All These Monsters # 1
Format: Hardcover, 464 pages
Release Date: July 7, 2020
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Genre: Young Adult / Science Fiction
From New York Times best-selling author Amy Tintera, a
high-stakes sci-fi adventure about a teen girl who will do anything to
escape her troubled home—even if that means joining a dangerous
monster-fighting squad. Perfect for fans of Warcross and Renegades.
Seventeen-year-old Clara is ready to fight back. Fight back against her abusive father, fight back against the only life she’s ever known, and most of all, fight back against scrabs, the earth-dwelling monsters that are currently ravaging the world. So when an opportunity arises for Clara to join an international monster-fighting squad, she jumps at the chance.
When Clara starts training with her teammates, however, she realizes what fighting monsters really means: sore muscles, exhaustion, and worst of all, death. Scrabs are unpredictable, violent, and terrifying. But as Clara gains confidence in her battle skills, she starts to realize scrabs might not be the biggest evil. The true monsters are the ones you least expect.
Author Amy Tintera's All
These Monsters is the first book in an expected duology featuring a ragtag
group of monster fighters and a shocking twist that will leave readers craving for
the second book. 17-year old Clara Pratt is the main character. She lives in
Dallas, Texas with her mom, brother, and abusive father. After being physically
abused by her dad, she decides she’s had enough. After years of her mother and
brother refusing to speak up and doing nothing, she decides to leave home after
reading about Grayson St. John's International Fight Squad.
This is a group that
hunts monsters known as Scrabs and is looking for new recruits. So, after making
her way through the process, Clara boards a bus to Atlanta where Grayson trains
new recruits and puts together teams that will end up traveling to Paris where
the Scrabs are out in full force. Clara is the weakest on her team but makes it
through and bonds with her team including one of the teams so called leaders,
Julian, as well as Edan who is very much like Clara, and Madison who is Grayson’s
sister. The first thing that Clara learns is that training is hard, and not
everyone is going to survive once they encounter real world situations.
In this world,
everyone in High School is expected to take combat training to fight Scrabs
which are Earth-dwelling monsters that rampage thru cities across the world.
Apparently, around 2013, Scrabs made their first appearance in this
world. Scrabs are hard to describe because there's several different types
of them. Apparently, Scrabs have not been seen in the US in ages, and Russia
has closed itself off from the rest of the World. They tunnel underground and
pop up in heavy populated areas killing and destroying anything they come
across. The U.S. has mostly gotten it under control, but in Europe, they are
Europe is where most of this story take place. First in Paris where Clara and Edan learn a secret about the competition MDG (Monster Defense Group) and their plans for the Scrabs. Later in London where the Scrabs are plenty busy terrorizing those who still live in the city, and Clara realizes not everyone is who they seem, and some are more dangerous than others. Even though Clara is allegedly the weakest on her team, somehow, she manages to survive through a series of brutal attacks whereas some of her teammates aren't so lucky. She finds that she can easily connect with Edan because he makes her a better fighter whenever he's around.
In the vein of bestsellers like Warcross and Renegades, All These Monsters has accessible science fiction elements that tackle today’s issues like teen activism, and toxic relationships. What appears to be a dystopian science-fiction adventure turns out fundamentally to be about a young woman’s emotional path to transcendence over the cycle of abuse. Tintera balances heart-pounding action with compelling connections between Clara and her teammates, all told through snappy dialogue and prose. It is fair to say that this book ends on a cliffhanger ending which shouldn’t surprise anyone since it’s a duology, not a standalone.