Born from a succesful Kickstarter campaign, Monstre (Volume One) by Duncan Swan is the author’s debut, and the first of two books telling the story of The Cloud.
From the wreckage of a research facility in Switzerland, a freak accident has unleashed a toxic impenetrable cloud that is slowly smothering the world in darkness. Even worse, there are creatures that are coming out of the wreckage that are not of this Earth.
The first centers on the devastation occurring in nearby France shortly after the explosion, and the squad of United States Marines who are sent on a mission to find out what went wrong and retrieve vital info before it can fall in the hands of others. This storyline reads like a sci-fi action adventure, from its technical jargon to the battles to keep civilians alive.
The second jumps forward in time and focuses on a group of Kentucky law enforcement officers, and one deputy’s family, who decide to head west trying to outrun The Cloud, which has already hit the Eastern Seaboard of the country. This storyline is more apocalyptic in feel (think The Walking Dead without the Walkers), and shows creatures from The Cloud are not the only monsters to fear when society has collapsed.
I did enjoy the book with the exception of some of the dialogue of the Marines, which includes some slurs. It was a fast-paced and exciting read, told from the viewpoints of several characters in both timelines.
On the downside, Monstre ends abruptly, leaving readers to wait until late 2021 for the rest of the story. I also would’ve liked to have had more strong female characters in this fight for the world.
But overall, I enjoyed this first novel from Duncan Swan. If you’re looking for an exciting sci-fi/horror read, check out Monstre (Volume One).
I’m giving it a 4 out of 5 stars.
Disclaimer: I received an advance e-book copy for review purposes from NetGalley. I was not compensated in any other way. My opinion is honest, and as always, my own.
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