Monsters Born and Made
by Tanvi Berwah
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Pub Date 06 Sep 2022 | Archive Date 12 Sep 2022
SOURCEBOOKS Fire, Sourcebooks Fire
Perfect for fans of The Hunger Games and Fable, this South Asian-inspired fantasy is a gripping debut about the power of the elite, the price of glory, and one girl's chance to change it all.
Sixteen-year-old Koral and her older brother Emrik risk their lives each day to capture the monstrous maristags that live in the black seas around their island. They have to, or else their family will starve.
In an oceanic world swarming with vicious beasts, the Landers―the ruling elite, have indentured Koral's family to provide the maristags for the Glory Race, a deadly chariot tournament reserved for the upper class. The winning contender receives gold and glory. The others―if they're lucky―survive.
When the last maristag of the year escapes and Koral has no new maristag to sell, her family's financial situation takes a turn for the worse and they can't afford medicine for her chronically ill little sister. Koral's only choice is to do what no one in the world has ever dared: cheat her way into the Glory Race.
But every step of the way is unpredictable as Koral races against contenders―including her ex-boyfriend―who have trained for this their whole lives and who have no intention of letting a low-caste girl steal their glory. When a rebellion rises and rogues attack Koral to try and force her to drop out, she must choose―her life or her sister's―before the whole island burns.
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Average rating from 534 members
I love every pages! Monsters Born and Made was a perfect blend of adventures, family and friendship, a fight against oppressions and unjust systems, and delicious slow burn romance. I couldn't ask for more. Except maybe a sequel :)
The cover and book description hooked me and I requested this book right away. And as it turns out, MBAB exceeds my (already) high expectation and I enjoyed every seconds I've spent reading it! I love the fast pace and the writing style which was easy to read. It was a roller coaster ride and I love it.
Koral is a strong female main character! I love how bold she is, how she refused to stay put and took matters in her own hands. Yes, she is also hot headed and tend to make decisions by feelings which is not always ideal, but I love her sharp wits and enjoyed her adventure and character development! Also love her brother Emrik and sweet baby sister Liria! And ughhh don't get me started on Dorian Akayan because he has all my yeses.
The world building was amazing. I could almost feel the sea breeze, it was so immersive. I love maristags and the race idea! Stormgold is such a dear, we must protect her. Love all the challenges! And all those slow burn moments? EPIC.
I need a sequel or more story in this universe! It was amazing :))
<< Thank you Sourcebookfire for providing me E-ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review >>
This was a really strong and captivating debut from Tanvi Berwah! I was immediately hooked after hearing it was a sci-fi dystopian/fantasy story about a legendary chariot race with South Asian influences and exes-to-rivals-to-more. And let me tell you, Tanvi really delivered on all fronts. This book really drew me in from the first page, and I'll really be so incredibly upset if this ends up being a standalone.
One of the first things I noticed reading this book is that the worldbuilding in first third of the story was a little hard to follow along. I was a little confused with all the terms that Koral, our MC, kept using to describe aspects of her daily life and the worlds she lived in. Slowly, as the book progressed, I was able to piece together what exactly she meant and vision exactly how this world looked, but it did take some time. I do want to give a warning, though, that this book wasn't exactly easy to read in the sense that the hardships that Koral and her family face were really hard to read about. The things they endure as Hunters was written in a really visceral manner and definitely made me feel like I needed to take a break, so please take care when picking this book up! I'd give a major TW for violence, death, gore, domestic abuse, parental abuse, chronic illness, torture, and starvation.
I think the two aspects that captivated me the most was the Glory Race itself and how Koral's relationship with Stormgold grew from the start to finish of the race, as well as Koral's relationship with Dorian. I've heard this book get compared to The Hunger Games, which I can definitely see, but I also pictured the chariot race to look a lot like the pod-race from The Phantom Menace. This book is action-packed and each of the rounds of the race were so harrowing to read--I was truly on the edge of my seat praying that Koral made it through unscathed.
All this to say that Monsters Born and Made is definitely a book you want to have on your radar if you're a YA sci-fi or fantasy fan! I'm really excited to read Tanvi's future works .
I was so excited when the publisher sent me an e-ARC of this book. First of all, the cover is stunning. Second of all, I will read and and all books that say they're like the Hunger Games. Lastly, South Asian influences!? YES!
Some Things I Liked
Be still my little half Indian heart, I loved the South Asian vibes in this book. It was so perfectly done. If felt like a clear influence but the world building was utterly unique.
The politics and society. The social structure in this world was so interesting and it led to so many fascinating, complex, and morally grey characters.
The slow burn, enemies to lovers romance. It was everything. I can't wait to read more.
I'd sell my soul for an ARC of the next book because this series was so good. I can't wait to keep reading and read anything and everything Tanvi Berwah writes in the future.
I loved this book. I couldn't put it down. It's the perfect blend of The Hunger Games, The Scorpio Races, and Ashlords with South Asian vibes that will leave you desperate for more.
Incredible. Fans of Hunger Games will enjoy this fantasy novel that will have you reflecting on the parallels to real life hierarchy systems.
I always love a book that is hard to put down, yet you don’t want it to end. This one definitely fits that bill, and I am hoping that the way things ended keeps it open for book two: Well done!