Cover Image: Monstre


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Member Reviews

Duncan's writing of this apocalyptic tale was pretty incredible, Although I tried a new genre from my norm, I just could not get into this book to fully enjoy it and feel all the feels that people would while reading this type of book. I respect and appreciate the style of writing however the story itself was just not my glass of wine in taste.

A thank you to NetGalley, Duncan Swan and Super Hoot Publishing for providing me with an ecopy of this publication which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.
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Monstre: volume one by duncan swan is a big book. Big in length and big in idea. Big in plot, big in characters and big in scope. I think you get the idea, this book is a monster, pun intended.
This is a great book, well written and full of interesting characters and exciting action scenes. 
The book begins with an explosion at a nuclear research facility in Europe. We follow a group of scientists trying to explore the fallout from the explosion and running from the cloud of ash that follows and the things the cloud begins. 
The book then jumps between Europe and America going from day 0 and Europe dealing with the cloud and to around three months in as the cloud spreads towards America and from their the book splits into essentially two stories, a military action packed epic as they investigate the cloud and what lurks beneath it, and a survival story as a small group of people in America try to flee the oncoming cloud and find somewhere safe.
This is a great read for fans of survival stories and military action stories
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Monstre is a military, speculative fiction, creature feature much in the vein of the movies spectral and cloverfield.

I received a netgalley arc and a physical copy of this debut novel in exchange for my honest opinion.
I was really excited for this novel but after doing a 1st chapter book tag I put it down for a month or so. The first chapter is awful. The first half is meh. The story suffers from poor character development which is accentuated by jarring narrative and overbearing fat shaming.
HOWEVER! The second half shows the authors promise. It has far more action which can engage the reader and make up for the author's clearly wiki-level scientific understanding... which is irritating as he has an engineering degree. It reads as a Hollywood blockbuster movie script which I think is where this author's writing would shine. The second vol, I hope, will be more like the second half. A pushier editor may make that happen.
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This was a out-of the gun thrill ride filled with a touch of great science fiction. A view into a post-apocalyptic Resident Evil style survival story with brutality galore. I loved the POVs of the different characters and the plights they have to go through. This was a great debut that i would recommend to anyone that wants a fully-engaged nail-biter action packed ride!
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Because the start sounds quite negativ: I liked the book. ;)

Stories in which hope seems to be missing completely are not exactly my favourites, and especially in these times I found it hard to let myself be immersed in the story. The setting is very bleak and gloomy – figuratively and literally – and especially in the beginning lots of new things come up that kill every burgeoning hope or ideas for a positive ending.

I also need a main character (or a few of them) who I like and whom I can follow through the story. In this book there are a lot of changes in characters and POVs – partly because the story is told in two different points in time, but also because some of those people just die, even after a few chapters of the story told from their perspective.

This might sound like I didn’t especially like the book, but actually it’s praise for the book, because still, in spite of these obstacles, I liked it and was submerged in the story from the very beginning.

All of the characters are very interesting and different from each other, even if not always likeable and surely not without flaws, the story is gripping and we always get to know more about the Cloud and the situation in the world, the characters‘ stories, which initially seem to be very independent of each other, become more and more interwoven. And even if it is very gloomy, the image of humanity quite negative, and there barely seems to be any hope, if at all, the author still made it suspenseful enough, with enough variety and a thread that binds everything together, that I finished the book very quickly after starting properly.

One thing that bothered me a bit from time to time was the very detailed or technical descriptions and names for vehicles and weapons. I think it’s probably better this way than the other way around, when the author has no idea what they’re talking about, but me, not knowing much about these things, found it difficult from time to time to associate an image or a meaning to some letter combination, even if there was a brief description or explanation at one point.

But that’s all I have to criticise, apart from the fact, that one or two times I noticed the authors language in some specific figures of speech, that several characters used. ;) Apart from that I really liked it and am also impressed that at no point I had problems remembering who everyone was, despite the high number of characters.

The end of the book is just one big cliffhanger, so I’m very curious how the story will continue and am looking forward to Volume 2.

