Advanced technology, experimental science, inspired revolution in the name of unity: sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t.
In the time since Boy’s own technological catastrophe nearly outed his monster clan in Man Made Boy (2013), he has left his gritty, familiar home in Manhattan to study at university in Geneva. He’s living on the estate of Dr. Frankenstein, whose descendants consider Boy family, particularly “cousin” and fellow freshman Henri. Boy hasn’t quite settled in when a disappearing dwarf delivers a foreboding message, a carnivorous mermaid tries to eat him, and girlfriend Sophie Jekyll/Claire Hyde arrives with news that her brother Robert Jekyll is up to no good. Boy returns with Henri and Sophie/Claire to New York, where they learn that Robert has joined forces with Dr. Moreau. Cue: disturbing, warped plans of global domination. Characters from the first book join appealing newcomers, but with the high stakes of a monster revolution, the demises of some favorites are inevitable. There is still a fair amount of red-blooded monster boy behavior, but it isn’t all sex, booze, and bloody battles. Affection, sorrow, guilt, anger, and particularly integrity are addressed; paraphrasing Claire, we’re all capable of terrible things, but it’s integrity that separates those who do and don’t succumb.
An enjoyably action-laden, sometimes bloody, globe-trotting lesson in what it means to be monster, to be man, and to be careful when serving dryads alcohol. (Science fiction. 12 & up)