Book review · novella

Book review: The Descent of Monsters

The Descent of Monsters (Tensorate #3), by JY Yang

the descent of monstersDescription: (from Macmillan)

You are reading this because I am dead.

Something terrible happened at the Rewar Teng Institute of Experimental Methods. When the Tensorate’s investigators arrived, they found a sea of blood and bones as far as the eye could see. One of the institute’s experiments got loose, and its rage left no survivors. The investigators returned to the capital with few clues and two prisoners: the terrorist leader Sanao Akeha and a companion known only as Rider.

Investigator Chuwan faces a puzzle. What really happened at the institute? What drew the Machinists there? What are her superiors trying to cover up? And why does she feel as if her strange dreams are forcing her down a narrowing path she cannot escape?

Expected publication: July 31st 2018.
A review copy (eARC) of this book was provided by the publisher. Some things might change in the final copy.

The Black Tides of Heaven and The Red Threads of Fortune were amazing twin novellas that I enjoyed a lot, and this third instalment following a new character was a very worthy sequel, that I think I enjoyed even more.

This novella changes its format and is told through letters, reports, memo and most often journal entries from investigator Chuwan. We encounter characters from the previous novellas but Chuwan is still at the heart of The Descent of Monsters. She is a very dramatic and fun voice to follow, which is a good counterpart to the actual horrific events she is investigating (or being prevented to investigate properly) around experiments gone wrong. It gets quite gory and worthy of a horror movie set at time.

Chuwan really is the biggest strenght of the story for me, an adoptee who won’t let herself be manipulated, with a fuck-them-all attitude, ready to get to the heart of things and unearth the truth no matter what (and additionnally married to the daughter of a pirate queen, which I find super cool even if we don’t see her that much.)

I loved the way it used blacked-out text, it really made me as desperate to know what happened as the main character. I couldn’t tear my eyes of it, while it is short in lenght, it is still an epic story that grabbed me and didn’t let go, with magic, raptors and monsters, science, investigation and feelings. I also loved the way correct pronoun usage was incorporated in this.

This silkpunk novella series is amazing and gave me all the chills and gasps, and I’m glad that it got paired with such stunning covers (art by Yuko Shimuzu.)

Content warning: animal and child experiments, blood, death

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