Only a Monster by Vanessa Len

Only a Monster (Only a Monster, #1)

by Vanessa Len

With the sweeping romance of Passenger and the dark fantasy edge of This Savage Song, this standout YA contemporary fantasy debut from Vanessa Len, the first in a planned trilogy, is utterly fresh and unique.

Monster. Hero. Villain. Savior.

To save her family, Joan must become them all.

Half-human and half-monster, Joan Chang-Hunt discovered her heritage the same night her family was brutally murdered in front of her.

Joan’s monster heritage means she can steal life from humans with just a touch. Her human heritage means she swore never to use this power.

But to bring her family back, Joan will have to use her deadly abilities to journey deep into the monster world—and confront the shocking truth at its heart, and the dark fate that awaits her there.

Dive deep into the world of Only a Monster, where hidden worlds dwell in the shadows, beautiful monsters steal life from humans with just a touch, and secrets are the most powerful weapon of all.

Reviewed by ambiancereads on

4 of 5 stars

I had a difficult time starting this one. And don’t get me wrong this book pretty immediately starts right off in the action. But what I really struggled with is the concept of monsters.

I guess I’m a traditionalist in the sense that when I think of monsters I think of big hairy beasts. But the monsters in this book are very much like you and me but with powers.

It’s an intriguing concept and it follows the logic that even humans can be monsters. But to me it felt slightly cheesy.

Beyond that though - I did love the main character Joan. You do feel her sense of urgency and her struggles as she tries to come to terms with being a monster.

I loved the time travel component of this story, it’s fun and Len does an excellent job with all the little details. I also adored the relationship with Aaron and the love triangle. (#TeamAaron all the way). Also loved all the different monster families and their unique powers!! Can’t wait to learn more about them. And the plot twist at the end was JAW DROPPING! Definitely will be reading the next one in the series!

Overall - I think it’s a wonderful debut. It’s got time travel, people with unique powers, and a love triangle. Just don’t go into this thinking monsters are hairy beasts with multiple heads

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Reading updates

  • Started reading
  • 2 March, 2022: Finished reading
  • 2 March, 2022: Reviewed