Monday 9 May 2016

The Monstrous Child, Francesca Simon

Pages: 295
Publisher: Faber
Release Date: 5th May 2016
Edition: UK proof, review copy

Other Titles by this Author: Horrid Henry series

‘Unfortunately. A word bound to me with iron fetters.’

Meet Hel, the Queen of the Dead. Daughter of a giantess and a god. Sister to Fenrir the wolf and Jormungand the snake.

This is her testament.

She didn’t always hate everything. Read it and laugh, read it and weep, read it and be warned! Hel does not ask for your pity. But she demands that you listen…

She never wanted to be queen.

As soon as I heard about The Monstrous Child I knew I needed to read it.

I loved the Norse mythology in this book. My knowledge of it is really basic so it was extremely cool to see the eternal battle between the gods and giants. The cruelty and power of the gods was shown to its full and I loved learning about the rivalries and pettiness.

And Hel’s reaction to being made the Queen of Hel was so brilliant. She’s angry and sarcastic, her remarks are darkly funny and wonderfully dry – I loved pretty much everything that came out of her mouth. Her narration is so beautiful and lyrical and the whole novel is just gorgeously written. It was a pleasure to read. And yet I felt no connection with her or the story. I just wanted to finish it, even though I enjoyed it while I was reading.

I loved the writing and the mythology, but my disconnection with the story means that I wasn’t 100% on board.

Thanks to Faber for the review copy.


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