Thursday 25 July 2019

Book Review: From Here On, Monsters by Elizabeth Bryer (Literary Fiction)

Title: From Here On, Monsters
Author: Elizabeth Bryer

Publication Date: 23 July 2019
Literary Fiction
ARC from Publisher


In a city locked in a kind of perpetual twilight, antiquarian bookseller Cameron Raybould accepts a very strange commission - the valuation of a rare codex.

Within its fragile pages Cameron makes a curious discovery. Although seemingly ancient, the codex tells of a modern mystery: an academic missing for eleven years. Stranger still, as finding the truth becomes ever more of an obsession, Cameron begins to notice frightening lapses in memory. As if, all around, words, images, even people are beginning to fade from sight. As if unravelling the riddle of this book may be unravelling the nature of reality itself. And something frightening and unknown is taking its place...

A noirish mystery, timely work of unbridled imagination from a startling new voice, Elizabeth Bryer.

From Here On, Monsters was a fascinating read. It begins as if a standard piece of contemporary fiction, but gradual events grow stranger, to the point where you, as a reader, question if what's being narrated is actually happening or if it is in the characters' heads. By the time I turned the final page, I didn't know what to think. This is certainly an imaginative and intriguing story. Its strangeness may mean it's not for everyone, but I found it highly entertaining and thought-provoking. In the latter case, I did feel it became a little preachy at times as it pushed a message, but that was a minor gripe, and others may not read it the same way. My advice if you pick it up is to be prepared for the fact it is a story deeply embedded in metaphor. I would definitely read more from Bryer in the future.

I received this book as a free ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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