Time to read: 2h19m
Date read: Fri 9 Sep 2022
So, you’ve got a rabid monster locked in a cage…
What are you going to do about it?
The sixth book in the Monstrous series (I’ve got reviews of Soul Eater and Edin up so far, but will get to the rest soon!), Seraph is all about the aforementioned rabid beastie and Lilac, the raider camp’s resident wood whittler and killer.
We’ll put them in that order.
After Gloam and Rig took him with them from Collector Mary’s, Seraph has been in his cage outside the camp, screaming his head off whenever he feels like it. But there’s a problem. The drugs the military provided Mary with – the ones Gloam suspects are keeping Seraph alive – are running out.
When they get down to the final dose, Lilac knows he’ll be the one to dispatch Seraph if it all proves to be too much. But has he grown too close in the meantime?
When the day comes, will he be able to do what needs to be done?
These characters, though!
There are a lot of different elements that make up a book. Pacing, writing quality, themes… but I think the two most important are probably 1) character and 2) story.
And out of those? Characters eke past into my top spot, at least.
I mean, we all know that thing, that there’s only twenty-odd different stories and we’re telling the same ones over and over again, and that’s true. There are foundations that the vast majority of stories follow, and in romance, I think more than any other genre, there are foundations that we, the readers fully expect are followed.
That’s the point.
So the characters have to do the heavy lifting. Characters are going to set your enemies-to-lovers story apart from the hundred other enemies-to-lovers stories that are on offer, and although I think Mayne’s worldbuilding is incredible, her attention to detail is great, the characters are where this whole thing shines.
It’s easy to see in their relationships with one another; Danny and Hunter’s friendship is different to Hunter and Charlie’s, and Ghost and Rig’s friendship is different to Rig and Lilac’s. But Mayne’s got them all together in this book, and we never lose sight of them – Gloam’s wandering around being the tired, responsible dad; Wyn’s a murderous, vengeful uncle; Rig’s causing mischief just to help Lilac out; Hunter’s overstimulated and annoyed, but staunchly willing to protect Edin.
For a lot of authors, having these twelve separate characters around (plus the others, of course; Daisy, Anchor, Apollo, Rusty, Nun…) would be a difficult task. We’d lose sight of them for no good reason as they were pushed aside by the ones due to take centre stage and forgotten.
But they’re not.
And there’s the detailed character work, of course. Lilac has been a solitary creature in the previous books, never anyone scary to Ghost or Rig, but someone they could rely on. Now he has a chance to rely on others and we get a look at his story as it begins to entwine with Seraph’s.
Seraph’s, of course, is suitably tragic and involves one of those great reveals that was obvious if you were looking but is also surprising in its depths. I wonder if it will be explored in any further books.
Oh, and, they’re super in love and it’s sweet and hot and were you really, really expecting anything else?
Fight for what you want
Obviously, this is another five spooky skulls: 💀💀💀💀💀
I unashamedly love this series. Every pairing is fun, and although I think I’m not quite as on edge for the next couple of books (Cat who?), I know they’ll turn out to be good reads. The characters are amazing and they leave me thinking about them long after I’ve finished with the books.
Oh! And if you’re looking for some more Monstrous stuff to tide you over, then I strongly recommend you head over to Lily Mayne’s website and check out the bonus content. There’s some tremendously good stuff in there, a lot of it Wyn or Moth-and-Charlie centric, but I had a great couple of hours reading through it all!