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Mr. Monster (John Cleaver) Paperback – September 28, 2010
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From School Library Journal
Gr 10 Up–This follow-up to Wells's I Am Not a Serial Killer (Tor, 2010) revisits Clayton County and its resident teenaged sociopath, John Wayne Cleaver, who in the earlier book saved his town from the vicious “Clayton Killer.” Only John's mortician mother knows the disturbing circumstances surrounding the ultimate demise of Mr. Crowley, serial killer and demon, at the hands of her son. Unfortunately, John's involvement jump-started an already-urgent desire to kill. In a valiant attempt at normalcy, he is able to keep it at bay with strict personal rules and pyromania as a release. But now “Mr. Monster” has tasted blood and wants more. New bodies, brutally tortured, turn up courtesy of Clayton's latest supernatural serial killer, who is curious about fellow demon Crowley's fate. Will “Mr. Monster” be satisfied if John defeats this mysterious new demon? Or will both demon and bloodlust destroy John just when he's managed something akin to a social life? Wells's grisly and cleverly narrated sequel explains just enough for new readers to jump right in, but fans will likely search out the first book and anticipate the third. Intelligent, self-aware, observant, John is a unique protagonist who inspires fear or sympathy at any given moment. His battle for control over his own violent nature manages to trump the external demon dangers, which–in this compelling, quick-paced, and chilling read–is a definite feat.–Danielle Serra, Cliffside Park Public Library, NJα(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
“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
Top customer reviews
MINOR SPOILER ALERT:
In the first book in this trilogy, John fights and kills a demon disguised as a serial killer terrorizing his small town. Well, now someone is back in Clayton, torturing and murdering young women. Is it your run-of-the-mill serial killer or could it possibly be another demon?
This series is told in first person point-so of-view, the reader gets to feel the full impact of John's fight against the dark yearnings of his own personality - from Mr. Monster within him.
I actually would have preferred that there not be a supernatural side to this trilogy. John's fight with himself is quite scary enough. But the story is well told and I am enjoying it.
NOTE: Just because there is a teenage protagonist, this is NOT a Young Adult book. There are many scenes of graphic violence throughout the story.
I am now off to read book three in the trilogy I Don't Want to Kill You.
The second book in the John Wayne Cleaver series picks up right after the first, I Am Not A Serial Killer (John Cleaver), leaves off. John is a teenage sociopath, convinced he has all the makings of becoming a serial killer, but managing to keep all the tendencies bottled up behind walls. He actively works to keep what he calls Mr. Monster, the killer inside, hidden, appeased and locked away from a situation where he might get out and lead John to actually injure someone. But Mr. Monster has his uses, as he helps John face down and overcome a real serial killer at the end of the first book. The problem is, Mr. Monster is not satisfied and now wants to kill again. Can John get the beast within back under control?
Adding to the pressure is a nosy FBI agent who is still in the small town of Clayton, trying to solve the last serial killer case. The agent keeps asking a lot of questions of John, who is desperate to keep all his secrets, but driven by a curiosity to know more about a new series of murders in town. The agent keeps feeding him tidbits to keep him coming back, while laying traps to find out the truth of what happened. Can John keep the agent from learning all the secrets without having him believe he is somehow involved with the killings? And how to handle the cutest girl in school who suddenly likes him and considers him a hero and knight protector. There are a lot of twists and turns for this teen who is trying to protect his small town from evil without becoming evil himself.
The story, while pulling no punches in the horror department, is so engaging, it is all I could do to not read it in one sitting. Dan Wells is a fantastic writer and does an excellent job of pulling the reader in and spinning a good story. I enjoy his characterizations and how he dives inside the human mind. While more light hearted than the Alex Cross novels by James Patterson (Yes, I have read a couple. Couldn't sleep for a week, thank you.), the series is targeted at teens. Just gross enough to get the attention, but interesting in how he presents John as a character with which to identify. It is easy to see real teens thinking like him. I keep expecting John to snap out of his belief he is serial killer potential. I have high hopes for the next book. Yes, it is downloading to my Kindle right now. I just can't stop myself.
If you liked the first book, you will like this one, too. And actually, if you liked the first half of the first book, but hated the twist and the end, then you should still like this one, too.
Rather than focus on the supernatural aspects that popped into the series in the last book, Wells spends the majority of this novel watching John Cleaver (our hero?) cope with life at home, at school, at the morgue, and beyond. And what a fascinating life he leads. Even though there are supernatural elements in this novel, they are downplayed almost to the point that they disappear amidst all the torture and terribleness that normally comes with a book about serial killers. Even more than the last novel, the emphasis on John Cleaver’s daily mental struggles create a character of great depth that takes the reader over the entire emotional spectrum - a rather impressive feat considering sociopaths have significant issues the whole “emotions” thing.
Only one book left. Who will die next?
Most recent customer reviews
You see, John has unnatural urges.Read more