Sunday, April 20, 2014

REVIEW: The Monster Within

Burnt Mountain 1:
The Monster Within
By Cheryl Campbell

Genre: Fantasy, Middle School
Publication date: 8.2.2013
Pages: 305
Amazon link:  The Monster Within

Date read: 4.20.2014
Recommended by: Read 2 Review

Summary: The Tuars are a carnivorous race of warriors battling for supremacy in a world hidden beneath the mountains of rural Maine. Rio, a thirteen year old girl, stumbles into this savage world and discovers she has a special gift which might save her and her mother. Will she learn to control her new power in time? Or will Rio’s life end under Burnt Mountain?

My thoughts

What could be worse than reliving a horrible nightmare from your past?  Knowing your child (or, in this case, your niece that you adopted after the death of your sister/her mother) and her two friends are lost in this hell and you have to save them.  That is what has happened to Emma.  She isn't alone, though - the twins' father is with her.  Can they find Rio, Sebastian and Colby before the creatures do?

This is a scary and exciting adventure - creatures they know nothing about, a realm they've never knew existed, your worst fears coming to life (can you name yours?  how would you react if you were suddenly physically confronted by them?) - and so much more.  There were some moments when, in all honesty, I was scared that the characters wouldn't make it.  Well done, Cheryl, well done.

There are two things I want to point out, though.  First, there are some editing issues with this book.  I did not count this toward my star rating, but the author should take a look at this.  Also, it gets somewhat confusing when they go back and forth between calling Emma Rio's mom and Rio's aunt.  The first two chapters, I had to reread several paragraphs to make sure I was reading about the right person.  Could be just me, though.

Favorite characters: The kids (Rio, Colby and Sebas).  I also really liked Toby, their dog. 

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