My Rating: 8/10 Punkten

Conclusion: Great book, very suspensful, very well written, interesting and diverse characters, very dark and gloomy. Looking forward to volume 2!
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I expected an action-packed, fast-paced horror story full of monsters. A book you read and then you move on. But Monstre is so much more. Yes, it has monsters, scary, horrible creatures - I hope to see more of them in the following book- but Monstre has people, lives, tragedies. People I could root for and cry with. Swan builds his story up slowly and in detail with emphasis on people. 

I highly recommend it.

I will read the next book because I want to know what happens to Sara and her family.
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I really enjoyed reading this debut from Duncan Swan! It is sci-fi at it's (almost) finest.  I thought the characters are believable and felt real.  The plot worked for me and flowed nicely.  This was a really good start to a series... Omg I hope it's a series! 

Special thanks to #NetGalley for an e-copy of this book, but an even bigger thanks to the publisher for graciously sending me a physical copy.  The book itself is so pretty and the paper is black edged!  I mean really beautifully done.

I will recommend this book to my friends and family and anyone who I know loves a good sci-fi adventure.  I will definitely be looking forward to more from this author!!!
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This was a great sci-fi/thriller/horror book that was full of action and suspense from the get-go. It held my interest the entire time and was well-written. I cannot and will not watch gore in movies, but I am able to read about gore in books and this one had plenty of it. I also thought the world building was done well and was very believable as were the characters. Plenty things about the characters and the plot kept me invested in what was happening next, and then came the cliffhanger. The only major problem is I don't know when book 2 is expected and I really want to know what happens!

This exciting book is Duncan Swan's debut novel and I thought he did an exceptional job.

I'd like to thank NetGalley and Super Hoot Publishing for a free copy to read in exchange for an honest opinion.
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This is an awesome book! I liked the gore. I liked the cliffhangers at the end of the chapters. They made me want to continue reading the book. I really want to read Volume 2.

I received an ARC from the publisher and NetGalley for an honest review.
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This is a great book although a bit slow to get in to at the beginning.  I liked the way the story included all the different perspectives of the characters from day 0 and how they felt.  A very thrilling read give the current climate that we’re living in now.
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A twist on the apocalypse. Told from differing view points on different continents, this book will take you on a thrill ride following the dark cloud that is destroying the world, starting at ground zero. Tons of suspense, twists and turns, a high body count and all the gore you could ask for. Bad guys and good guys to love and hate, monsters that will have you holding your breath and jumping at every noise. 

For a debut novel this is pretty amazing.   I am looking forward to the next one!!

Thank you NetGalley, Duncan Swan and Super Hoot Publishing LLC for this edition and hearing my honest review. Looking forward to reading more with you
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This book gave me MAJOR chernobyl vibes. It was a good book with a really interesting plot line. I loved the beginning of the book where everything is just starting to happen. It was very tense. I also enjoyed how this book didn't take anything lightly, it was quite brutal and gory in places. 
I did enjoy this book but it was let down for me by the sheer amount of different characters points of view and the changing of time lines. I really had to try hard to follow the story and remember the characters. 

