Book Review: The Monstrous Child by Francesca Simon

Hey all, it’s Sarah!

So, I found out about this novel at our librarian’s secretive meeting, where they give us all of the best upcoming titles. I couldn’t wait to read this book, the premise sounded interesting and the cover was compelling. Both of us were really excited to read this novel and had even planned on filming it, but it got bumped for other better things. I wasn’t too thrilled with this novel, it felt like a novella…which I now know, it basically is.

I received this novel through Edelweiss.

Hel is a half goddess half giant, who is rejected by her father Loki. It is foretold that Hel’s wolf and snake brothers are going to bring about the death of the gods, so all three are banished to remote regions of the universe. Hel, at 13, is forced to become queen of the underworld/ Hel (I see what she did there, Hell/Hel). Odin forces her to become hostess to the dead. The only thing that gives Hel hope is the prospect of reuniting with her crush, Baldr (even though he is old and married..but this 13 year-old knows she has even game to land this prize).

This novel was slow for me. Not much happened in front of the reader, the major quests and actions took place in other areas. There also weren’t many characters to connect to. The story focused on Hel and only really developed her. I also wasn’t feeling the main character’s tone of voice, she made references to current turns of phrase…which also alluded to gods of other religions. This layer wasn’t explained and felt disjointed. I think I could have connected to the story better, if I had realized that this was a third book in a series! Duh, everything happened off page, it all happened in the other, potentially more interesting books! I think the tone of voice would have fit better after getting into the vibe from the other books. Many overall thoughts are that readers should definitely read the first two books before tackling this one.



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