'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Review: A Monster Calls: Special Collector's Edition

A Monster Calls was a work of collaboration, born from a concept by the late author Siobhan Dowd, and brought to life by the tremendous talent of Patrick Ness.

It is an extremely uncomfortable, gut wrenching and emotional story that creeps, and on occasion bashes, its way into you. 

A Monster Calls is the story of a teenage boy, his dying mother, his absentee father, his emotionally unavailable grandmother, his own personal school bully, and a monster.

An ancient monster who comes walking at night, who comes walking because somehow Conor called to him. A monster who will not leave Conor alone, who is making everything so much worse, and who demands the most difficult thing from Conor. A monster who demands the truth.

The hauntingly dark, scratchy illustrations by Jim Kay (who is currently working his way through creating the stunning illustrated editions of Harry Potter) wash over and around the text to build on the atmosphere of tension and anxiety that Ness creates.


By capturing the confusion and desperation of a teenager transitioning between being a kid and being an adult, Ness catapulted me right back to my own youth and my acquisition of  knowledge that all people, even parents (or perhaps especially parents) are flawed. It is a powerful realisation that has thus far been matched only by my own transition into parenthood, and all the new perspectives that comes with that experience. 

This stunning hard cover special edition of A Monster Calls is a work of art. If you're familiar with the story, you will know that it is one that you can return to again and again, and you will want to make some time to pore through this edition. The original illustrated story is followed by additional chapters, The Story of the Book and The Making of the film, which includes notes from the author, editor and illustrator, original concept art, as well as interviews and photographs from the stars of the film. Click here to view the trailer of the upcoming movie to be released 27th July 2017 and here for more information.

An exceptional gift for the teen/youth/new adult/ not-so-new adult who already has all the things.

Title: A Monster Calls: Special Collector's Edition
Author: Patrick Ness
Illustrator: Jim Kay
Publisher: Walker Books, $34.99
Publication Date: 1 November 2016
Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9781406365771
For ages: 7+
Type: YA Fiction

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