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Monday, October 27, 2014

Ryan McSwain's Monsters All the Way Down Makes You Question Everything.

Imagine being accused of serial murders

That you know you didn't commit.

Now imagine questioning 

The veracity of your own knowledge.

Today we have science fiction Horror for Halloween!

image via http://ryanmcswain.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/monsters-all-the-way-down-cover.jpg

Monsters All the Way Down is a science fiction horror novel written by Ryan McSwain.

So what's it about?

All Brennan Wade had planned for the day was a simple DNA check that was required for the job he had finally landed. It's all he had planned, that is, until his DNA results pinged a crime database that showed him as the lone suspect for multiple grotesque and unsolved murders spanning decades. 
Now he's on the run, determined to prove that he's not the killer. It's strange, though, that his DNA was lifted from one of the crimes scenes. Even stranger that he truly was at each location at the times the murders were committed... 
 But how could he have committed murders that he has no recollection of? And who is this strange group that's hunting him down for them? Most importantly... who did murder all of these people?

I'm going to start by reminding you not to judge a book by its cover. 

This is definitely not my favorite cover art. I don't think it really gives a good impression of what's inside... but the story within is something worth treating yourself to.

See, one of those cardinal rules of humanity is to never, never, never, NEVER sympathize with a serial killer. So what did I go ahead and do?

Yep. I totally did that.

And who is the serial killer? Well, you won't know that until a long way through... and I'm not giving any spoilers.

But the story was written in such a manner that I repeatedly questioned what I thought I knew. I questioned who the 'good guy' was, and who the 'bad guy' was. I even questioned my own ideas about what good and bad truly mean.

In the beginning, I thought I had made a poor decision about this ebook.

You see, at first, it seemed more like a psychological thriller. It didn't seem to have the markings of a traditional horror novel, and definitely didn't feel sci fi or paranormal. It was quite good, but didn't fit in with my pre-conceived idea of what horror is.

I'm glad I kept reading.

Turns out, this ebook can be classified as both sci fi and paranormal. It has technology that one would expect from near-future sci fi, yet still produces some mind-boggling what-the-heck-is-that-strange-entity thrills. The blend of the two was well done, and allows the reader to have that "what if?" feeling throughout the story.

Brennan Wade, the protagonist, is a particularly interesting - and frustrating - character. When he decided to go into hiding while uncovering the truth, I often saw him do things that seemed absolutely ridiculous. Many times, I thought, "Oh, come on... how could they not catch him after that?"

Yet I kept reading.

Turns out, I was right to ask that question... each time I did. You see, Brennan isn't a criminal. He's the average, everyday guy. The average guy just doesn't know how to run from the law. So even though I wanted to strangle him for his ignorance, I kept reading. I kept wanting him to come out on top. To prove that he wasn't the murderer they claimed he was.

So how did he manage to elude law enforcement while making poor decisions about it? Well, you'll have to read the story to figure out how.

(I'm kinda mean, aren't I?)

Seriously, though, this one was worth every moment I spent reading it. While I think I may have made plot discoveries before the author was ready for me to do so, the story ran with fluidity, and I happily read it to the very last word.

Monsters All the Way Down can be found on Kindle.

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