Happy Freedom Day (for those in the US)! And happy Thursday to everyone else! I’m so excited to be part of this blog tour today – Sam J. Miller is a brilliant writer, and this book exceeded my expectations by a long shot. So, welcome to my leg of the Fantastic Flying Book Club blog tour. Woo!
Destroy All Monsters comes at us from two different points of view in two different but parallel worlds – Ash’s POV in the present, and Solomon’s POV in Darkside, a parallel reality that seems like it only exists in Solomon’s head. While Ash is dealing with depression, hate crimes in her town of Hudson, and her best friend (Solomon) seemingly losing his mind, Solomon is trying to save the Othersiders (the humans who possess magic powers) from the uprising that is trying to eliminate them all; he’s also trying to find and save Princess Ash, his childhood best friend. The chapters alternate until the two worlds start to blend together – Ash can see Darkside, and Solomon is rooted enough in the real world to help Ash figure out what’s going on in Hudson and how to stop it all.
This book is so good. I don’t know that I would have picked it up had it not been written by Miller, but I’m so glad I did.
3 Things I Loved
- Darkside. Solomon’s alternate reality was really interesting and fleshed out. Some people had magic and some people didn’t, and the rising tension really reflected what seems to be happening in the US right now with race relations. The Othersiders had dinosaurs and the magic was interesting and varied. I loved it.
- Solomon and Ash. In both worlds, I loved the friendship between Solomon and Ash. It was stated at the very beginning that Solomon was gay, so there was nothing more than a platonic but close relationship throughout the entire book. It was refreshing. And they were truly there for each other in both worlds, while at the same time growing older and apart. It was so real.
- Connor. Oh Connor. In both worlds, he’s an innocent, someone who is trying to do the right thing but doesn’t always know how. Solomon always sees him as a child in Darkside, but he’s in high school with them in the real world, and he and Ash have been sleeping together. But he’s so pure, and he was almost instantly one of my favorite characters.
There was very little that I didn’t like about this book. Some of the reviews I’ve read have said it starts out confusing, but I didn’t find that to be true. The characters are real and their reactions to things are real and I loved all of that. And the representation was really good!
The one thing I will say – it’s a little bit of a spoiler, but I wouldn’t want anyone to get triggered by this book just to protect spoilers. There’s some child sex abuse in this book. And it’s a pivot point in the plot. It made people the way they are. And while I found it to be discussed in a respectful and thoroughly and properly disgusted way. But that’s not a trigger for me.
So take care of yourselves, friends.
A reminder of the rating scale:
- Red = DNF, I hated everything
- Orange = Ugh, no thank you
- Yellow = I mean, I’ve read worse, but there were problems
- Green = This was good!
- Blue = Oh my gosh, I loved this book!
- Purple = This is the unicorn of books and I will be rereading it until the binding falls apart and EVERYONE should be reading it!
The writing in this book is so so good. I’m going to be careful in who I recommend it to though, solely because of the triggers in it. Considering that factor, I’m going to give Destroy All Monsters a BLUE rating. So so good.
A huge thank you to Edelweiss, the publisher, and the Fantastic Flying Book Club for the advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.