They’re not government funded, they’re not from a time-honored lineage of hunters, nor are they rich kids with lots of toys.
I Kill Monsters
by Dennis Liggio
I Kill Monsters
by Dennis Liggio
What is it about?
“Mikkel and Szandor kill monsters. They’re not government funded, they’re not from a time-honored lineage of hunters, nor are they rich kids with lots of toys. They’re two twenty-something brothers from the poor side of town who have taken it on themselves to rid the streets and underground of creatures who would prey on the innocent. Donning gas masks and using makeshift weaponry, they delve into the labyrinthine sewer system of New Avalon to grapple with snarling zombies, flesh-eating ghouls, insectoid hive creatures, and more. It’s a dirty job and it rarely pays, but someone has to do it.
Hired by a woman from the rich side of town who believes she’s being stalked by monsters, the two brothers think they’ve finally gotten an easy job that will pay well. But as they follow the clues, things are not adding up. Kidnappings, jackbooted commandos, and mysterious emails are just the beginning. Soon they find themselves involved in something bigger than monsters. It’s anybody’s guess whether they’ll come through it alive, much less get paid.
I Kill Monsters is an exciting punk rock urban fantasy for those who enjoy their protagonists with a mouth on them and a weapon in their hands.
Dennis Liggio’s I Kill Monsters is a book with a fun premise and colorful characters. It throws you into the strange, but not unfamiliar city of New Avalon where brothers Szandor Nowak (and his brother Mikkel) does exactly what the title says he does. Within the first quarter of the book, the Nowak brothers take on a snake monster that lives in the plumbing of an apartment building, a horde of zombies, and some surprisingly intelligent ghouls, all with a healthy dose of snark and comedic ennui.
However, Liggio has a storytelling structure and style of prose that made reading I Kill Monsters a little too much of slow burn. The narration is overly descriptive at times and hampers the flow of the story – cutting into action scenes with large paragraphs of explanation or flashbacks that consistently took me out of the moment. And while it was nice to get a few asides of the various monsters’ the Nowaks battle, along with Szandor’s more mundane battle of working day-to-day in a call center, it felt like a slow detour from a plot that gets introduced and going 20% of the way into the book. This would be fine if the banter between the Nowaks (and to a lesser extent, their clients) was a little more dynamic and engaging, but we really only get a sense of Szandor’s personality, with Mikkel relegated more to the background, aside from a few brotherly exchanges.
I Kill Monsters does have the promise of being quite a fun book by the end of its page count, but it kept me from being sucked into the story early when it really needed to, so I’m afraid I’ll have to cut this from the running.
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G.M. Nair is a crazy person who should never be taken seriously. Despite possessing both a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering and a job as an Aviation and Aerospace Consultant, he writes comedy for the stage and screen, and maintains the blog MakeMomMarvel.Com. Now he is making the leap into the highly un-lucrative field of independent book publishing.
G.M. Nair lives in New York City and in a constant state of delusion.