Monday, December 20, 2021

No Gods, No Monsters - Cadwell Turnbull

Summary: One October morning, Laina gets the news that her brother was shot and killed by Boston cops. But what looks like a case of police brutality soon reveals something much stranger. Monsters are real. And they want everyone to know it.

As creatures from myth and legend come out of the shadows, seeking safety through visibility, their emergence sets off a chain of seemingly unrelated events. Members of a local werewolf pack are threatened into silence. A professor follows a missing friend’s trail of bread crumbs to a mysterious secret society. And a young boy with unique abilities seeks refuge in a pro-monster organization with secrets of its own. Meanwhile, more people start disappearing, suicides and hate crimes increase, and protests erupt globally, both for and against the monsters.

At the center is a mystery no one thinks to ask: Why now? What has frightened the monsters out of the dark?

The world will soon find out. (Summary and pic from

My Review: You know what is refreshing? A male author writing about fantasy characters. No really. Hear me out. There is something to be said for a different viewpoint on things we’ve already read about. Wolves? I’ve read about that. Some of them cavort with vampires. Dragons? Shapeshifters? Smoke? All of this has been done by female and male authors alike, but I really did appreciate a new viewpoint on the normal story of fantasy-creature-in-the-real-world-trying-to-find-their-way. Most recently, I read A Chorus Rises about mermaids and sirens, and that type of book has a totally different feel than this one. Instead of the focus on beauty and popularity, Turnbull takes us down a fantasy lane of darkness, confusion, and a fight for freedom between those who are monsters and those who are not. There was room for social discussion and room for fantastical happens.

This book takes place with differing viewpoints and different time periods, but the creatures coincide. This gave the reader different looks at how each of the creatures was dealing with different issues that arose from their monster coming out. Some families were supportive, some were not so much, and there was always the underlying current of a rich fantastical life that we have been given a glimpse of.

While reading this book I looked it up on Goodreads and it indicates that it is the first in the series. This makes a lot of sense because my main complaint about this book is that there is not a lot of cohesion in the story. Yes, there is excitement and yes, there is stuff going on, but there didn’t seem to be a cohesive thread that tied everybody together in a common cause. They existed and they knew each other, and they had a common cause to rally for, but story spent very little time fostering and building this up. It very much seemed an origin story-type installment, and I’m expecting that the next books will fill in with a common cause and a common storyline that will address my complaint.

If you’re into monsters, or fantastical beings, and are looking for something a little darker and more “grown up” than, say, sparkly vampires, you should check out this book. It’s well-written and a quick read, with some interesting ideas and pertinent social discussion.

My Rating: 3 Stars

For the sensitive reader: There is language and some violence in this book.

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