I know, I know... what the hell does ARC mean? First, this is a pet peeve I've been dying to vent out to the world and now here's my chance! Have you ever noticed that groups of like-minded people (like authors) tend to create their own lingo complete with acronyms? And then they throw those acronyms and buzz words around like it somehow makes them cool? (Or am I just a total bitch and this bugs me way more than it should?) In my humble opinion this practice does little to endear "outsiders" to those who use the lingo and instead makes them look like uptight snobs who never grew out of having a secret club with a secret code for entry. I promise never ever to become one of "those" kind of people. And I give anyone reading my blog permission to call me on it if I ever do succumb in a moment of weakness. Deal?
So, an ARC is an Advanced Reader Copy. A copy of a book that hasn't yet had all the mistakes edited out (OMG, published authors make spelling errors?!?!?) and isn't ready to sell in bookstores or anywhere else. They are printed to send out to readers in advance of the publishing and release date and authors get copies to do who-knows-what with. (Now you get the name, right?) I admit I'm new to the whole industry - who knew writing was so much more than writing a story - and I'd never heard of these little gems. That is until Dan Wells - who I still can't say enough good things about - made it possible for me to get one. Which is how I came to read a book already that is not available in stores until the 28th of September... as in two weeks from now. I'm giddy as a school girl when I think about how I, the most impatient person on the planet, did NOT have to wait over two months to read the sequel of what I have already decided is my favorite book of the year.
Mr Monster is the sequel to I Am Not A Serial Killer and is just as fascinating and unputdownable as the first one. How does one talk about a sequel and not ruin the original? I'm not sure which is why it is hard to do a proper review. The main character is still John Clever, a 15-year old sociopath obsessed with serial killers and who is still living his life with major rules so he doesn't become one himself. Only now he is dating the object of his obsession - very bad and very good at the same time - and embroiled in working with the FBI to catch a serial killer without incriminating himself in the process. Dan Wells has done such an amazing job of creating a character who is so genuinely flawed and in any other book would be considered the antagonist but who finds himself the hero so we are forced to love him. This book is also classified as Young Adult Horror and it is dark in parts but not as graphic or violent as the first - it is more up in your head disturbing rather than blood and guts although there are bits of that as well. To say anything else would give things away and do injustice to the whole thing. So, please trust me and if you haven't already read the first one, get on it so you can be in line for the sequel when it hits bookstores later this month! Personally I can't wait for my daughter to be old enough to read them!