Title: Monster Republic
Author: Ben Horton
Publisher: Corgi Childrens
Release Date: 1st January 2010
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.
Monster Republic is the first in what I hope to be a new venture on the blog - sci-fi related childrens books. I've wanted to see what is on offer for younger readers in the genre and recently had an opportunity to do just that. While I wasn't entirely sure what to expect I was very pleased with what I got - a great, quick paced story that is packed with action!
While the title gives an idea of what to expect - a group of children made into monsters, but living together - there was much more to the story than just that. Cameron is a popular kid at school who is involved in an accident at a power plant, but when he wakes up he finds he is no longer himself - literally! With a strange girl called Rora helping him escape, Cameron finds himself drawn into the Monster Republic who help other experimentees. But as more details come out he finds that the Monster Republic must do more than just survive - they must take the fight to the bad guys.
As a relatively short read, Monster Republic doesn't stop from the opening chapter. What is enjoyable is the fact that it gives character development along the way while also building the story and background effectively. Not only that, but Horton puts the characters in the situation we would be in and do what we would do. As a story that is being hyped as the first in a new series this builds the background nicely, but it doesn't compromise on action and we quickly discover that Horton has plenty of that to go around!
As a book for children I think this is a great read - it's got enough happening from page to page to keep their concentration and will very much appeal to comic book superhero fans. With more books in the series to look forward to I think this could be a great hit with young boys - and older ones too :)
Buy from: Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com