Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Review: Monster in My Closet
Zoey, a free spirited wedding planner who has a need to be helpful (even to her good for nothing ex), wakes up to find the monster from her childhood nightmares in her kitchen. Turns out it was all a misunderstanding, his gargoyle wife has left him, and now he needs a place to stay. He is a very accomplished chef, and even though it's all crazypants, Zoey agrees. This is the equivalent of letting the barn door open - soon she finds a Brownie family needing refuge, cares for an ailing dragon, catches the eye of a dangerous incubus, and learns that the reason she is so in touch with everyone's feelings is that she's an empath. Throw in a very hot EMT who is on hand at the deadliest of times, a wedding from hell (actually not literally in this case), clients experiencing death by incubus, and Zoey is in over her head.
The overall tone of this story is pretty light - closet monsters making scones and Zoey's effervescent nature. I actually was pretty into it in the beginning and thought it was a nice break from my usual. However, the nature of the murders - death by sex - is pretty freaking dark and disturbing if you stop to think about it. The incubus is basically a walking magical roofie that kills you. This felt incongruous to the otherwise light tone, especially when the incubus is targeting people that Zoey knows. It was difficult for me to go from a murder to Zoey's new kooky outfit, and I couldn't wrap my head around many of her actions. I also found it hard to believe she didn't realize what was happening to those closest to her (can't elaborate more without spoilers).
There is a bit of romance, but nothing hot and heavy. I liked that part. I felt the slower progression of the relationship fit. There is the hint at a broader mystery involving Zoey's mom. I found myself wanting to know a lot more about that. I also really liked the supporting characters, especially Andrew, her new aura-reading ally, and Maurice, the closet monster.
Once Zoey finally started acting instead of evading I liked it better, but couldn't get over the disconnect.
[I received an ARC to review.]
at 8:14 AM