Only a Monster (Only a Monster, 1)

Only a Monster (Only a Monster, 1)
Age Range
Release Date
February 22, 2022
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The sweeping romance of Passenger meets the dark fantasy edge of This Savage Song in this stunning contemporary fantasy debut from Vanessa Len, where the line between monster and hero is razor thin.

Don’t forget the rule. No one can know what you are. What we are. You must never tell anyone about monsters.

Joan has just learned the truth: her family are monsters, with terrifying, hidden powers.

And the cute boy at work isn’t just a boy: he’s a legendary monster slayer, who will do anything to destroy her family.

To save herself and her family, Joan will have to do what she fears most: embrace her own monstrousness. Because in this story…she is not the hero.

Dive deep into the world of Only a Monster: hidden worlds dwell in the shadows, beautiful monsters with untold powers walk among humans, and secrets are the most powerful weapon of all.

Editor review

1 review
She is not the hero
Overall rating
Writing Style
What I Loved: Only a Monster warned us that Joan was not the hero of this story. She was the monster, yet it was the hero that massacred her whole family. The Oliver family captures her and Nick when they stay late after work at the museum. They looked into her eyes and saw a monster that shouldn’t live. She tries to save her human crush, Nick, who turns out to be the fabled Monster hunter. His people have orchestrated a massacre of all monster families, including hers.
She had tried to save him from the Olivers, so he lets her go with a promise to kill her if she ever uses her powers. With her family dead, how can she not try altering the timeline and try to save them?
She saves Aaron Oliver’s life during the fight. As they hide in 1993, he tries to teach her to be a monster. She meets up with her cousin, Ruth, who survived the massacre and has searched for two years to find her. She should be enemies with Aaron, but feelings emerge as they try to survive being hunted by Nick. Her heart aches for Nick whom she feels a soul-deep love connection that she doesn’t understand.
It is common knowledge among monsters that the timeline will protect itself from interference. Aaron wearily helps her try anyways because every monster goes through the temptation. Then they hear rumors that the Liu family has the power to remember. They have family stories of an alternate timeline. What should be impossible leads them to uncover terrible secrets about how the hero was made into the Monster hunter. Joan is the key to stopping him. They say the timeline will try to repair any anomalies. Joan wonders if that is why Nick and her keep crossing paths. How can they ever be together when her family’s deaths lay at his feet?
What Left Me Wanting More: As events unfold, we learn of a woman in the shadows whose intentions are terrible. The reason she orchestrated these events is unknown. I also want more about Aaron at the end and to find out the trouble in his past.
Final Verdict: The ending was gripping and heart-wrenching. It was terribly perfect, yet I hope there is a sequel and this is not how she has to live her life now. It is easy to forget who the monster in the story truly is. It was unique and hard to put down from beginning to end.
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