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Mr. Monster (John Cleaver) Paperback – September 28, 2010
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“An intense, riveting, gut-wrenching dive into the dark world of the demons within us. Let your own inner monster free and immerse yourself in this dark, page-turning adventure.” ―Elitist Book Reviews on I Am Not a Serial Killer
“This dazzling, unputdownable debut novel proves beyond a doubt that Dan Wells has the gift. His teenage protagonist is as chilling as he is endearing. More John Wayne Cleaver, please.” ―F. Paul Wilson on I Am Not a Serial Killer
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Top Customer Reviews
Yes, John Wayne Cleaver is back, dark humor intact even if his grasp on Mr. Monster is not. In his first outing, I Am Not A Serial Killer, we learned that fifteen-year-old John had been diagnosed by his therapist as a sociopath, and self-diagnosed as a (potential) serial killer. The dark side of John's psyche, which he calls Mr. Monster, is always just below the surface, struggling to escape while John tries desperately to keep it under wraps. That struggle became decidedly more difficult after John confronted and killed a serial killer who was stalking his town in I Am Not A Serial Killer... Mr. Monster's now had a taste of what he wants.
As if trying to keep your homicidal impulses under control isn't enough for a teenager to deal with, Mr. Monster finds John juggling a host of additional challenges: a mother who knows "what" John is but refuses to discuss it; an absent father; an older sister in an abusive relationship (boy does Mr. Monster want a piece of that guy); and an attempted first romance (made extremely awkward by the violent thoughts Mr. Monster has about the object of John's attention). Oh, there are also the horribly tortured dead bodies that start turning up around town, and the FBI agent who seems a little too interested in John's thoughts on the murders.
Mr. Monster is told from John's point of view, as was I Am Not A Serial Killer, that first-person narrative being absolutely crucial for the reader to be privy to the war raging in John between his desire to be normal and Mr. Monster's desire to be set free.Read more ›
I enjoyed the first one but I liked this one more. Dan Well's story was excellent, and makes you really care about the protagonist. Mr. Monster is darker than its predecessor, and there are a few scenes where you are find yourself cringing and saying "Oh, John, don't do THAT!" But then he goes and does it, and you're surprised to find that you care about the character's struggle even more.
I can't comment on the ending without giving any spoilers, but it ended on a note that set up the last book in the series perfectly, and it was simply awesome.
-Larry Correia, author of Monster Hunter International
As someone who's always been a little fascinated with serial killers (I've stopped reading the true crime genre but still enjoy thrillers), John is an interesting anti-hero: he wants to be good, but he has to fight himself for the privilege, and he doesn't have any of the usual rewards for being good that the rest of the populace have since he doesn't have positive emotions. We see his anger and fear reactions later in the book, but he really doesn't experience love or other positive emotions like most people do.
John's war with Mr. Monster, as well as his interactions with other characters (his mother, aunt, sister, first crush, other kids at school, and an FBI agent he talks to about the murders occurring in town) reveal a lot about his mental state. Wells has done a brilliant job capturing not only a young mind, but a young sociopathic mind in turmoil. Well done!
Not surprisingly, whenever I describe these books to people, most people say something like, "Sounds kind of like Dexter." There are definitely similarities between the two. Both of them are disturbingly likeable characters. But while Dexter gives in regularly to his "dark passenger" by killing pedophiles and others who he rationalizes are deserving of his skills, John is trying to maintain his tenuous control over his "Mr. Monster," hoping to never begin killing. He sees a therapist regularly and has devised a list of rules that he forces himself follow which he feels will prevent him from ever starting down that road.
Mr. Monster picks up a couple of months after its predecessor left off and I wouldn't recommend reading it without first having read the other. I think Dan Wells is an author whose popularity is going to grow if he continues to write books as interesting and entertaining as these two have been.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Who is John?
These passages from the book will tell you exactly who he is. A teenage divided between what is good and what is bad.
“My name is Johnny Cleaver. Read more
This is the second book in the series. I absolutely LOVED it. I accidentally read this one before the first one, but it was still amazing. I highly recommend this book. Read morePublished 28 days ago by Sara
This is my favorite of the first trilogy and now I'm enjoying the begining of the second trilogy.
Great author, long live Dan LOL
Book bought used & came in great condition. I've already owned this book previously and I love the series.Published 2 months ago by ImaMom
"Don't take it."
This moment officially put Dan Wells into Genius Category for me, and the more I think about how he built it up, the more I start to geek out. Read more
This book, the sequel to “I Am Not a Serial Killer” by Dan Wells, was certainly an interesting read, though it took a little while to get going. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Katy Wood
Awesome book. I am on the third one now and they get better as you go.Published 5 months ago by Tim Daly
I know a really good way to stop yourself from being a homicidal sadist--therapy, medication or self-commitment. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Jean Lawrence