The Monsters We Feed
AUTHOR: Thomas Howard Riley
PUBLISHED ON: 6 December 2022
A LUMINAWORLD (NOT A NOVEL) NOVELLA
I was following the author on Twitter for a while and every time he wrote about how much excited he was for an idea, it intrigued me. And when the news of the idea becoming a novella came, I was excited but when finally it became ‘not a novella‘, the real fun began. And boy, oh boy, this not a novella, The Monsters we feed was spectacular book. I have been following the author but I’ve not read his debut, We Break Immortals, which is set in the same world. And We Break Immortals has been bumped in my TBR list.
Now, coming to talking about The Monsters We Feed. The Monsters We Feed is book, that will force you to open your eyes and see things that you would ignore, like how spectacular this book is and how much one event can open a new world all together. And that was a pun. If I had to put one line together for this standalone is: The Monsters We Feed is a book where I literally felt that the character was let loose in the city and author told him, Go, make yourself home.
The Monsters we Feed is a dark, character driven standalone. When I read the first line, “Everyone’s life changes the first time they find a dead body,” I was certain this is going to be a wild ride and when I read the last line, “The monster needed to be fed,” I was happy that it was. Imagine looking at your palm. The thing that you see everyday and suddenly you see it and it is different, not just because of your imagination but something different was always there, you just couldn’t see it. This is the main idea behind the story.
Jathan knows his city. He knows the places like his own body. His trusts himself to know what is going on. But when he comes across an object, it opens a new world for him. He is in the same place, he is same but everything changed. He, the place and the thought that he knew his city. The object allows him to see the world that only a few can. In the world, where after you use magick you leave behind a residue, a trace that is invisible to naked eye. A small idea but so well executed.
The most amazing part of the whole book, is the world building. While there are many books that have amazing world building. Till, date I found the Divine Cities by Robert Bennett Jackson to have that unique vibe that just spoke. This is the second book that I can agree that has the same effect. The world is so vivid, so detailed, so vibey (if that’s not a world, it is now.) I JUST LOVE THE WORLD.
I don’t know why but I’ve seen a pattern in the books that I’ve been reading these days. The main character is often unlikeable. I know we are entering a morally grey era where we aren’t fan of a lovely dovey character who makes righteous decisions and at the end of the day are just boring. And Jathan fits. No, not in the latter. He isn’t the person you love at sight. He isn’t someone with whose decisions you agree with but damn damn he grows. With sudden changes thrust upon him, we see him grow. We see him make reckless mistakes and how much he slowly learns to slow down once a while.
As I always say, everything I read forces me to think something and this one did an amazing job to making me think about just how much is invisible to naked eye and this is all in metaphorical sense. Like how much we can learn if we open our eyes and think about things that you wouldn’t have before.
The Monster We Feed is a fantastic novel that is more than what it look like and much more than just a murder. The magick and the new outlook, just makes this journey more memorable. And I am so glad that the not-a-novella idea really took place and I am looking forward to reading everything, the debut, the sequel be it in two part or a shield size novel or more such fun novellas.
You can support me by buying me a Ko-fi.
You can read the review for The World Breaker Requiem by Luke Tarzian here.