Review: The Monsters of Rookhaven by Padraig Kenny

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Goodreads | Waterstones

Mirabelle has always known she is a monster. When the glamour protecting her unusual family from the human world is torn and an orphaned brother and sister stumble upon Rookhaven, Mirabelle soon discovers that friendship can be found in the outside world.
But as something far more sinister comes to threaten them all, it quickly becomes clear that the true monsters aren’t necessarily the ones you can see.

This book reminded me of a younger version of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, and had a lot of gothic/horror aspects that still felt applicable for the age group. This one is a middle grade book following a house known as Rookhaven, where Mirabelle lives with her family. The family are monsters, and each have something that makes them unique.

The family are exiled from the local village, looked down upon by humans and protected from the outside world by a veil. But one day, a crack in the veil allows two humans, Jem and Tom, to break through and end up staying in the house with the family.

I really liked the growing friendship between Jem and Mirabelle, who end up being some of our main characters alongside a human from the local village and Piglet, one of the monsters. The friendship between the two girls represent a growing bond and understanding between the humans and monsters, and was super interesting to read about in this fantasy landscape.

The setting was a lot of fun to read about and it definitely didn’t feel small in the way it is contained within the house and the local village. The story is complimented beautifully with illustrations from Edward Bettison and I added an extra layer of chilling atmosphere.

Overall, I’d definitely recommend this one for any ages, but it definitely has a childlike wonder alongside being deliciously dark!

★★
3.5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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