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Unveiling the Monster within

The sun sets over a haunting scene of trees and foliage, eclipsed by shadows as it all densely paints the backdrop of the panoramic Idaho landscape. The air seems thick with tension, laced with an undeniable fear. Beneath it all there is a presence; a monstrous force that lies waiting in the darkness.

Frank Peretti’s 2005 novel, Monster, opens as Reed and Beck Shelton venture into the dense forests of Idaho, intent on spending a weekend braving the wilderness. Introduced as a shy and reserved character, Beck appears as the opposite of her husband Reed, who shows a deep love for adventure.

All plans for the weekend are crushed as a creature with unreal force raids their camp and takes Beck away into the night. When Reed wakes the next morning with little recollection of the previous night’s events and finds Beck gone, he is forced to summon all the strength and courage he possesses to get her back.

The story takes off as Reed, accompanied by the Whitcomb County police force, fights to rescue Beck and uncover the monster that has inhabited the forest. The reader must struggle to identify not only Beck’s captor, but also recognize the true monster behind it all.

After a six-year wait since Peretti’s last critically acclaimed novel, The Visitation, fans of his literary approach were swept off their feet by Monster.

Peretti describes the almost enchanted setting of the novel with a practiced ease that is sure to capture the attention of any reader. His constant attention to detail and flair for realistic description makes the novel an all-together enjoyable read.

Taking a classic approach to the trials faced in the battle of good and evil, Peretti presents a variety of characters that have a lot to learn about themselves as they encounter a startling foe.

The true definition of a monster is brought into question as Peretti presents the reader with a clearer light on the subject. Peretti boldly challenges the common classification of a monster as a horrific creature that stalks an area unwanted.

Once unearthed, the reality of the monster unravels a staggering truth about the nature of mankind–most do not recognize things or ideas for their true nature.

Monster is a unique take on the many novels that feature a horrific setting haunted by an unnamable beast. It features a series of surprising twists and a final turn that the reader will never expect.

The best aspects of the novel come with the acute attention to detail presented by Peretti and the intense characterization. By the end of the book, I felt as though I knew the main characters and had shared in the experiences of the book.

Though it was not Peretti’s best work, Monster clearly represents the author’s capacity for describing a setting. It made it simple to see the events in the novel as they played out. I could imagine the haunting atmosphere and feel the unbelievable amount of tension brought to the characters.

All in all, it was a great read that I would recommend to anyone who is looking for a story with well-devised characters and a sense of adventure.

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