19 Jul 2016

ARC #Review: MANNHEIM REX by Rob Pobi


Author: Rob Pobi
Source: ARC via Simon & Schuster Canada
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Canada
Publication Date: May 17, 2016
Rating: 4/5 stars

From the internationally bestselling novelist Rob Pobi comes Mannheim Rex, an homage to the blockbuster Jaws and the classic American novel Moby Dick.

After the sudden death of his wife, famous horror writer Gavin Corlie retreats from New York City to a secluded house on Lake Caldasac. But his new life in the country is far from idyllic, and when a thirteen-year-old wheelchair-bound boy named Finn Horn nearly drowns in the lake, Gavin discovers a startling secret: people in this peaceful lakeside community keep vanishing. Is the corrupt, drug-fuelled town sheriff to blame? Or is Finn’s account of a lake-dwelling leviathan more than a near-death hallucination?

Racing against time and Mother Nature, Gavin and Finn embark on a quest to catch a nightmare beast. It’s survival of the fittest, and it isn’t long before the pair realizes that they might be out of their depth…and that the hunters may have become the hunted.

An homage to Peter Benchley’s Jaws and the classic Moby Dick, Mannheim Rex is an unsettling thriller that switches seamlessly between heartwarming friendship and heart-stopping action.

Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

I was nervous going into this one because my defining personality trait is "jumpy" and I was, well, scared. But this one wasn't nearly as scary as I anticipated and I am glad it had a good monster scary and also a good people scary aspect to it.

I thought the writing was alright, it wasn't the best and it wasn't the worst, but I think it kept the book moving along pretty well. Considering this book is VERY long, I am glad that the writing allowed the pace to move along (fairly) quickly. I found myself a little bored at the start because we knew the lake monster was there but it was made to seem as though it wasn't? Or at least no one really believed it so it made me feel awkward for the first 100 or so pages.

However, after these 100 I read the rest of the book in like 2.5 hours. Which considering the size is a pretty good feat. I thought the pace was really well done and I didn't feel like there was any part of this novel that I wanted to be cut out or last longer. I liked that there were a lot of the necessary, predictable tropes and then a lot of little surprises along the way. I think the author did a good job of writing a story that people could figure out the basic plot but some of these tropes were subverted to keep you on your toes.

I really liked all the characters, but I thought the romantic relationship between Laurel and Gavin was very quick. I feel like we had seen Gavin falling to pieces over his dead wife and then it was like a flip of a switch and he was with Laurel. And while I am okay with people moving forward in their lives, I thought it was too quick for how we had seen Gavin up to this point. I thought there could have been more time spent with Gavin and Laurel to see him start to open up more before they got together. However, I did like their relationship and it was nice to see Gavin happy. On top of this, I thought Sheriff Pope was way over the top. While he was a great "land monster" in relation to the lake monster, I thought it was just too much.  

I did really like this one. For being a monster of a book, I thought it was really well paced; I thought the story used the tropes of the genre but also subverted some of them, and; I really liked the characters. If you're looking for a good lake monster story, this is the one for you! 

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