Genre: Horror / Thriller
Synopsis: At sixteen Nash thought that the fight to become Head Girl of prestigious boarding school Bathory would be the biggest battle she’d face. Until her brother’s disappearance leads to Nash being trapped at the school over Christmas with Bathory’s assorted misfits. As a blizzard rages outside, strange things are afoot in the school’s hallways, and legends of the mysterious Beast of Bathory – a big cat rumoured to room the moors outside the school – run wild. Yet when the girls’ Matron goes missing it’s clear that something altogether darker is to blame – and that they’ll have to stick together if they hope to survive.
200words (or less) review: Set in a prestige all girl boarding school over the Christmas holidays, Monster has the perfect ingredients for a horror story. The school is remote, most of the staff and students are gone for the Christmas holidays. Thanks to rebellious Maggie’s pranks Matron has locked away their mobile phones. Add the long standing legend of The Beast of Bathory and it the thrills are ready to start.
Monster takes its time to lay the groundwork; much of the first half of the book is about getting to know the characters. Our narrator is Nash, she’s been ‘perfect’ in the bid for head girl but with her brother missing the cracks are showing. The other girls are a mix of mean girls, outsiders and the innocent little first year student.
I enjoyed the legend of the beast and how C J Skuse used this in the book. Having so completely fallen in love with her previous narrators (both in Dead Romantic and Rockoholic) my lack of emotional connection to Nash was a bit of struggle.
Is the Beast of Bathory responsible for the dead and disappearing? You’ll have to read Monster to find out.