Author Topic: What did you think of the bad guy in Mr. Monster (SPOILER WARNING)  (Read 1972 times)

kain243

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First, I enjoyed this book and I enjoyed the characters who I thought were strong and interesting to read about.  I had some issues with a few of them.

I don't know why, but for most of the book, I expected that the bad guy in this book was going to be a human instead of another demon and I was surprised and somewhat dissapointed when I found out that this was the case. 

I felt like having a human killer would have forced John to make a more difficult moral choice than killing another demon (Can I actually kill another human being who is a murderer?).  When confronted with the demon, it seemed too easy of a choice for John to kill this second evil monster rather than confronting a human serial killer and deciding whether he was capable of coming to terms with whether or not he was capable of killing this person or not. 

OK, sure, he was presented with the opportunity to kill Curt who was not a very nice person, but Curt was not a murderer, just a person who hit his girlfriend once, and Curt was defenseless, so this seems like a much easier choice to make.

I also felt like there should have been perhaps some more foreshadowing of the fact that there could be more demons as I was totally blindsided by the existence of the second demon.

I also thought that brooke's reaction at the end of the book was unrealistic - sure she feels traumatized but she also understands that John saved her from a very bad situation.  I think it would have been more realistic for her to say something like she appreciated him saving her but she wanted to spend some time apart just to be able to forget about it for awhile.  I was quite upset with her after reading this part.

What do you think?

In the next book, I hope we learn more about the origins and motivations of the demons, that there will be more interesting conflicts and that the relationship with John and Brooke will be further developed.

Shivertongue

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Re: What did you think of the bad guy in Mr. Monster (SPOILER WARNING)
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2010, 06:52:29 PM »
Killing a human, I think, would push John too far over the edge, likely past the point of no return. You saw how he almost lost control completely when he burned down the building and killed the cat; if that was another human, his rules would have all been tossed out the window. Break 'em once, it becomes easier to break them again, and again, and again.

And this would be true even if the human in question was a killer as well (not to mentioned if John began killing human killers, he may as well just move to Miami and change his name to Dexter). He is capable of killing a human; the question is, is he capable of killing one and not letting Mr. Monster take over completely? The demons, in a way (at least this is my theory) represent John's own personal demons. He can kill them and it fulfill the bloodlust of Mr. Monster, but keep himself human (however much of him is a still "human") and keep following his personal code.

Opposing and killing the 'demons' is the same as facing and repressing his own inner demon - which is why when John almost gave it to join the torturer in Mr. Monster, it would have been the same as giving in to his own demon. And from there, it would just be a hop, skip and a jump away from killing a human and becoming that which he is trying to avoid.

I don't know, I thought the 'demon' was well-foreshadowed simply by the fact that there was a 'demon' in the first book. I thought the monster is this book was amazing and horrifying in ways that Crowley wasn't capable of.
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Bookstore Guy

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Re: What did you think of the bad guy in Mr. Monster (SPOILER WARNING)
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2010, 08:23:07 PM »
Why wouldn't there have been a "demon" in book 2?  Like Shiver said, the fact that there was one in the first book of the series is more than enough foreshadowing that there would be one in subsequent novels.  If it had just been a normal person, that would have been seriously underwhelming.  We already have that sort of thing in the crappy Dexter novels.  That's not what we read Dan for.  We read him for the horror/paranormal aspect with a young, well written character.  If I want a normal killer, I'll go read the most recent "Idiotic James Patterson Mystery of the Month."
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Shi

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Re: What did you think of the bad guy in Mr. Monster (SPOILER WARNING)
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2010, 09:47:25 PM »
It felt a little jarring to me that there was a Demon in the first book, but when the second book came out I was anticipating some sort of supernatural element--in fact, I probably wouldn't felt a little cheated if it didn't have them. It be like if Harry Potter suddenly decided not to use magic in book 4.

I agree with the others that if John had killed a human it would've pushed him over the edge. As it is he's horribly "addicted", I guess you can say, to killing. He needs to hunt Demon's because if he doesn't focus on them he has nothing else to cling to.

Shivertongue

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Re: What did you think of the bad guy in Mr. Monster (SPOILER WARNING)
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2010, 12:27:24 AM »
  If it had just been a normal person, that would have been seriously underwhelming. 

That is the perfect way to put it, I think. If we'd been given a human killer in book two, after the powerful demon in book one, it woudn't have been nearly as enjoyable. One of the bug rules for sequels is to go bigger; a human killer wouldn't have been able to do that, unless they were truly, truly monstrous. Like, Ted Bundy, Albert Fish and HH Holmes combined and sprinkled with choice bits of Stalin. Anything less, really, would have been simply underwhelming.

I have nothing against Dexter. I've only read the first two books, but I loved them, and the TV show is my current favourite program. I don't want John to become like Dexter, because we already have an awesome Dexter. John is his own character and just as awesome and terrifying in his own right.
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Re: What did you think of the bad guy in Mr. Monster (SPOILER WARNING)
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2010, 04:37:37 PM »
  If it had just been a normal person, that would have been seriously underwhelming. 

That is the perfect way to put it, I think. If we'd been given a human killer in book two, after the powerful demon in book one, it woudn't have been nearly as enjoyable. One of the bug rules for sequels is to go bigger; a human killer wouldn't have been able to do that, unless they were truly, truly monstrous. Like, Ted Bundy, Albert Fish and HH Holmes combined and sprinkled with choice bits of Stalin. Anything less, really, would have been simply underwhelming.

I have nothing against Dexter. I've only read the first two books, but I loved them, and the TV show is my current favourite program. I don't want John to become like Dexter, because we already have an awesome Dexter. John is his own character and just as awesome and terrifying in his own right.

Books 3 & 4 in the Dexter series are absolutely terrible.  The TV show is fantastic, and far superior to the novels, but with regards to John Cleaver vs. Dexter, I refer only to novels, not the TV series.
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Shivertongue

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Re: What did you think of the bad guy in Mr. Monster (SPOILER WARNING)
« Reply #6 on: August 27, 2010, 06:09:57 PM »
Books 3 & 4 in the Dexter series are absolutely terrible.  The TV show is fantastic, and far superior to the novels, but with regards to John Cleaver vs. Dexter, I refer only to novels, not the TV series.

Yeah, I read up on them, and Dexter in the Dark sounds particularly horrid with the supernatural aspect added in. I am a little intrigued by the fourth, but I'd have to read the third first, and I simply don't want to. Hopefully the fifth one gets back on track, although I'm not sure if I can even read that one. It involves cannibalism, which terrifies and sickens me so much I'm not sure I'd be able to stomach reading about it...

But yeah, to stick on topic... I actually have nothing to say on topic. I agree the comparison between Dexter and John Cleaver should refer only to the novels.
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happyman

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Re: What did you think of the bad guy in Mr. Monster (SPOILER WARNING)
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2011, 02:23:59 PM »
I know this is rather late, but I wanted to mention that Dan Wells knew this bit was an issue.  How many of you have read "I don't want to kill you"?

BTW, I would say that Dan agrees with the majority opinion I've been seeing in this thread.

Yes, I need an outlet after reading the IANASK series.  Why do you ask?

Edit:  I also found the demon in Mr. Monster to be much more terrifying than Mr. Crowley in IANASK.  Probably because in some ways, he hit so much closer to home with John.  It's my theory that Dan was doing this deliberately, but that's another thread.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2011, 02:25:56 PM by happyman »
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