Overall a strong debut but maybe too many characters
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Unfortunately this one was a DNF for me. I struggled with the writing and definitely got more of a male audience vibe from what I did read. I wanted more horror but found it was more action and sci-fi. Overall I just couldn't get into this book and it wasn't for me. Thanks to NetGalley, the Publisher and Author for a copy of this ARC to review.
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this was a really good read, the atmosphere was great it was scary and kept me on edge. I really enjoyed the plot and enjoyed the characters. I look forward to more from the author and this series.
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I'm going to start this review with a confession..... or two. First up, I sort of was regretting requesting a copy of the book on NetGalley. I don't know why but I got it in my head that it was going to be some supernatural demon story, which just isn't my thing. And secondly, I then pre-emptively decided that this book would be average at best. These made me put off reading the book for as long as possible. And now comes an apology! I need to apologise to the author for assuming his book was crap before reading it! I like to think that I'm right about everything (my Hubby can confirm that ha ha..) but in this case I was so wrong AND I have never in my life been so happy to be wrong! This book kicks ass! 
Monstre tells the story of a major incident at a research facility where a toxic cloud of smoke pours out and starts to spread. We then follow several groups of survivors in different parts of the world at different times since the incident. So we jump from the first few days to around the day 89 mark. I absolutely loved how we got to see both the immediate effects and responses to the incident, and then got to see how people were coping (or not) further down the line and the fear that came from knowing what was headed their way as the cloud spread across the world. Now, I'm gonna give a tiny spoiler here, and it's only tiny as what I'm gonna say sort of becomes apparent in the first couple of chapters. This book has some weird alien bug creature stuff going on. And if I knew that before requesting the book well.... I just wouldn't have requested it. Because aliens aren't my thing (along with demons ha ha..). BUT it turns out that weird alien bug creatures are my thing!!! Like, this book gave me so many Starship Trooper vibes. It was amazing!
What I've noticed is that time and again I rate apoc / post-apoc books highly when they follow the format that Monstre did with the several groups across the world and different types of characters. It just seems to be something that I love and I think that's because the story is then full of different perspectives and doesn't get too bogged down with 1 plot angle. In Monstre we get just the right amount of science, military, and normal dudes. Plus, it's not too alien heavy for those who don't normally read that stuff.
I cannot wait until Volume 2 is released (which a little bird told me would be Fall 2021)! In the meantime, just go read this book. Like NOW!
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I had started reading Monstre and was about a quarter of the way in (but was also reading several other things) when I read a killer review for the book. That review gave me the incentive to put everything else down and focus. And wow! The reviewer was not wrong! This book is a non-stop, adrenaline-fueled thrill ride!
It started in Switzerland - an invasion of darkness, of cold, of poison, of teeth. The end of the world is pretty well nigh, and Duncan Swan takes the reader along for every bloody second of it.
Even though the book is an action-packed thriller, it also has some very well-drawn, sympathetic characters. My heart actually ached for these people, fighting so hard to survive. What I really liked was that these people weren't perfect. They messed up. They got grouchy. They didn't have super powers and couldn't save everyone. They were just people trying to survive an ongoing apocalypse.
The end of the book was a cliff-hanger that left me with my mouth pretty much hanging open. C'mon man!!! You can't leave me like this!!!!! (sigh)
I cannot wait for Volume 2!!!! Excellent storytelling here.

Many thanks to NetGalley and Super Hoot Publishing for giving me the opportunity to read this e-book for free in return for my honest review.
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4 stars

You can read all of my reviews at Nerd Girl Loves Books.

Holy hell - what did I just read?? This is a fantastic first book in a new apocalyptic Science Fiction/Horror book series. It has an explosive beginning (literally) and doesn't let up until the frenetic cliffhanger ending.

This book has it all - science, space, scientists, military facing impossible odds, shadowy government operatives, desperate citizens, quiet heroes, evil para-military villains exercising vigilante justice and monsters. I'm sure I left out a few, but you get the gist.

I really enjoyed this book. It is dark and creepy and the tension slowly builds as the book progresses. My biggest criticism is about the time and location jumps throughout the book. I know this is a popular method of telling a story, but it's not quite successful in this book and was confusing at times. I can't really go into too many details about it without giving out spoilers, but when you start reading it, you'll know what I mean.

Day 0: We start off in Cern, Switzerland at a research facility. It explodes and sends a huge plume of smoke and ash in the sky. "The Cloud" starts spreading, slowly smothering the world in an impenetrable cloud of ultimate darkness. As The Cloud spreads across Europe, a team of Marines are sent on a desperate and seemingly impossible mission to gather information that may help combat The Cloud.

Day 89: The Cloud has enveloped the East Coast and is spreading to the Midwest. Citizens are desperate. Chaos and violence erupts as people flee west. An aged Tennessee Sheriff watches as the world falls apart around him. He is talked into helping a fellow Sheriff and her family flee their hometown for a pipe dream of an old nuclear bunker that may save them from The Cloud. Of course, there's a couple thousand miles between them and the bunker and they have to not only contend with limited resources for the trip, but the evil that waits for them along the way.

