The Monsters We Feed is a dark fantasy noir standalone about a young man’s vendetta against the magi in a divided city. Jathan has hated magick users since he and his older sister were orphaned by a rouge sorcerer 10 year prior. When he finds an artifact that allows him to see the hidden world of magick, he goes on a crusade into the dark underbelly of his city to cleanse it of magick.
Jathan is not a very good person. He has prejudices, anger issues, a drinking problem, and a massive chip on his shoulder. I could not like him, but I did understand him and his character. Thomas Howard Riley paints the picture of a man shaped by his past and the hate that has been allowed to fester. His one shining light is his love for his older sister who fought to keep them together. This was a wonderfully realized brother-sister relationship that was at the emotional core of this dark story.
Book Review – The Monsters We Feed
I thought the book was a bit and slow to start. There were some mechanics explaining and world building required to explain the magic system and the city we find ourselves in (that certainly felt like a small part of a larger world that spans other books). But the book eventually builds into a compellingly readable narrative until that explosive finale. It won me over with its cathartic and emotionally satisfying ending (although I do think it could have been drawn out more).
A standalone dark fantasy noir set in a dark and hopeless city, The Monsters We Feed is ultimately a hopeful story of a young man’s redemption.
This review was part of a book tour held by Escapist Book Co. made by Kevin Co.