broken monsters

broken monsters//wanderaven

Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes

The cover above (the Australian edition of Broken Monsters) could perhaps be considered a bit of a spoiler (but not significantly so, given the incident that happens in the first chapter), but I find it one of the more beautiful (and creepy) covers I've seen in a long time.

And it's perfectly representative of the story you'll discover behind it.

Set in Detroit, the narrative touches on the city's physical and financial ruin, and the attempts at artistic and social renewals.

broken monsters (lauren beukes)//wanderaven

When I first began reading Broken, I saw reviews referencing it to be a novel with supernatural elements and I spent much of the book feeling skeptical about the strength of this (for much of the time, everything that is happening could be construed as an internal, detached monologue of the primary bad guy), but by the end, Beukes makes it clear that this is certainly a Novel with Supernatural Elements.

I've had some time, since finishing the book, to think about it and, strangely, it feels like maybe there's something lacking here for me. I say strangely because the truth is that I haven't been able to figure out what's missing. The characters are relatable (or despise-able), the story arc strong and compelling. I think it could be nothing more than that I either couldn't understand or couldn't identify a motivation behind the supernatural entity's actions. It's not that an entity needs a justifiable reason for being evil, of course, it's just that we are allowed some of the creature's thoughts, and so it seemed logical to my reading brain that those thoughts would be present as a way to explicate the reasons why everything happens.

Also, everything abut this book indicated that I would stay stay up at night, scared by every little noise, while reading it... but I didn't. Don't take my representation of the experience as the final note, however, as no one less than Stephen King called it "scary as hell".

My inexplicable less-than-standing-up-and-shouting-for-it response, though, ultimately doesn't make me less interested in Beukes' voice. I enjoyed The Shining Girls last year, and I'm absolutely enthusiastic for her tendency to take an already enticing mysterious thriller and embroider it with curling, singed supernatural edges.