The world-building is well-done and the characters pop off the page. The author does a great job delving into the complexities and foibles of his protagonists. This is definitely a testosterone-fueled book with plenty of action, fighting, blood, guts and gore. The few female characters in the book are only minor characters and are written as stereotypical "weaker sex" tropes. While this is unfortunate, you have to take this book as it is - an adrenaline junkies wet dream. While I can't read too many books like this, I can make a few exceptions if the story grips my attention, and this one did.

Even though this book is almost 500 pages, it's a quick and easy read. I couldn't put it down and can't wait until the next book comes out next year.

Thank you to NetGalley and Super Hoot Publishing for a free digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Woah. What a fresh take on the apocalyptic creature storyline. I loved how frightening and original this was. I can’t wait to read the next book and hope to see much more from this author! I’m a sucker for horror stories like this one. I will say, the reader needs to be ok with lots of action and gore. Loved it.
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Okay, so first off I want to explain why I read and requested this book on Netgalley.

1.) The author is South African. I have read very few books by South African authors because most South African books that are published, just aren’t in the genres I read. So when I saw this apocalypse book about the world ending, you better believe I clicked request as fast as I could.

2.) As I mentioned previously, I love apocalypse books. Give me disasters, give me suspense, give me the worst side of humanity showing itself – I want it.

3.) I am not brave in any way. Imagine my surprise when I saw that not only is this a disaster book, but a horror as well. I almost gave up on this book when it terrified me as I read it at eight in the night, but I made it through and I’m very glad I did! It’s like I proved something to myself by reading my first ever horror book!

Monstre is about an explosion at a research facility in Switserland. From this explosion, comes an enormous black cloud. Nothing stops the Cloud from growing, and no one can stop the terrifying creatures that live within the Cloud.

What I really love about disaster books (and movies, for that matter) is that they always bring out the worst in people. Yeah sure, some people think they would be calm and kind in a disaster, but to be honest I think most of us would run around screaming in panic.

At least, that’s what I would do.

What I really loved about this book is how it tells two stories.

One storyline is about people right at the beginning of the disaster. How they try to escape or fight the monsters in the Cloud.

The other is about a group of people who try to find a rumoured bunker in North America before the Cloud arrives to kill them all.

The one thing I really like about horror, although I never read it, is how it’s never boring. There’s always something happening that makes you want to chew all your fingernails off.

There was no real deep-dive into the characters, except for one called Trace, but as you go along in the story, information about the characters don’t matter. It only matters whether or not these characters can actually survive. And most of them don’t.

So, to summarize.

Monstre will have you on the edge of your seat, praying that these characters survive while also praying that none of these monsters will jump out of the shadows to devour you.

It’s dark, it’s gritty and you can’t put it down. Will I pick up the next book? After the terribly evil cliffhanger, you bet I will try to get that sequel.

Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with a free copy in exchange for a review!
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From the wreckage of a research facility in Switzerland, a freak accident has unleashed a toxic impenetrable cloud that is slowly smothering the world in darkness. Even worse, there are creatures that are coming out of the wreckage that are not of this Earth.

From here, we get to follow two different storylines that almost read like two completely different stories connected by The Cloud.

The first centers on the devastation occurring in nearby France shortly after the explosion, and the squad of United States Marines who are sent on a mission to find out what went wrong and retrieve vital info before it can fall in the hands of others. This storyline reads like a sci-fi action adventure, from its technical jargon to the battles to keep civilians alive.

The second jumps forward in time and focuses on a group of Kentucky law enforcement officers, and one deputy's family, who decide to head west trying to outrun The Cloud, which has already hit the Eastern Seaboard of the country. This storyline is more apocalyptic in feel, and shows creatures from The Cloud are not the only monsters to fear when society has collapsed.

I did enjoy the book with the exception of some of the dialogue of the Marines, which includes some slurs. It was a fast-paced and exciting read, told from the viewpoints of several characters in both timelines. A solid debut from author Duncan Swan, and I look forward to Volume Two and the completion of The Cloud stories.
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