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Monsters of Elsewhere is a strange book It also happens to be the best selfpublished book I've read so far A gripping book that has deprived me of sleep and sucked me into its world in the best possible way.Before we even begin to talk about the story, one of the most important things to get out of the way is to explain Matthew Waldram's style of writing.Mr Waldram, describing himself as a 'large flightless bird', is from Derby, and is as English as English can be This includes levity in times of grimness and a dry and intelligent wit permeating everything he touches.Meaning that if you like things exclusively grim and gritty then you'll want to avoid this book.Take a dollop of Pratchett, a pinch of Gaiman, mix with two parts Eddings and Gemmell and then throw in the modern sensibilities of today's fantasy writers and the result is Matthew Waldram.You see, the opening chunk of Monsters of Elsewhere stars a young but inquisitive child called Henry Whistler, who is adamant in his belief that there are monsters underneath his bed.Unlike the rest of the children his age, it turns out that Henry is absolutely correct There's a monster under his bed.At this point I was preparing to cast aside this quaint but humorous young adult fantasy, which would have been the biggest mistake of my reading life Thankfully I persevered, because while a small boy getting lost at bus stations wasn't precisely my cup of tea, it was written in a humorous fashion that drew me in It really could have been the opening to a classic children's novel, such was the quality of the crafting.Fortunately for me, the rest of the tale flashes forward after the events dictated by this initial childlike romp into a fantasy world Henry Whistler becomes a man, he gets engaged and he forgets all about his previous adventure as the adult world surrounds him.I'm not going to spoil the plot any further, but sufficed to say that Henry is drawn back into the world he has previously visited as a man instead of a boy The narrative still drips humour, but certain events unfold that shake you out of that amused reverie This is a serious book, for all its quirks.Waldram is an absolute master of injecting serious consequences into a humorous narrative and vice versa One minute he'll have you crying with laughter and the next he'll have you legitimately crying That's a rare gift indeed I actually fist pumped the air at one point, I don't recall ever doing that before.In fact, such is the brilliance of this book that my sleepaddled mind cannot form the words capable of expressing just how impressed I am with it, so you'll excuse me if I catch a few Zs and report back with aindepth exploration of the textI have now caught the aforementioned Zs and will continue trying to explain just how good this book is, here goes.This is one of those rare books where even the ancillary characters are wellcrafted and cared about When the inevitable happens and you're taken away from the protagonist you wonder how the author is going to deal with these other points of view The answer is splendidly Not only do you care about the fate of one Henry Whistler, you're exposed bit by bit to the world he has been dropped into through the fates of others.The antagonists of our piece are believable, have clear motivations and don't want to cover the world in a second darkness That also helps.One of the most important elements of this book is that Henry Whistler isn't particularly special He's not given a fellowship of companions, just one or two decent folk that help him along the way He doesn't have any special powers or great destiny and as is amusingly pointed out, he'd probably lose in a fight to just about any armed guard or soldier in the land.I was going to critique the book, but I'm genuinely struggling to find anything wrong with it In fact the only criticism I can level at it is that I wish it was even longer so I didn't have to finish it so quickly!I guess I could repeat that the style of writing isn't for everyone Some people might find the humour irritating, but they'd be very dull people indeed.I won't hesitate in giving this book five stars, only the second time I've awarded an independently published title this high a rating.I don't know if this is a oneoff stroke of genius on the part of Mr Waldram, but I sincerely hope that his next work builds on the qualities exhibited here I also hope that he goes back to his captivating Elsewhere universe, because if he doesn't he'll be getting a stronglyworded email informing him that he must! Incredible I picked this book up when Matt was doing a reddit giveaway and decided to read it on a whim I'm so glad I did The story was very immersive and engrossing There were several nights where I had to bargain with myself (onechapter before bed OK oneOK just one ) Typically, the fantasy genre can yield very dry and slow passages where the particulars of the world are described in minute detail; that is definitely not the case here With the several story arcs and the interjections of humor (seriously, this book is laugh out loud funny sometimes) this book is