After the Sickness has killed off her parents, and the bombs have fallen on the last safe cities, Monster emerges from the arctic vault which has kept her alive. When she washes up on the coast of Scotland, everyone she knows is dead, and she believes she is alone in an empty world.
Monster begins the long walk south, scavenging and learning the contours of this familiar land made new. Slowly, piece by piece, she begins to rebuild a life. Until, one day, she finds a girl: feral, and ready to be taught all that Monster knows. Changing her own name to Mother, Monster names the child after herself. As young Monster learns from Mother, she also discovers her own desires, realising that she wants very different things to the woman who made, but did not create, her.
Inspired by Robinson Crusoe and Frankenstein, My Name is Monster is a novel about power, about the things that society leaves imprinted on us when the rules no longer apply, and about the strength and the danger of a mother’s love.
Told entirely from a first person perspective it follows Monster as she journeys across country to find life, to find somewhere safe, somewhere she can belong in a world that is now devoid of all human life. Or so it seems until she comes across a young girl alone in a deserted city.
As Monster becomes Mother the young girl becomes Monster and the bond between the two begins. Having found a farm the two begin to rebuild a life that is self sufficient, living off the land, what they can grow and farm to survive adding to what they can find to scavenge from the city.
At times vague in detail it adds to Monsters seemingly incapacity for human relationships and her inner dialogues that are at times devoid of emotion. This is an unusual post apocalyptic end of the world novel, where there is only two lives through 99% of the book it explores the connections to each other, the world, the land and how we take for granted nearly everything we have in life and in each other.
Not the most action packed of novels this is a character driven story with a memorable protagonist in Monster, whom I am still unsure if I liked either Monsters! Brimming with atmosphere, it is one that you will read and remember what you have read long after the last page has been read.
Definitely a book that you need to read for yourselves as it is a hard book to review and I do think this book is like Marmite, you will either love it or hate it! And it so happens that I love Marmite 😀
Grab a copy now and try it for yourself!
A big thank you to the author Katie Hale, publishers Canongate and NetGalley for my copy of the book in exchange for an honest and independent review.