In A Monster Calls, Conor unwittingly calls a monster to his aid, but he doesn’t really understand why. His mother is dying of cancer, and he thinks perhaps the monster is there to save her. Instead, the monster tells him three tales, meant to illustrate his purpose. Conor doesn’t understand, and I admit that I didn’t quite understand either until it was explained at the end.
This story is about grief and fear. It’s heavy but wonderful. Conor is wrestling with emotions we all have faced or will have to face one day. The monster helps him deal with his secret truth – which I was unable to guess. I flew through this short book needing to know what Conor was hiding.
Jim Kay has illustrated the hardcover version, and the images are dark and perfectly match the tone of this story. Patrick Ness wrote this story from an idea by Siobhan Dowd, who died before she could finish her version of the book. I had never heard of Siobhan, but as Ness recommended, I am now going to seek out her work.
The movie version of this story comes out in December, and I was anxious to read the book first. I am curious to see how they do with it. Based on the preview, it seems like it will be pretty well done.
Rating: 4 Stars