never boring or slow As a reader who was very invested in these characters, I am very happy at the way all the loose ends seemed to come together in such a way that we all know it was planned from the start 5/5 if you like fantasy but can't stand a long winded author check this book out! I do not care to write reviews, but to have completed this debut and found less than 20 ratings waiting was a terrible thing Thus:This is a wonderful book, though one I know to be very flawed nonetheless Stronger story editing would certainly have given it aeven and cohesive feel and there were times when I noticed certain devices and techniques being repeatedly used to their detraction This novel’s selfpublished roots run deep.Yet I suspect that I will remember Monsters of Elsewhere for a long time to come and I wonder if that same lack of constraint that led to those mishaps was the exact same freedom that permitted the author to create a vision that feels so genuinely unique This novel is about the journey, recapping its plot would be doing you a disservice, so know only that I followed the protagonists development (and the supporting character's vignettes) with unrepentant glee throughout and having now finished the story I can safely say that I enjoyed every minute.For all the niggles noticed I never lost that sense of fun, and I think everyone can occasionally use a book like that in their life It warmed my heart, I hope it might warm yours. I love me a good fantasy and this debut novel did not disappoint.It follows the story of Henry at various points in his life and his adventures with monsters in another world, Elsewhere I found the book chock full of some brilliant dry humour, and a lot of hilarious comments about facets of everyday British life Humour aside, there was also serious bits too, some gory bits and absolutely loads of fantastical adventure I really enjoyed reading this book.There are loads of characters that the reader is introduced to and I loved the way in which all their individual stories converged into one for a load of interesting twists and turns in the story.If you want a fairly fun, lighthearted read with a load of British dry humour (with the occasional serious and gory bit) and an epic fantasy tale, then give this book a try; I did and wasn't disappointed.****Disclaimer*** I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads all the opinions and views stated in my review are entirely my own. This was a fun, wellwritten, sweetly crafted twist on the traditional fairy tale story I think what I enjoyed most was that it wasn't exactly farfetched and dependent upon stereotypes or tropes, but rather, written with an eye to humour, realism (as much as can exist in a fantasy world), and characters with true development I want to say that the ending was tied up too neatly for my tastes, but ultimately I can't as it was just as charming and sweet as the rest of the tale Definitely worth reading, and as enjoyable a first entry as any I've read I am quite curious to see what else Waldram comes out with. I really enjoyed this book! An entertaining blend of Gaiman, Pratchett, and some good old fashioned adventure fantasy My biggest regret is that it is unillustrated I would love to see Elsewhere: An Illustrated Natural History I also felt like some of the surprises were a bit overly telegraphed It felt like an awkward amount of suspense given the fairly obvious foreshadowing Less of one or the other could have improved things a bit As far as I know, this is a standalone book, which can be rare to find in the fantasy genre today I hope it stays that way I liked the way the book wrapped up the plot but still had a dollop of mystery in the ending But I would definitely welcomebooks set in Elsewhere It seems like a world with definite opportunity forstories! Solid 3.5, giving it 4 since it's not widely reviewed on here The plot and universe are amazing, but somehow, despite torture, murder, and imprisonment, the plot and characters are unrepentantly jolly I never really worried about certain characters surviving, you know? Still a fun read, and it could be a great book for younger readers as well as adults Just lacking a touch of dimension and threat. &Download E-pub ⇔ Monsters of Elsewhere ⇛ There is a land – let's call it Elsewhere – that is in no small amount of trouble Giant wolves are tearing villages apart, a monster king is bringing his army across the sea to capture the legendary Hall of Glass, and the High Lord has completely disappeared Henry Whistler was eight when he got lost at a bus station in Hounslow There his adventure began For that was when he met the exiled invisible man, the monster swordsman, and the girl with the bright red hair Now a grownup, Henry's childhood adventure is a faded memory until his fiancée vanishes Until he is drawn into another world Until he is pursued by a blind assassin – with only a monster and a dead man for companyacross a land that is in no small amount of trouble A grand imagination on display in this highly impressive debut novel Heroic fantasy with a twist Get it and be swept off into Elsewhere! Full review at the Quill to Live: