Real Monsters, by Liam Brown

Publisher: Legend Press  |  Published 1st March 2015  |  Edition: Kindle, via Netgalley

Real Monsters 27.02.15

Real Monsters is both engrossing and tragic.

With brutal truths and raw emotion, Real Monsters confronts the fallout of conflict on real people and the legacy this leaves behind.

The book is entirely narrated by Danny and Lorna via their letters, who alternately tell their sides of the conflict since the ‘monsters’ first attacked. Each of them set out to write their individual experiences to their son, right until the end of this compelling read.

Danny is a solider. He enlisted in the army to fight the monsters everyone has heard of. His new wife, Lorna, is left behind to carry on a life, which seems destined to be without him.

The two journals are quite different. Danny’s is an edgy monologue, a unique voice filled with expletives. It is an outpour of the harsh reality of the environment he’s engulfed by and the deteriorating mental state of a small band of soldiers reaching breaking point.

Lorna fills the background about life on home territory. Her journal records the life changing event at the age of twelve when her father had died in a terrorist attack. She tells of her troubled teenage years, until Danny rescued her. She relays her feelings from when Danny enlisted and her subsequent involvement in the protests against the war.

Although you can draw your own conclusions, at no time does the writer give an indication as to the location of Danny and Lorna. This story is portrayed in such a way that it could be set in any time zone, in any place, involving anyone.

It’s the emotion of the storyline that’s important, rather than a factual overload.  To give you some idea of how the writer achieved this, he introduces the two narrators, but doesn’t reveal their names until later in story. Although they remained anonymous until then, this only succeeded in my wanting to read further to discover their identity.

Some scenes are fairly harrowing and did make me shudder, plus the style of the narration does take a little getting used to, so it might not be a book for everyone. But I quickly became engrossed, right up to the final and tragic words that Danny and Lorna share.

Rating: 4/5

(Many thanks to the publisher, Legend Press via Netgalley, for the advanced copy.)

You can follow the author, Liam Brown, on Twitter:  @LiamBrownWriter  |  Publisher: @Legend_Press