The Beast of Skull Rock (Monsterious 4)

The Beast of Skull Rock (Monsterious 4)
Age Range
Release Date
January 16, 2024
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Twins Simon and Jade are thrilled to spend the summer with their grandfather in the beachfront resort town of Skull Rock. They're especially looking forward to helping out at his spooky cabinet of curiosities museum, full of creepy old relics, taxidermy specimens, and sinister displays. But lately there have been disturbing reports of store break-ins and sightings of a frightening creature in the area, scaring away the town's much-needed tourists. When the twins hear eerie noises coming from the museum after hours and see strange scratch marks on the door, they decide to investigate. As the creature attacks mount, Jade and Simon begin to suspect the impossible: Could one of their grandfather's museum monstrosities be coming to life each night to prowl the boardwalks of Skull Rock?

Editor review

1 review
A monster on the loose!
Overall rating
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Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
What worked:
Simon and Jade offer contrasting characters. Simon loves the mysterious and scary while Jade is more practical with a love for performing magic. Simon has researched all kinds of creatures from around the world and he comes across a book with legends from Skull Rock. An article about a werehyena catches his eye since its description sounds like something from recent break-ins. Jade is skeptical but she becomes suspicious too when their grandfather doesn’t want to talk about strange sounds they’ve been hearing at night. With Simon taking the lead, they decide it’s up to them to investigate.
The opening chapter describes a beast prowling the town so there’s never any question about what kind of monster is threatening Skull Rock. Newspaper descriptions and security pictures match the morgund statue in the grandfather’s museum so it seems inevitable that this stuffed artifact is causing the disturbances. The real question is how it’s happening. The twins wish their grandmother was around since she has an interest in magic and might be able to help. The monster continues to strike every night with the attacks becoming more harmful to citizens.
Some chapters are written from the creature’s point of view which lets readers know the beast is intelligent. It maneuvers along rooftops to stalk its prey and shows patience before pouncing. It even knows to remain still when it’s being watched in the museum. These chapters help connect the monster with readers and act as reminders of the imminent danger. Potential victims are shown going about their daily activities, unaware a vicious predator is moving in for an attack. These descriptions build suspense into the plot as readers anticipate when the monster will strike next.
What didn’t work as well:
The plot lacks the suspense readers might expect that typically surrounds a vicious monster. The early pages reveal its presence but don’t include any reports of injury or death. One chapter even talks about the creature breaking into a store and eating a display of candy. More dramatic confrontations arise later but monster lovers may want more.
The final verdict:
This book is a nice introduction to the monster genre since events never get too intense. The plot is easy to follow and readers may be surprised by a revelation during the climax. Overall, this is a fun, eerie adventure and I recommend you give it a shot.
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