Sunday 3 January 2010

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Review: Monster Republic: The Divinity Project by Ben Horton

Monster Republic: The Divinity Project by Ben HortonMonster Republic: The Divinity Project by Ben Horton (proof copy) - An explosion in a nuclear power plant.
Kids patched up with scavenged body parts and bionic implants.
A growing army of superhuman soldiers programmed for destruction.

“No,” whispered Cameron to the monster in the glass. And he watched it shaking its hideous head. “That’s not me. You’re not me.”

As commercial and compelling as a computer game, this is the first book in a major new series.
From Amazon UK

As you’ll know from the books I review, I’m a huge fantasy fan, but when it comes to sci-fi, my attitude towards it, in a word, is pretty much "meh". However, when Carolyn enthusiastically reviewed Monster Republic on her blog Book Chick City, it sounded awesome! So when I was offered the chance to review the book myself, I jumped at the chance. And it wasn’t a mistake! Monster Republic is amazing! The premise is just incredible, the imagery is fantastic, and the action is just wow!

I’m saying this fairly often lately, but I’ll be saying it again; Monster Republic is very much the first book in a series. We’re introduced to the main characters, namely Cameron, and the important members of the Monster Republic, Rora, Slater, Smarts, and Tinker, and the evil mad scientist, Dr. Fry. We also find out about what the Monster Republic is, and follow Cameron as he comes to terms with what has happened to him, and with who he is now. Saying that, there is quite a lot of action, which I loved, and there’s a great set up for a sequel!

If I had to criticise the book, I would have preferred a bit more story in between the action scenes. There was story, don’t get me wrong, I just would have liked a bit more. There are a few days that are mentioned have passed, and although we’re told what happens over those days, I just feel there should have been more page time showing Cameron coming to terms with the huge changes that have happened in his life. The action shouldn’t change, it was great, just a few more pages could have been added for the internal monologue, in my opinion, but it’s not a huge deal.

Monster Republic’s tagline is X-Men meets Terminator, and I couldn’t agree more! I have to say, the description and imagery is cleverly done; it’s not exactly graphic when it comes to describing what Cameron now looks like, but the images your imagination conjures from the description is what’s disturbing – it’s brilliant! This would be a great book for YA male readers! The press release advertising the book says, "Written with a teen readership in mind, Horton set out to write a book that would steal young people’s imaginations from Xbox, MSN and i-phones," and I think it’ll do just that. This is an amazing book for those who spend their time sitting in front of a TV screen playing computer games and turn their noses up at books. My brother is one of them, he hates reading and gets really annoyed when I talk books with my parents, yet when I got this book, he saw it, read the blurb and said, "I might have to read this myself." Points for Mr Horton! My brother never reads!

This book would also make an awesome movie! It would look amazing on the big screen, I seriously wouldn’t be surprised if it ended up being optioned. And what’s more, I don’t think there would need to be anything cut from the book – it’s a pretty quick read, and the plot is very tight, I could literally see the whole book on the screen.

To sum up, Monster Republic: The Divinity Project is an awesome book, and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series!

Thank you to Random House for sending me a proof.

Published: 7th January 2010
Publisher: Corgi Children’s Books
Pre-order on Amazon UK
Pre-order on The Book Depository – free international shipping

Other Reviews:
Book Chick City


  1. This does sound really good and definitely something my brother would read as well. lists it as being released Jan. 1st in the US, but it's not in stock, so I'm hoping it's actually available around me sometime soon.

    Thanks for the great review!

  2. You're welcome! It's a fantastic book, and I really hope it does turn some anti-reading guys into readers! I hope it's available near you soon, and you enjoy it!

  3. I'm intrigued by this, but I have had my doubts too. It sounds like the kind of story I'd like, but the fact it's targeted towards people who need to be tempted away from their x-boxes has made we wonder if it won't be in-depth enough. I say this as someone who loves videogames but looks to books for a wholly different experience. Still, your review is a glowing one, and it looks like although there's some areas you'd like to be more detailed, this wasn't a major stumbling block... so I do think I'll check this out. Thanks for the review!

  4. That's just awesome! I so hope you enjoy this book! I know what you mean, I was a little weary at first, but I really loved it! I hope you enjoy it! :)

  5. Wow, your blog opens me to so many books I wouldnt normally read

  6. Oh, that's awesome! I'm so glad I'm introducing you to new genres! :) Hope you enjoy it!

  7. I saw this in Waterstone's today but walked out without it. I regret that after reading your review!

  8. Oh, no! It's such a great book! Perhaps you can pick it up another day :)

  9. Great review! Although I agree that it would be a great read for boys, don't forget the girls! I really enjoyed this book and think that there's a lot of young female readers who would also find it exciting. :)

  10. Thank you! :) Oh yeah, of course, girls would love it too, it's just automatically assume there are more teenage girls who read than teenage boys - so it's a great book for those teenage boys who don't read :)