The Different Kinds of MONSTERS

The Different Kinds of MONSTERS, Robot and Dragon Press, an e-book written and copyright by Seth Chambers.

The plot of this allegorical story begins in the late Jurassic period with birth of an Allosaurus and her siblings. It continues with her gradual maturation, learning to hunt, survive, compete and finally die. This material is provided in chapters interspersed with activities many millennia later depicting the gradual growth and maturation of 6-year-old Dylan Armitage. Upon a visit to the Chicago Museum, he is fascinated by the articulated skeleton of this same monster interestingly named after Dylan’s Grandmother, Emily Marigate who had been one of her discoverers in a paleontologist exploration. She had been killed at the dig and her blood had soaked into the allosaurus’ bones. Because the dinosaur had died a horrible death, she resented ‘being awakened’. So, Emily developed a type of weird vendetta against the Armitage family which his father decided was because “Blood calls to blood” and thus it was presumably Emily’s causative influence that his father had to move his family frequently and often very quickly to stay ‘under the radar’ of any authoritative figures. The fact that he was a very large, muscular, aggressive individual with a very short temper actually was causative, whether actually aided and/or abetted by Emily. Regardless, his work ethic was excellent so they never suffered physically although the psychological effects stemming from such a nomadic existence, especially on the growing Dylan, are obvious. The story chronicles this growth, his marriage, the birth and gradual development of his daughter and her re-alignment with her father after a long absence, all accompanied by the varied but mostly oppressive constant reappearances of Emily. In fact, when Dylan calls the Field Museum Acquisitions Department to find where she next is scheduled to be shown, the trained scientist tells him her records will not tell her where Emily will be next. That there is something weird and supernatural about the skeleton and that, as she had told his father years before when he asked the same thing, “the lady has gone rogue”. The often strange occurrences continue and finally lead to the desperate action to which Dylan must resort.

The author has presented an extremely well-written allegorical fantasy that in itself is a compelling story to holds the reader’s interest and simultaneously provides numerous philosophical leads to contemplate. However and most regrettably, a caveat is almost mandatory. The characters are excellently portrayed with many seedy, unsavory and/or exhibiting enough psychological deviant tendencies that readers with better functioning sensibilities may not comfortably be able to accept.

3* 5* well-written/characterized allegorical fantasy; 3* because caveat required.

ACCUMULATION

ACCUMULATION ISBN: 9789082685909, Boonaca Industries, an e-book by buan boonaca.

This is a story following a period in the life of a modern young man who is satisfied to slide through a hedonistic existence until he begins to experience a strange and inexplicable physical change – an accumulation of tattoos gradually being acquired with no knowledge of their source or time of acquisition. The changes in his physical appearance result in immeasurable changes in his life’s patterns and lead to a search for the source. One seems to be offered by discovery of a long kept secret about his birth. This in turn, causes him gradually to decide to find his genetic grandfather and from there hopefully to begin to find answers to a question he has asked himself every morning as he has attempted to discover his real identity. And finally, he feels the need to inform former friends and family members and sends a message which is ignored or not understand by most: “I’m not Cam and I’m not Marcus. They were a habit and that habit has been broken. I was totally addicted to using collections of labels and memories as a me. I looked into the mirror and realized what was looking back was a shell built from pieces of the past…. I don’t know for sure what’s underneath, but it is what I have to find out.”

The author espouses no particular genre, probably it most nearly resembles an allegorical fantasy. It is written in a rather unorthodox rambling style with some amusing bits and some fanciful anatomical impossibilities. The main theme is a subject that most individuals may face sometime in their life. More usually, it is a question encountered earlier rather than later, but occasionally one may feel the necessity to ‘reboot’ at an older stage of life. So generally speaking, the book probably should have the greatest appeal for readers who still may be pondering what they want in life, the best way to obtain it, and then, are they really sure about their choice.

3* 4* possible allegorical fantasy genre designate (?) of interest to restive minds.