiss. He repeated it to himself again and again: Monster Johann. Monster, Monster, Monster.”

This is definitely a novella with bite. Reading The Monster of Elendhaven is not for the faint of heart. Johann, the aforementioned Monster, is not a good person by any stretch of the imagination. And neither is the Sorcerer who he becomes entangled with.

This is a dark and tense story that weaves together revenge and murder and obsession with lush writing and gallows humor.

“Power was sweeter than apples. It was cheaper than water, and sustained the soul twice as well. If Johann was going to be a Thing with a name, then from now on he would be a Thing with power, too.”


About the book


The city of Elendhaven sulks on the edge of the ocean. Wracked by plague, abandoned by the South, stripped of industry and left to die. But not everything dies so easily. A thing without a name stalks the city, a thing shaped like a man, with a dark heart and long pale fingers yearning to wrap around throats. A monster who cannot die. His frail master sends him out on errands, twisting him with magic, crafting a plan too cruel to name, while the monster’s heart grows fonder and colder and more cunning.

These monsters of Elendhaven will have their revenge on everyone who wronged the city, even if they have to burn the world to do it.


Content Warnings:


Rape, violence, murder, physical abuse, sexual assault, toxic relationships, gore, blood, self harm, child abuse, child sexual assault, child death, sexual violence, emotional abuse, suicide attempts, grief, pedophilia, implied sexual content, suicidal thoughts, body horror, gun violence, implied incest, cursing, and death by a plague.

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