Time to read: 2h1m
Date read: Sat 3 Sep 2022 (re-read)
Saved by the purple devil
We met Edin briefly in Soul Eater, the first book in Lily Mayne’s Monstrous series, where he joined Wyn and Danny for a while on their trek to nowhere.
This time, it’s all about him. And also about Hunter. See, Hunter’s a soldier, and he and his best friend (and fellow soldier) Charlie are heading back to the Nebraska base to report in after a long mission.
Only that Nebraska base is long-empty, all its inhabitants dead or escaped, and to make matters worse, Charlie gets kidnapped by a bunch of little monsters and pulled underground. Hunter’s hanging off a ledge (literally) but our wandering purple ball of serenity and confidence is here to save the day.
The two are forced to team up to try and track Charlie down, which will not only bring them closer together, but also drag Wyn and Danny back into the fight and lead Hunter to question what he’s going to do with the rest of his life.
It’s allll about the BFFs
So, obviously, the worldbuilding is as good if not better as it is in the first book, and the pacing, writing, etc., are great, but what really makes this one are the relationships.
Hunter and Edin’s, of course, but also the dynamics between two different sets of best friends: Hunter and Charlie, and Edin and Wyn.
(Wyn may or may not know it, but he and Edin are best friends. That’s just how it is.)
Hunter’s willing to do whatever it takes to get to Charlie, even if that means teaming up with a monster he nicknames Scratch (like Old Scratch, because Hunter literally thinks Edin looks like images of the devil), even if it means teaming up with Wyn the Soul Eater, and even if it means handing himself over to the indeterminate conclusions of increasingly dangerous plans. Although Hunter and Charlie aren’t together a lot in this book, it’s a testament to their friendship – that’s why Hunter’s off doing his thing in the first place.
And then there’s Edin and Wyn. Theirs is a less co-dependent friendship, forged over what seems to be thousands of years, but it’s as deep and strong as it can be. If Edin’s willing to put himself in danger to help find some human’s friend, Wyn will (however reluctantly) assist him. Some of the best moments in this book, for me, are Wyn dealing with Hunter and getting him to understand that despite Edin’s brash, easy-going nature, he needs to be cared for.
Beyond the romantic relationships, this series is also very much about the bonds between all people, as most post-apocalyptic fiction often is. What would we do in this situation? Distrust and violence are often portrayed in this genre, and there’s no exception from that here; but the bonds between people that matter are generally unbreakable, giving us a whole heap more optimism than we might come to expect.
So, what did I make of this?
Five spooky skulls: 💀💀💀💀💀
Edin is consistently my favourite character across this series (maybe tied with Lilac, but Seraph still isn’t out yet, so I need a better look inside his head), but I think I realised how much so on this re-read. All the pain and loss he’s suffered is just a part of him, something he can examine and acknowledge, while he takes each new thing as it comes.
He and Hunter are such a great match, with Hunter’s grumpy introversion, and it’s nice for these two lonely souls to come together.
Fancy giving it a read?
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