Monster by Nicole Wilkinson

Monster by Nicole Wilkinson
Publisher: Self-published
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Historical
Length: Short Story (126 pages)
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Astilbe

They say that there’s a monster in these woods; Hadrian’s heard it all his life. But it’s only a myth, a warning given to children by exasperated parents. The fog-choked woods behind the village are vast and empty. There are nothing but animals beneath the trees.

Then, a villager is found dead, and life takes an unexpected turn. The woods are suddenly much more sinister. To prove himself and his courage, Hadrian must venture there alone.

Only to discover that the monster is more real than imagined. And it takes a very familiar form.

A thick patch of woodland can hold all kinds of secrets. If only Hadrian knew what was lurking beyond the boundaries his small community.

Hadrian’s personal development was strong. The narrator spent so much time exploring his thoughts that I felt like I had him all figured out long before the plot thickened. It was especially fascinating to see how this character described the other villagers because he knew himself so well. I was intrigued by his perceptive comments about both himself and the people around him because I trusted the protagonist so deeply.

The cast of characters was quite large for a story of this size. I had trouble keeping track of how everyone was connected, especially when it came to characters who were only mentioned occasionally. It would have been nice to either be able to concentrate on a smaller number of them so that I could get to know everyone better early on or to have more time to figure out who belonged to which family.

There’s something to be said for a clever ending. I can’t discuss this in detail without giving away spoilers, of course, but I was pleased with how Ms. Wilkinson wove everything together in the last few scenes. She stayed true to the themes of this story while at the same time giving me a few surprises along the way. Her well-written conclusion made me curious about the rest of her catalogue!

I was so interested in Monster that I read the whole thing in one sitting. This is a good choice for anyone who enjoys tales about fearsome beasts.

Speak Your Mind