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.
Cameron Riley is about to discover that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger…
Monster Republic is a good beginning to a series. We’re introduced right away to Dr. Fry, and find out that not all is well with his Divinity Project (the Prime Minister himself is unhappy). We next meet our protagonist, Cameron, on the day he dies in an explosion at a nuclear power plant. What follows is a fast paced ride as Cameron wakes up a monster, is broken out of Doctor Fry’s laboratory and joins the Monster Republic – a gathering of all Doctor Fry’s rejects. Cameron is immediately caught up in trying to thwart Doctor Fry’s plans, find out what happened to his girlfriend Marie and learn to get along within the Republic.
The plot is incredibly intriguing and well thought out. Ben Horton has kept in mind the little details and still manages to make the storyline flow well and keep an interesting and attention-catching pace. The action sequences were really well done and well-planned. While a beginning to a planned series, the book still had a problem that had to be solved, creating harmony in some things and yet more problems for the Monster Republic in others.
I wasn’t a crazy fan of Horton’s writing style – I found it a little simplistic (even keeping in mind the book’s targeted age group). As for characters, I grew completely attached to Cameron and felt that I knew his motives and personality pretty well. On the other hand, I didn’t really get a good sense of the others (except maybe Rora, whom we do learn a little backstory for), but I’m assuming we’ll see more character development as the series progresses.
Overall, Monster Republic was an interesting and well-done introduction to a promising new series, and a great debut novel.
* Since I’m neither from the US or the UK, I figured this book counts (especially since it’s not only listed on amazon.co.uk but amazon.com as well). Published January 1, 2010.